PowerShell run script on Windows 10Source: Windows Central

On Windows 10, PowerShell is a command-line tool designed to run commands and scripts to change system settings and automate tasks. It's similar to Command Prompt, but PowerShell is a more capable command-line interface (CLI) that provides an extensive set of tools and offers more flexibility and control (especially for scripting).

A script is just a collection of commands saved into a text file (using the ".ps1" extension) that PowerShell can understand and execute in sequence to perform one or multiple actions. The only caveat is that unlike Command Prompt, the default security protocol always prevents any script from running on the device.

This means that when double-clicking a ".ps1" file on Windows 10 nothing will happen, and if you try to execute the script within PowerShell, you'll get the "cannot be loaded because running scripts is disabled on this system" error message. However, it's not impossible to run scripts. You only need to enable the correct execution policy.

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In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to successfully run your first script file on PowerShell.

How to create PowerShell script file on Windows 10

On Windows 10, you can create PowerShell script files using virtually any text editor, or the Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE) console that comes preinstalled on every installation.

Creating script with Notepad

To create a PowerShell script using the Notepad editor on Windows 10, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Notepad, and click the top result to open the app.
  3. Write a new, or paste your script, in the text file — for example:

    Write-Host "Congratulations! Your first script executed successfully"

    PowerShell notepad scriptSource: Windows Central

    The above script will output the phrase "Congratulations! Your first script executed successfully" on the screen.

  4. Click the File menu.
  5. Select the Save As option.
  6. Type a descriptive name for the script — for example, first_script.ps1.

    PowerShell save notepad scriptSource: Windows Central

  7. Click the Save button.

Creating script with Integrated Scripting Environment

Alternatively, you can use the built-in PowerShell ISE console to code your scripts on Windows 10.

The Integrated Scripting Environment is an advanced tool, but you can get started using these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Windows PowerShell ISE, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Click on File menu.
  4. Select the New option to create a new empty .ps1 file.

    PowerShell create PS1 file with ISESource: Windows Central

  5. Write a new, or paste the script you want to run — for example:

    Write-Host "Congratulations! Your first script executed successfully"

    PowerShell ISE simple scriptSource: Windows Central

  6. Click the File menu.
  7. Click the Save option.
  8. Type a name for the script. For example, first_script.ps1.

    PowerShell ISE save PS1 fileSource: Windows Central

  9. Select the folder location to store the script.
  10. Click the Save button.

Once you complete the steps using Notepad or PowerShell ISE, the script will be ready to run, but it will fail by default. This is because the default PowerShell settings are always set to block the execution of any script.

How to run PowerShell script file on Windows 10

If you want to run a script file with PowerShell, you have to change the execution policy on Windows 10.

To change the execution policy to run PowerShell scripts, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for PowerShell, right-click the top-result and click the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command to allow scripts to run and press Enter:

    Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

  4. Type A and press Enter (if applicable).

    PowerShell set execution policySource: Windows Central

  5. Type the following command to run the script and press Enter:

    & "C:\PATH\TO\SCRIPT\first_script.ps1"

    PowerShell running scriptSource: Windows Central

    In the above command, make sure to change "PATH\TO\SCRIPT" to the location of your script.

After you complete the steps, the script will run, and if it was crafted correctly, you should see its output without issues.

On Windows 10, PowerShell includes four execution policies, including:

  • Restricted — Stops any script from running.
  • RemoteSigned — Runs scripts created on the device. However, scripts created on another computer won't run unless they include a signature of a trusted publisher.
  • AllSigned — All the scripts will run as long as they've been signed by a trusted publisher.
  • Unrestricted — Runs any script without any restrictions.

In the above steps, we use the command to allow local scripts to run on Windows 10. However, if you're not planning to execute scripts regularly, you can restore the default settings to prevent running scripts that you don't trust using the same instructions, but on step No. 4, make sure to use the Set-ExecutionPolicy Restricted command.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: