If you’ve ever had the pleasure of diving into the world of system administration, you’ve likely encountered Windows PowerShell and PowerShell commands. It’s a handy tool, a shell scripting language that gives you access to the inner workings of your operating system. 

It outshines the traditional Command Prompt (CMD), offering more power, flexibility, and control.

Unlike CMD, which utilizes simple command-line instructions, Windows PowerShell employs a more extensive language, utilizing a list of PowerShell commands, or cmdlets for intricate system tasks. 

As a system administrator, your work can see dramatic improvements with this tool in your arsenal. It’s not just about making things easier; it’s about efficiency, precision and the ability to automate repetitive tasks.

Getting Started with PowerShell

Now that you’re familiar with what PowerShell is, it’s time to dive in. Starting is quite simple. You have two main routes:

  • the PowerShell console 
  • the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE). 

The console is your command line interface. It’s a direct path for your commands to reach and manipulate the system. ISE, on the other hand, is your playground for scripting. It’s where you can write, test, and debug your PowerShell scripts in a friendly, user-centric environment.

To help you get the ball rolling, let’s cover a few basic PowerShell commands.

Powershell command get help

Description: Displays help information about Windows PowerShell commands and topics.

Example: Typing Get-Help Get-Process will showcase help for the Get-Process command.

As its name suggests, Get-Help is your guide through the PowerShell universe. It’s a built-in manual that lets you explore the functionality of other commands.

Powershell get command

Description: Retrieves a list of all available commands in PowerShell.

Example: Inputting Get-Command -Module ActiveDirectory will list all commands available in the ActiveDirectory module.

Windows PowerShell

Get-Command is another valuable tool on your PowerShell commands cheat sheet. With it, you can view every command that PowerShell has to offer.

Deep Dive into PowerShell Command Structures

PowerShell commands are built around three main structures: cmdlets, aliases, and scripts.

Cmdlets (Command-lets) are the heart of PowerShell. They’re lightweight commands that perform specific functions. Unlike traditional executable programs, cmdlets are .NET Framework class objects – a mouthful, right? Simply put, they’re pieces of code that do things, like fetching data, changing system settings, or running processes.

PowerShell Get Process

Description: Retrieves a list of all running processes

Example: Entering Get-Process will show you all the processes currently running on your system.

Aliases are just shortcuts for cmdlets. For instance, instead of typing Get-ChildItem, you can simply type dir, which is quicker and easier to remember.

Scripts, lastly, are text files containing a series of cmdlets to be run in order. They’re the backbone of automation, allowing you to run complex tasks without manual input. With this knowledge and your growing list of PowerShell commands, you’re well on your way to becoming a PowerShell pro.

Managing Files and Folders

Being at the helm of a file system can be a daunting task. Luckily, PowerShell lends a hand. With an arsenal of cmdlets, you can seamlessly manage files and folders.

PowerShell Get Childitem

Description: Displays the items and child items in the specified locations.

Example: Input Get-ChildItem C:\Documents and you’l see all items within the Documents directory.

This cmdlet is a crucial member of your list of PowerShell commands for file management. It not only lists files and folders, but can also delve deeper into directories revealing the hidden treasures within.

PowerShell New Item

Description: Creates a new item, such as a file or a folder.

Example: Type New-Item -Path . -Name “file.txt” -ItemType “file” -Value “powershell new-item demo file current directory.”

and watch a new file, file.txt, spring into existence in your Documents folder.

Windows PowerShell New Item

Managing System Processes

Now, let’s shift gears and talk about the system processes. Think of them as the backstage crew of a theater production, working diligently behind the scenes to make sure the show goes on without a hitch. PowerShell offers commands to monitor, manipulate, and manage these unsung heroes.

PowerShell Get Process

Description: Retrieves the status of a list of specified processes.
Example: Entering Get-Process will display all processes currently running on your machine.

The above is one of the most frequently used PowerShell commands in Windows 10 for managing system processes. It provides a snapshot of what’s happening behind your screen.

Working with Services

Just like the system processes, services are critical cogs in the wheel that keep our systems running smoothly. There programs that run in the background, and with PowerShell, you can keep a close eye on them.

Description: Retrieves the status of services on a local or remote computer.

Example: When you run Get-Service, you’ll get a status update on all services on your computer.

PowerShell command stop service

Description: Stops one or more running services.

Example: Stop-Service -Name “serviceName” will halt the specified service.

These PowerShell commands examples only scratch the surface of what you can do with PowerShell. The real beauty of PowerShell lies in its flexibility and the extent to which it can be customized to meet your specific needs.

Network Administration

Managing a network might feel like trying to solve a jigsaw puzzle with infinite pieces. Luckily, with PowerShell, you’re not without tools to make this job easier. Here are a couple of top PowerShell commands to assist you.

PowerShell Command NetConnection

Description: Displays diagnostic information for a connection.

Example: Type Test-NetConnection to test the network connection of your machine.

