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How to Open PowerShell in Windows 11

There are several ways to open PowerShell in Windows 11. This article lists them all. PowerShell is a powerful scripting console app in Windows 11 Microsoft introduced back in 2008. Although Microsoft wants you to use Windows Terminal as your primary console app, PowerShell is still available, just like Command Prompt.

PowerShell is an advanced scripting language and engine that comes with a huge set of built-in commands called "cmdlets". Cmdlets allow performing a wide range of tasks, from simple file operation and text processing to programming and system administrative tasks. More than that, the user can create custom modules and utilize .NET functions and assemblies for creating powerful utils and services using just PowerShell.

Open PowerShell in Windows 11

There are plenty of methods to open PowerShell on Windows 11. Besides the shortcut in the Start menu, you can directly start it from the Run dialog, from Task Manager, File Explorer, and with a number of other methods. Let's review these methods.

Open PowerShell from the Start menu

Unlike Windows 10, where PowerShell has a dedicated folder in the list of all apps, Windows 11 "stores" PowerShell alongside all system tools in a single folder called "Windows Tools." You can launch PowerShell from that folder.

To open PowerShell in Windows 11, do the following.

  1. Open the Start menu and click the "All Apps" button.
  2. Scroll down and find the "Windows Tools" folder. Open it.
  3. Go down the list of utilities and open PowerShell, PowerShell ISE, or their respective x86 versions.

You can also open PowerShell in Windows 11 using the Run dialog box, Task Manager or in any folder in File Explorer with the powershell.exe command.

Using the Powershell.exe command

  1. Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box, then enter PowerShell. Press Ok to execute the command.
  2. Similarly to Run, you can open PowerShell in Windows 11 from the Task Manager. Open Task Manager and click File > Run new task.
  3. Enter powershell in the Run text box.
  4. Click OK to open the classic PowerShell console.
  5. Finally, you can open File Explorer and click the address bar, then enter powershell. Press Enter.

That is how to access Windows 11 PowerShell with the command of the same name.

Using Windows Terminal

By default, Windows 11 uses a new console app called Windows Terminal. It has several built-in profiles, such as Command Prompt and PowerShell. PowerShell is the default, which means you can simply open Windows Terminal to use it as PowerShell.

We have a dedicated article about how to open Windows Terminal in Windows 11. The simplest way is to right-click the Start menu button and select Windows Terminal or Windows Terminal (Admin) if you need to open PowerShell as Administrator in Windows 11.

If you changed the default profile in Windows Terminal, then you need to select PowerShell from the 'profiles' down arrow button.

Finally, you can added Windows Terminal profiles to the context menu of File Explorer, and launch and desired profile directly to the current folder, including the classic PowerShell and the newest PowerShell 7.x.

How to open PowerShell in Windows 11 using Search

  1. Press Win + S to open Windows Search. Alternatively, open the Start menu and click the search button. You can also simply open the Start menu and start typing.
  2. Enter PowerShell. Windows will show the app in the search results.
  3. Press Enter to open PowerShell in Windows 11. Alternatively, click Run as Administrator if needed.

Pin PowerShell to the Windows 11 taskbar

If you frequently use PowerShell in Windows 11, you can pin PowerShell to the taskbar to keep it around all the time. All you need is to open PowerShell in Windows 11 using any method in this article, right-click the icon on the taskbar and click "Pin to taskbar."

Note: For some reason, Microsoft does not allow pinning apps to the taskbar using drag-and-drop, at least as of this writing. So do not even try to pin PowerShell to the taskbar using that method.

How to create a shortcut to PowerShell on the Desktop

Another way to open PowerShell in Windows 11 is to create a shortcut on the Desktop.

  1. Open the Start menu and click "All Apps."
  2. Find the Windows Tools folder and open it.
  3. Locate PowerShell, PowerShell ISE, or their x86 versions.
  4. Drag PowerShell to the Desktop to create a shortcut.

There is another way to create a shortcut to PowerShell in Windows 11. You can do it manually as follows.

Create a PowerShell shortcut manually

  1. On the Desktop or any other folder, right-click and select New > Shortcut.
  2. In a new window, enter PowerShell.exe in the "Type the location..." field.
  3. Click Next and give your shortcut some meaningful name.
  4. Click Finish to complete the process.

Open PowerShell from to the context menu

Finally, you can launch PowerShell from the context menu in Windows 11 at any folder. File Explorer includes a built-in command for that, it is just hidden by default.

To open PowerShell in Windows 11 from the context menu, do the following.

  1. Open File Explorer, press Win + E for that.
  2. Right-click the folder you want to open the PowerShell console to.
  3. Press and hold the Shift key on the keyboard, then click the Show more options item.
  4. Select Open PowerShell here.

That is how you access PowerShell on Windows 11. Any of those methods work equally, so you can use whichever you prefer.

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