By Delia / Last update January 5, 2022

Windows PowerShell is a command line shell program and scripting environment that allows command line users and script writers to take advantage of the power of the .NET Framework.

It introduces a number of very useful new concepts that further extend the knowledge you gain and the scripts you create in the Windows Command Prompt and Windows Script Host environments.

windows 11 powershell

Many professionals enjoy using PowerShell to manage Windows computers and devices and perform a variety of administrative tasks. Before you can use PowerShell in Windows 11, you first need to know how to start it.

1. Launch PowerShell via Search

The fastest way to open PowerShell is to use Windows Search. In Windows 11, accessing search is very easy: just click the search button on the taskbar (the one that looks like a magnifying glass) and type “powershell” to search and run it. If you want to run it as administrator, click the button on the right side of the search window.

search powershell

2. Use the Run window to open PowerShell

One of the fastest ways to start PowerShell in Windows is to use the Run window. Press Win + R on your keyboard, then type “powershell” and press Enter or click OK.

This method works with both Windows 11 and Windows 10.

run powershell

3. Launching PowerShell from Start Menu

Launching PowerShell from the Start menu in Windows 11 is a bit more complicated than in Windows 10. First, open the Start menu by pressing the Windows key, and then click on the “All apps” button.

Next, browse through the applications until you find “Windows Tools” and click on it.

This will open a new window. Scroll down until you find the Windows PowerShell icon and click on it.

To run it as an administrator, right-click the Windows PowerShell shortcut, click “More”, and then click the “Run as administrator” option.

4. Run PowerShell using its executable file

To access the 32-bit version of the program, please navigate to: "C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0" (or copy and paste the path into the address bar). There you can find the 32-bit powershell executable. And the 64-bit version of PowerShell (the one that opens by default in 64-bit Windows) is located at: "C:\Windows\SysWOW64\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0"

To run the program as administrator, right-click on powershell.exe and select the "Run as administrator" option.

powershell executable file

5. Launch PowerShell through WinX Menu

In Windows 10, press Win + X or right-click the Start button to open the WinX menu and find the Windows PowerShell and Windows PowerShell (Admin) options. In Windows 11, the way to open the WinX menu remains the same, but the PowerShell option is replaced with "Windows Terminal". Click on any of them to start Windows Terminal and PowerShell will open in the Terminal window.

winx powershell

6. Create a desktop shortcut of PowerShell

If you prefer to use shortcuts, do not hesitate to create a shortcut to PowerShell.

Right-click on the desktop and select “New” -> “Shortcut”.

Type PowerShell in the "Type the location of the item" text box and click the “Next” button.

Give the created shortcut a name and click the “Finish” button to create a PowerShell shortcut icon on the desktop, and double-click it to open the PowerShell window.

7. Open PowerShell using Task Manager

Start Task Manager: A quick way to do this is to press Ctrl + Shift + Esc on your keyboard at the same time. If the Task Manager opens in compact mode, click or tap "More details", then open the "File" menu and click "Run new task", in the "Create new task" window, type “powershell” and press Enter.

If you want to start the application with administrator privileges, just check the checkbox below the input field before pressing the OK button.

task manager powershell

8. Open PowerShell from CMD

Click the Search button on the taskbar, type CMD to start the Command Prompt, and then type “start powershell” and press Enter.

If you want to start PowerShell from the command prompt as an administrator, make sure that you first open the command prompt as an administrator.

The above are eight ways to open PowerShell in Windows 11, and you can see more articles to make the most of it.