Run a PowerShell script

There are several ways to run a PowerShell script.

Before running any scripts on a new PowerShell installation, you must first set an appropriate Execution Policy,
e.g. Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

A PowerShell script is the equivalent of a Windows CMD or MS-DOS batch file, the file should be saved as plain ASCII text with a .ps1 extension, e.g. MyScript.ps1

Call or Invoke a script to run it

The most common (default) way to run a script is by calling it:

PS C:\> & "C:\Batch\My first Script.ps1"

PS C:\> & cscript /nologo "C:\Batch\another.vbs"

If the path does not contain any spaces, then you can omit the quotes and the '&' operator

PS C:\> C:\Batch\Myscript.ps1

If the script is in the current directory, you can omit the path but must instead explicitly indicate the current directory using .\ (or ./ will also work)

PS C:\> .\Myscript.ps1

When you invoke a script using the syntax above, variables and functions defined in the script will disappear when the script ends.1

An alternative which allows running a script (or command) on local or remote computers is Invoke-Command

PS C:\> invoke-command -filepath c:\scripts\test.ps1 -computerName Server64

1unless they are explicitly defined as globals: Function SCOPE:GLOBAL or Filter SCOPE:GLOBAL or Set-Variable -scope "Global"

Run a PowerShell Script from the GUI or with a shortcut

This can be done by running PowerShell.exe with parameters to launch the desired script.

Run As Administrator (Elevated)

See the PowerShell elevation page for ways of running a script or a PowerShell session "As admin"

Dot Sourcing

When you dot source a script, all variables and functions defined in the script will persist even when the script ends.

Run a script by dot-sourcing it:

PS C:\> . "C:\Batch\My first Script.ps1"

Dot-sourcing a script in the current directory:

PS C:\> . .\Myscript.ps1"

Run a CMD batch file

Run a batch script from PowerShell:
PS C:\> ./demo.cmd

Early versions of PowerShell would only run internal CMD commands if the batch file was run by explicitly calling the CMD.exe shell and passing the batch file name.

Run a single CMD internal command

This will run the CMD.exe version of DIR rather than the powershell DIR alias for Get-ChildItem:

PS C:\> CMD.exe /C dir

Run a VBScript file

Run a vb script from PowerShell:
PS C:\> cscript c:\batch\demo.vbs

The System Path

If you run a script (or even just enter a command) without specifying the fully qualified path name, PowerShell will search for it as follows:

  1. Currently defined aliases
  2. Currently defined functions
  3. Commands located in the system path.

#Yeah, I'm gonna run to you, cause when the feelin's right I'm gonna stay all night, I'm gonna run to you# ~ Bryan Adams

Related PowerShell Commands:

#requires - Prevent a script from running without a required element.
Invoke-Command - Run commands on local and remote computers.
Invoke-Expression - Run a PowerShell expression.
Invoke-Item - Invoke an executable or open a file (START)
The call operator (&) - Execute a command, script or function
Set-Variable - Set a variable and its value
Functions - Write a named block of code
CMD Shell: Run a script from the CMD shell
VBScript: Run a script from VBScript

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