Help System In Windows PowerShell

Windows PowerShell Help system is the most important resource in PowerShell. Starting with Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, PowerShell doesn’t come with Help already in the system but you have to update it. So, the first thing you have to do when you launch PowerShell is to update the Help. This can be done by typing the below Cmdlet.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Update-Help 

OR 

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Update-Help -force 

Windows PowerShell

Once you run the Update-help, it will download the most recent help files from the internet. Now, with the "Updated" Help System, you’re ready to use PowerShell to perform your tasks. 

Get-Help

Get-Help Cmdlet displays help about Windows PowerShell and concepts. 

Note

You can use "help" or "man" commands also to get help.

  • help - It is a DOS command
  • man - It is a Unix command. 

( The only difference you notice when you run these three commands is that using Get-Help, the page scrolls through the entire help system, but when you use help or man commands, they help system pages through. You need to hit tab to see more about the help system ).

I would suggest you use Get-Help 

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Help

Windows PowerShell

Get help by using Noun 

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Help *process* 

Note

* symbol means a Wild-card character.

Windows PowerShell

As you can see above, it gave all the commands that have the noun “process”.

Get-Process

Get-Process displays all the current running processes. As you must have noticed the highlighted text below, I am currently running PowerShell.

Example

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Process

Windows PowerShell

Detailed Help

Detailed help displays the parameters and some very good examples of Cmdlets.

Example

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Process -Detailed

Windows PowerShell

Full Help

Same as detailed, but displays definition of the parameters that a Cmdlet can use and also displays description, synopsis, and syntax.

Example

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Process -Full

Windows PowerShell

ShowWindow

It opens up Help in a separate window.

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Process -ShowWindow

Windows PowerShell

Get an online help

To get an online help from MSDN

Example

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Help Get-Service -Online

Windows PowerShell

Get Verbs

Displays all the verbs in PowerShell.

Note

Get,Set are the most used verbs,

PS C:\Users\Administrator> Get-Verb

Windows PowerShell