Updated: 12/26/2023 by Computer Hope

Windows PowerShell is a command-line shell for Microsoft Windows used for system administration. It uses cmdlets (commandlets) that are .NET classes to perform administrative tasks, and can access COM (Component Object Model) and WMI (Windows Management Instrumentation) for local and remote administration. PowerShell can also be embedded within applications to make use of its abilities. PowerShell originated in 2006 when Monad (Microsoft Shell) was renamed to Windows PowerShell.

PowerShell interface window.

The picture above is an example of PowerShell running in Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium.


The latest versions of PowerShell require Windows 7 or later. For earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows XP and Windows Vista, use PowerShell 1.0 and 1.0 RC2.

How to open PowerShell?

To open PowerShell in Windows 7, Windows 10, and Windows 11, follow the steps below.


Earlier versions of Windows don't have PowerShell. Instead, use the Windows command line.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Type powershell and press Enter.

CamelCase, Command line, MS-DOS, Operating system terms, PS, Windows Accessories, Windows Terminal