A Beginner's Guide to Windows PowerShell

PowerShell might be a new term for some of you, and if it is so, you are at the right place to start learning the basics of Windows PowerShell (WPS). You must be familiar with the Command Prompt; PowerShell is another tool based on same command-line shell, but much more powerful than the Command Prompt. Designed to provide greater power and control over Windows, PowerShell is not only for running DOS commands, it is far more flexible – and powerful – than that.

What is PowerShell? 

PowerShell is a task-based command-line shell and scripting language from Microsoft designed for task automation and configuration management. This Microsoft framework includes a command-line shell and associated scripting language that harnesses the power of the .NET Framework. Since it is built on top of the .NET Framework, PowerShell provides rich objects and a massive set of built-in functionality for taking control of your Windows environments. 

PowerShell was first shown publicly at the Professional Developers Conference in September 2003 – initially with the code name “Monad”. Since then, it has gone through a number of major releases, with each new release being backward-compatible with the preceding versions.  

Why Use Windows PowerShell? 

The idea behind scripting is to do more in less time. For example, consider a common administrative task like displaying all the USB devices installed on one or more computers in a network. While it might take a lot of hours for an IT guy to go to each computer manually and check the devices installed list, PowerShell’s know-how can seriously simplify and automate such tedious and repetitive tasks by creating time-saving scripts and combining a few simple commands together.  

WPS is extensively used by admins when deploying maintenance scripts across an organization and is now an essential skill required in IT and server administrators. PowerShell helps administrators with repetitive tasks, automating and scheduling tasks, and configuring Windows components and services. Some tasks, which used to take hours before, can now be done in minutes with something as simple as a two-line PowerShell script.  

PowerShell Automates System Task – How? 

Windows PowerShell can refine and automate tasks with: 

  • cmdlets (“commandlets”), which are single function command line tools built into the shell for performing common system administration tasks; 
  • scripts (text files with a .ps1 extension), which are a list of cmdlets to execute and associated logic; 
  • executables which are stand-alone tools; and 
  • instantiation of standard .NET classes. 

Getting Started with PowerShell 

Don’t be afraid if you have a little or no scripting experience. Keep the approach simple with diving in head first. Probably the first thing you will need to know is how to start PowerShell.  

For Windows 10 users: (choose any of the three ways) 

  • Type “powershell” in the Cortana's search field from the taskbar and enter. 
  • Launch Windows 10's Start Menu and navigate to the Windows PowerShell apps folder. If you run the 64-bit version of Windows 10, you will also find entries for the x86 (32-bit) versions of the PowerShell apps. 
  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys. Enter “powershell” and enter. 

For Windows 8.1 users 

(choose any of the three ways) 

  • Type “powershell” in the search bar after going to the Start screen. Select PowerShell from the results. 
  • Go to the Apps view and click the Windows PowerShell in the Windows System folder. 
  • Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows + R keys. Enter “powershell” and enter. 

For Windows 7 users 

(choose any of the three ways) 

  • Type “powershell” in the Start Menu search box. Click PowerShell. 
  • Start Menu > Accessories > PowerShell 
  • Using the Run window, just like in Windows 8.1 or 10, also works for Windows 7 users. 

PowerShell: The In-Demand Skill for IT Admins 

Microsoft has been moving the industry towards PowerShell. It is not only a scripting language like VBscript; it’s a fully featured management framework that is going to be in high demand in coming years. Expertise in this new age scripting language is going to be an essential skill if you support any Microsoft product. The demand is already high, and it is definitely going to increase in future. It is a great opportunity for administrators to take their skills to the next level, and with the continuously changing IT culture, who knows, it might become a necessity in your ‘updated’ job description. 

Now is the time to start learning Windows PowerShell, or get ready to lose the race.  

QuickStart – Helping IT Admins to Get Started with PowerShell 

QuickStart provides the right platform for IT administrators to get started with Windows PowerShell. QuickStart, a well-known name in IT technical and developer training, gives professionals a personalized learning experience under the supervision of extremely qualified Windows PowerShell instructors.  

This Automating Administration with Windows PowerShell training course provides students with all the skills and knowledge to effectively use Windows PowerShell 3.0 and give enough understanding of the language so you know what to look for when running into a problem.  

From Microsoft Systems Administrators, Helpdesk Technicians, VMware/Hyper-V Administrators, SAN Administrators to all those IT professionals experienced in administering and supporting application servers and services including Exchange, SharePoint, SQL, etc. can be the ones who should be taking this Windows PowerShell course to give their career a right boost. 

This virtual instructor led Windows Powershell course by QuickStart is accompanied by high impact mentoring and hands-on lab experience. A perfect start to Windows PowerShell with QuickStart will help professionals transform their career growth and get hired by top technology companies by gaining the most sough-after skills in the industry.