Windows PowerShell Test-NetConnection

PowerShell Command NetIP address

Description: Displays IP address configuration.

Example: Running Get-NetIPAddress reveals the IP address details of your machine.

These cmdlets can help diagnose problems and reveal essential network configuration details.

Active Directory Management

In the world of network administration, Active Directory (AD) is the manager of the office, keeping track of every network resource. PowerShell comes packed with useful commands to make managing AD a breeze.

PowerShell Command Get-ADUser

Description: Retrieves a user object or performs a search to retrieve multiple user objects.

Example: Get-ADUser -Filter * will bring up a list of all users in your AD.

Powershell command New-ADUser

Description: Creates a new AD user.

Example: With a command like New-ADUser -Name “JohnDoe” you can create a new user named JohnDoe.

Event Log Management

Event logs are like the diary of your sysem, recording its thought and actions. They are an invaluable tool for troubleshooting. Here’s how to run PowerShell commands in Windows 10 that interact with your event logs.

PowerShell Command Get-EventLog

Description: Gets the events in an event log, or a list of the event logs.

Example: Get-EventLog -LogName System will display the system event logs.


Description: Clears all entries from specified event logs.

Example: Clear-EventLog -LogName “Application” will wipe the slate clean for your Application event log.

It’s important to remember that while these are some of the most common PowerShell commands, there are countless more to explore. PowerShell’s adaptability and robust functionality make it an indispensable tool for any system administrator.

Performance Monitoring and Analysis

Like a well-tuned orchestra, your system needs regular fine-tuning to perform at its best. Performance monitoring ensures your system resources are being used effectively. Here are some Windows PowerShell commands that let you peek under the hood.

PowerShell Command Get-Process

Description: Retrieves the status of a list of specified processes.

Example: Running Get-Process shows all processes currently running on your machine.

Running Get-Process on Windows PowerShell

Measure-Command PowerShell

Description: Measures the time it takes to run script blocks.

Example: Measure-Command {Get-Process} will reveal the time taken to execute the Get-Process command.

Get-Counter PowerShell

Description: Gets performance counter data from local and remote computers.

Example: Get-Counter -Counter “\Processor(_Total)\% Processor Time” will give you CPU usage statistics.

Also read: How to Speed Up a Hard Drive Performance on Windows?

Remoting and PowerShell Sessions

A key strength of PowerShell lies in its ability to manage remote computers. You can establish sessions, or persistent connections, with remote machines. Your PowerShell commands cheat sheet wouldn’t be complete without these cmdlets.

Enter-PSSession PowerShell

Description: Starts an interactive session with a remote computer.

Example: Enter-PSSession -ComputerName Server01 allows you to interact directly with Server01.

New-PSSession PowerShell

Description: Creates a new PowerShell session.

Example: New-PSSession -ComputerName Server02 creates a new session with Server02.

Remove-PSSession PowerShell

Description: Closes one or more PowerShell sessions.

Example: Remove-PSSession -Session $s closes a session stored in the $s variable.

Working with PowerShell Profiles

Like your personal profile, a PowerShell profile is a script that runs when Powershell starts, and it defines your environment. Here are some cmdlet PowerShell commands to manage your profiles.

Test-Path PowerShell

Description: Determines whether all elements of the path exist.

Example: Test-Path $profile will verify whether a profile exists.

PowerShell New Item

Description: Creates a new item, such as a file or a folder.

Example: If Test-Path $profile returns False, New-Item -Type file -Path $profile -Force will create a new profile.

PowerShell NotePad

Description: Opens files in Notepad.

Example: Notepad $profile opens your profile in Notepad, allowing you to edit it.

Windows PowerShell Notepad command

By understanding and utilizing these commands, you can customize your PowerShell environment to suit your preferences and working style.

Security and Execution Policies

In the realm of PowerShell, security is like a steadfast gatekeeper, ensuring scripts and commands are executed safely. Here are some basic PowerShell commands that help you define and understand your execution policies.

PowerShell Get-ExecutionPolicy

Description: Gets the execution policies for the current session.

Example: Get-ExecutionPolicy displays your current execution policy.

PowerShell Set-ExecutionPolicy

Description: Sets the execution policy for the PowerShell session.

Example: Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned sets the policy to only run scripts signed by a trusted publisher.

PowerShell Get-AuthenticodeSignature

Description: Gets the digital signature of a script or file.

Example: Get-AuthenticodeSignature C:\Scripts\Test.ps1 shows the digital signature of the Test.ps1 script.

Advanced PowerShell Techniques

As you delve deeper into the ocean of PowerShell, you’ll discover it’s filled with far more than basic cmdlets. Advanced functions offer greater flexibility and functionality, allowing you to work smarter, not harder. Below are some PowerShell commands examples to illuminate the possibilities.

PowerShell Command: Invoke-Command

Description: Runs commands on local and remote computers.

Example: Invoke-Command -ComputerName Server01 -ScriptBlock {Get-Process} runs the Get-Process command on Server01.

