All ways to open PowerShell in Windows 10

In my articles, I refer to using PowerShell and its cmdlets from time to time. Today, I would like to share with you all the ways to run PowerShell in Windows 10. Once you learn all the PowerShell cmdlets, automating Windows is really easy. Let's see how it can be done.

PowerShell is an advanced form of command prompt. It is extended with a huge set of ready-to-use cmdlets and comes with the ability to use .NET framework/C# in various scenarios. If you have skill to write scripts, you can create some very powerful ones to automate Windows. For regular users too, it can be a handy tool to perform administrative and maintenance tasks.

You have several ways to run it in Windows 10.

Open PowerShell in Windows 10 by using search
Open the Start menu or switch to the Start screen by pressing the "Win" key on the keyboard. Start typing "powershell":

Click Windows PowerShell in the search results or just press Enter to run it.

Open an elevated PowerShell instance

If you wish to open it as administrator, select it in search results and press Ctrl+Shift+Enter or right click it in search results and choose Run as Administrator.

Open PowerShell using Win + X menu (the Power users menu)
This is one of the most convenient ways to open PowerShell in Windows 10. Starting with Windows 8, Microsoft has implemented a Power Users menu, which contains many useful items like Control Panel, Network Connections and so on. You can use Win+X menu to manage tasks in Windows 10 faster. It also contains the "PowerShell" item which is exactly what we need. To turn on the PowerShell item in the Win + X menu, right click the taskbar and select Properties from the context menu.
In the Properties dialog, go to the Navigation tab and tick the checkbox "Replace Command Prompt with Windows Powershell...":

Now, press Win+X keys together on the keyboard. You will also see another option there to open PowerShell as administrator if required:

Open PowerShell from the Run dialog
This is my favorite way as I prefer to work with the keyboard. Press Win + R keys together on the keyboard and type the following in the Run box:


Press Enter to open a new instance of PowerShell.

Tip: See the ultimate list of all Windows keyboard shortcuts with Win keys.

Open PowerShell directly from Explorer
You can press Alt+D and then type powershell directly in the address bar and press Enter. This has the advantage that PowerShell opens at the currently opened Explorer folder path:Tip: see how to open This PC instead of Quick Access in Windows 10 File Explorer.

And, finally, you can run PowerShell using the Ribbon UI. Click File -> Open Windows PowerShell item. This item also has an option to open PowerShell as administrator if required:

Open PowerShell by navigating the Start menu
Using the new Start menu in Windows 10, you can open PowerShell by browsing to its shortcut. Open the Start menu, click "All apps" and scroll to the "Windows PowerShell" folder. There you will find the appropriate item.Tip: see how to navigate apps by alphabet in Windows 10 Start menu.

That's it. Now you are familiar with all ways to open the PowerShell app in Windows 10.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

5 thoughts on “All ways to open PowerShell in Windows 10”

  1. Hi Sergey,

    You missed the quickest option: Win + X, I. This opens the power menu like you mentioned, but notice in your screenshot that the “i” in Windows PowerShell is underlined, so pressing I will open it without requiring the mouse. Like using Run (Win + R), it doesn’t require the mouse, but requires far less keystrokes.

    Also, one minor one that you missed. When in a directory in File Explorer, Shift + Right Click will open an advanced context menu where “Open PowerShell window here” is an option. However, this does the same thing as clicking File -> Open Windows PowerShell, which seems to be quicker anyway, because you can simply use the keyboard instead of mouse (Alt, F, R)

    1. Hi
      The options you mentioned were implemented in Windows 10 AFTER I wrote the article. Sure, it is a good idea to update the text.

  2. Only problem is I have to download PowerShell too. Trying to limit how much Microsoft & Google apps I put on my computer for this reason. Am I just downloading another problem? I’m not going to use the YOUR Phone as it is a terrible app.

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