The call operator (&) allows you to execute a command, script or function.

Many times you can execute a command by just typing its name, but if the command (or the path) contains a space then this will fail.
Putting the command in quotes would make PowerShell treat it as a string, so in addition to quotes, use the call operator to force PowerShell to treat the string as a command to be executed.

      & "[path] command" [arguments]

    command   An executable filename (.exe), script or function.

   arguments  The call operator will only handle a single command.
              Any arguments may follow the called command.

              If the pathname contains spaces, place the command
              inside double quotes and any arguments outside the quotes.

One consequence of the rules for expression parsing is that if you want to execute an EXE or script whose name starts with a number you have to quote the name and use the call operator.

Precedence of commands:

 Alias > Function > Filter > Cmdlet > Application > ExternalScript > Script
   Highest priority .................................... Lowest priority 

If you need to run a specific type of command which may not be the highest priority use Get-Command. For example if you have an external command called Ping and a function also called ping, normally the function will be run as it has higher priority, Get-Command -commandType Application Ping will return the external application instead.

Script blocks

An entire script block can be stored in a variable: $myVar = { a bunch of commands }
Then execute the script using &
PS C:\> & $myVar
or even without the variable:
PS C:\> & { a bunch of commands }

This usage (calling a script block) is exactly the same as using Invoke-Expression to run a set of commands.


PS C:\> & "C:\Program files\mycommand.exe"

PS C:\> $runMyProg = "C:\Program files\mycommand.exe"
PS C:\> & $runMyProg

PS C:\> $myPing = Get-Command -commandType Application Ping
PS C:\> & $myPing


Invoking a command (either directly or with the call operator) will create a child scope that will be thrown away when the command exits. If the command/script changes a global variable those changes will be lost when the scope ends.
To avoid this and preserve any changes made to global variables you can 'dot' the script which will execute the script in the current scope.


PS C:\> . C:\scripts\myscript.ps1
PS C:\> . ./script64.ps1

#You went away, And I wonder where you will stay, My little runaway, Run, run, run, run, runaway# ~ Dell Shannon


. (source) - Run a command script in the current shell
PowerShell Operators - Syntax
Run a PowerShell script - Syntax
Get-Command - Retrieve basic information about a command
Invoke-Item - Invoke an executable or open a file
Invoke-Expression - Run a PowerShell expression

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