PowerShell is a more powerful command line shell and scripting language than the command prompt. Since the release of Windows 10, it has become the default choice, and there are many ways to open it.
PowerShell is more complicated to use, but it’s a much more robust and powerful than the command prompt. This is why it has become the scripting language and command line interface preferred by experienced users and IT professionals, competing favorably with other Linux and Unix shells.
PowerShell is a handy tool that uses cmdlets (pronounced “command-let”), which let you do pretty cool things like automate windows or automatically connect to a VPN when you launch specific applications.
Although you can open PowerShell from the Start menu, this list includes (potentially) easier and lesser-known ways to launch this tool.
From the Power Users menu
The Power Users menu appears in the taskbar when you press Windows + X. It’s an easy way to access a multitude of settings, utilities, and system programs from a single menu.
To open PowerShell from this menu, press Windows + X, then click “Windows PowerShell” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.
Note that since Creator Update for Windows 10, PowerShell appears in the Power Users menu by default. If you don’t see it, your computer may not be up to date, or you may have replaced it with the command prompt in the Settings menu.
It is simple to return to the PowerShell display in the menu. To follow our steps here, but activate the option “Replace the command prompt with Windows PowerShell”.
From a search in the Start menu
One of the quickest ways to open PowerShell is probably through a search in the Start menu. Just click the Start or Search icon, then type “PowerShell” in the search box.
Now click on “Open” or “Run as administrator” to open PowerShell normally or with administrative privileges.
By scrolling through all the apps in the Start menu
Since PowerShell is a default Windows 10 program, you can find its application icon in the “All applications” section of the Start menu.
Simply click on the Start icon, then on “All applications” to expand the list of applications installed on your computer.
Scroll down, click on the “Windows PowerShell” folder, then select “Windows PowerShell” to open it.
To run PowerShell with administrator privileges, right-click the icon, then click “Run as administrator” from the context menu that appears.
From the Run box
Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box, then type “powershell” in the text box. You can either click “OK” (or press the Enter key) to open a standard PowerShell window, or press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open an elevated PowerShell window.
From the File menu in File Explorer
If you need to open a PowerShell instance from a specific folder on your computer, you can use File Explorer to initiate it in the currently selected directory.
To do this, open File Explorer and navigate to the folder from which you want to open a PowerShell window.
Once there, click on “File”, hover over “Open Windows PowerShell”, then select one of the following options:
“Open Windows PowerShell”: This opens a PowerShell window in the current folder with standard permissions.
“Open Windows PowerShell as administrator”: This opens a PowerShell window in the current folder with administrator permissions.
Note that this method does not work from the “Quick Access” directory. You will find the option to open PowerShell grayed out when you click on “File”.
From the file explorer address bar
To open PowerShell from the Address bar of File Explorer, open File Explorer. Click on the address bar, type “powershell”, then press Enter.
PowerShell will open with the path of the current folder already defined.
From the Task Manager
To open Task Manager, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc. In the window that appears, click on “More details”.
Now click on File> Run New Task.
Type “powershell” in the text box, then click “OK” to continue.
If you want to run PowerShell with administrator permissions, make sure that “Create this task with administrator privileges” is selected.
In the right click context menu
You can also open Windows PowerShell from anywhere via the right-click context menu. If you just right-click the folder, you won’t see the option. Instead, press Shift when you right-click. This opens the context menu and includes the “Open PowerShell window here” option.
You can also permanently add PowerShell to the right-click context menu with this registry hack.
Create a PowerShell shortcut on the desktop
If you’d rather just click on an icon to open PowerShell, it’s easy to create one for your desktop.
To do this, right-click on an empty location on the desktop. In the context menu, click New> Shortcut.
In the window that appears, type “powershell” in the text box, then click “Next” to continue.
Name your shortcut, then click “Finish” to create it.
Now, every time you double-click the icon, PowerShell opens.
If you want to open PowerShell with administrative privileges, right-click the shortcut and choose “Properties” from the context menu.
Click on “Advanced”.
Finally, check the box next to “Run as administrator” to allow the shortcut to run with the highest privileges.
Click “OK” in both windows to save your changes and close the properties windows.
Have we forgotten one? Let us know in the comments below!