PowerShell Basic Commands 101

It looks like January has turned into “Powershell Month” here at the TekTopics.com! 

And while typically, we write these Powershell-related posts with the assumption that you’re already at least reasonably versed in the language, I thought it might be good to give a few introductory tips to those of you who need the first few basics of Powershell to get you up and running.  Then, you can take these tips and start getting creative with some of the great scripts, loops and commands we’ve talked about here in this blog.

First off, when in the PowerShell command prompt type in “Get-Command” and hit enter:


This will list every PowerShell command available. It is quite lengthy, but can be very helpful if you have the time to scroll through the entire list to discover new and exciting scripting tools.

If you wanted to save this list, you could by outputting it to a file by using the “|” (“pipe”) combined with the “Out-File” command, for example:

Get-Command | Out-File C:Commands.txt

If you are like me and require the list to be sorted by “practical application” then you can sort it by `Module Name’ by simply running:

Get-Command | Sort Module

You can then take it one step further to narrow your search results by filtering by Module name and a “*” (wildcard) as seen here an example of searching for BitLocker:

Get-Command -Module BitLock*

Or if you are looking for a specific command to run to `Enable’ BitLocker:

Get-Command –Module BitLock* -Name Enable* 

From there, if you need usage commands or examples of any newly found Powershell command you can use the “Get-Help” command. The following example would give you helpful information for the “Get-Command” cmdlet as previously mentioned:

Get-Help Get-Command

Or for “Select-String”, the PowerShell equivalent to “FindStr” or the ever-so-popular string search tool called “Grep”:

Get-Help Select-String

One final note to tie this all together: Instead of memorizing the entire cmdlet, module or function names you can use the built-in aliases, which are shorter commands that execute the same command as the long name function, for example: gcm is Get-Command and help is Get-Help

So you could run the following command, which is the same as the above “Get-Help Get-Command”:

help gcm

And you can view the entire list of “Aliases” by running:

gcm -Type Alias

That is all for now! Stay tuned for PowerShell Basic Scripting 101!



2017-07-27T00:01:04+00:00 January 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|

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