Installing Windows PowerShell
Windows PowerShell comes installed by default in every Windows, starting with Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1.
If you are interested in PowerShell 7 and later, you need to install PowerShell instead of Windows PowerShell. For more information, see Installing PowerShell on Windows.
Finding PowerShell in Windows 11, 10, 8.1, 8.0, and 7
Sometimes locating PowerShell console or the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) in Windows can be difficult, as its location moves from one version of Windows to the next.
The following tables should help you find PowerShell in your Windows version. All versions listed here are the original version, as released, with no updates.
- For Windows 10 and 11 - Click Windows icon (lower left corner for Windows 10, lower center for Windows 11), start typing PowerShell.
- For Windows 8.1 - On the start screen, start typing PowerShell. If on desktop, click left lower corner Windows icon, start typing PowerShell.
- For Windows 10 and 11 - Click Windows icon (lower left corner for Windows 10, lower center for Windows 11), start typing ISE.
- For Windows 8.1 - On the start screen, type PowerShell ISE. If on desktop, click left lower corner Windows icon, type PowerShell ISE.
Finding PowerShell in Windows Server versions
Starting with Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows operating system can be installed without the graphical user interface (GUI). Editions of Windows Server without GUI are named Core editions, and editions with the GUI are named Desktop.
Windows Server Core editions
In all Core editions, when you log to the server you get a Windows command prompt window.
powershell and press ENTER to start PowerShell inside the command prompt session.
exit to close the PowerShell session and return to command prompt.
Windows Server Desktop editions
In all desktop editions, click the left lower corner Windows icon, start typing PowerShell. You get both console and ISE options.
The only exception to the above rule is the ISE in Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1. In this case, click the left lower corner Windows icon, type PowerShell ISE.
How to check the version of PowerShell
To find which version of PowerShell you have installed, start a PowerShell console (or the ISE) and
$PSVersionTable and press ENTER. Look for the
Upgrading existing Windows PowerShell
The installation package for PowerShell comes inside a WMF installer. The version of the WMF installer matches the version of PowerShell. There's no stand alone installer for Windows PowerShell.
If you need to update your existing version of PowerShell, in Windows, use the following table to locate the installer for the version of PowerShell you want to update to.
|Windows||PS 3.0||PS 4.0||PS 5.0||PS 5.1|
Windows Server 2022
|Windows 10 (see Note1)
Windows Server 2016
Windows Server 2012 R2
|-||installed||not supported||WMF 5.1|
Windows Server 2012
|installed||not supported||not supported||WMF 5.1|
|Windows 7 SP1
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1
|not supported||not supported||not supported||WMF 5.1|
On the initial release of Windows 10, with automatic updates enabled, PowerShell gets updated from version 5.0 to 5.1. If the original version of Windows 10 is not updated through Windows Updates, the version of PowerShell is 5.0.
Need Azure PowerShell
If you're looking for Azure PowerShell, you could start with Overview of Azure PowerShell.