PowerShell Export-Csv

Description: Converts .NET objects into CSV strings and stores the results in a CSV file.

Example: Get-Process | Export-Csv -Path .\ProcessList.csv saves your process list into a CSV file.

Windows PowerShell ProcessList

PowerShell ConvertTo-Json

Description: Converts an object to its JSON representation.

Example: Get-Process | ConvertTo-Json converts your process list to JSON format.

PowerShell Select-Object

Description: Selects specified properties of an object or set of objects. It can also select unique objects from an array.

Example: Get-Process | Select-Object -Property Name,ID shows just the Name and ID of your processes.

PowerShell Where-Object

Description: Filters input from the pipeline allowing control over which objects will be passed along the command sequence.

Example: Get-Process | Where-Object {$_.CPU -gt 10} displays processes using more than 10 CPU units.

PowerShell ForEach-Object

Description: Performs an operation against each of a set of input objects.

Example: Get-Process | ForEach-Object { $_.Name + ” ” + $_.Id } displays a list of process names along with their IDs.

These PowerShell useful commands demonstrate the advanced techniques you can employ to further harness the power of Powershell. From invoking commands on remote computers to filtering and formatting output, the possibilities are vast. 

Remember, the Get-Help cmdlet is your friend when you’re not sure how to run PowerShell commands. Just type Get-Help followed by the cmdlet you need help with. This top PowerShell commands list is only the beginning; PowerShell’s potential is limited only by your imagination.

30 Additional PowerShell Commands Below

Command Description
Out-File Sends output to a file.
Sort-Object Sorts objects by property values.
Set-Variable Sets the value of a variable.
Read-Host Reads a line of input from the console.
Write-Host Writes customized output to a host.
Add-Content Adds content to the specified items, such as adding lines to a file.
Copy-Item Copies an item from one location to another.
Test-Path Tests the existence of a path and returns True if the path exists, else False.
Get-Date Gets the current date and time.
Clear-Host Clears the display in the host program.
Compare-Object Compares two sets of objects.
ConvertTo-Html Converts .NET objects into HTML that can be displayed in a Web browser.
Get-Credential Gets a credential object based on a username and password.
Get-Random Gets a random number or selects objects randomly from a collection.
New-Object Creates an instance of a .NET Framework or COM object.
Rename-Item Renames an item in a Windows PowerShell provider namespace.
Start-Sleep Suspends the activity in a script for the specified period.
Write-Output Sends the specified objects to the next command in the pipeline.
Split-Path Returns the specified part of a path.
Join-Path Combines a path and child-path into a single path.
ForEach-Object Performs an operation against each item in a collection of input objects.
Where-Object Selects objects from a collection based on their property values.
Start-Process Starts one or more processes on the local computer.
Format-List Formats the output as a list of properties in which each property is displayed on a separate line.
Format-Table Formats the output as a table.
Export-Clixml Creates an XML-based representation of an object or objects and stores it in a file.
Import-Clixml Imports a CliXML file and recreates the saved objects.
ConvertFrom-Csv Converts object properties in CSV strings into CSV versions of the original objects.
ConvertTo-Csv Converts .NET objects into a series of CSV strings.
Select-String Finds text in strings and files.


By now, you should have a comprehensive list of PowerShell commands and a clear idea of their potential. Whether you’re automating tasks, managing network resources, or troubleshooting issues, PowerShell is an indispensable tool for any Windows user or administrator.

These PowerShell cmdlets merely scratch the surface of whats possible. As you grow more comfortable with the console, you’ll find yourself discovering new commands and crafting scripts that perfectly meet your needs.

Remember, the Get-Help cmdlet is always there to provide PowerShell commands help whenever you need more information about a particular cmdlet. Just type Get-Help followed by the cmdlet you need help with.


How Do I Use Windows PowerShell Commands?

Using Windows PowerShell commands is simple. You type the command into the PowerShell console and press Enter. If you need help with a particular command, just type Get-Help followed by the command you want to understand better.

How Can I Get a PowerShell List of Commands in Windows 7?

You can get a list of commands in PowerShell on Windows 7 by typing Get-Command into the console and pressing Enter. This will display all available cmdlets and functions you can use.

Why is my Windows PowerShell unable to understand any commands?

If PowerShell doesn’t understand your commands it might be due to syntx errors. Check your command for typos or incorrect parameters. Also, ensure you’re using the correct version of PowerShell for the command you’re trying to execute.

Can I Use PowerShell on non-Windows Systems?

Yes, you can. With the advent of PowerShell Core, Microsoft’s PowerShell is no longer limited to Windows. You can use it on macOS and Linux as well.

Can I Write Scripts in PowerShell?

Absolutely! PowerShell is not only a commandline interface but also a scripting language. You can create scripts to automate repetitive tasks, which can save you a lot of time and effort.

Can I Use PowerShell to Manage Cloud-based Environments?

Yes, PowerShell is a powerful tool for managing cloud-based environments. Many cloud providers, including Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS, provide PowerShell modules to interact with their services.