Getting Help for PowerShell

by Feb 14, 2018

Provided you have downloaded the PowerShell help files, there is an easy way to get help for all kinds of PowerShell topics.

First, make sure you downloaded the help: launch PowerShell with Administrator privileges, and run this:

Update-Help -UICulture en-us -Force

Next, check out the “about”-topics you got:

Get-Help about_*

In the PowerShell ISE, all you’d need to do is click one of the about topics listed by the cmdlet, then press F1. This would produce a command similar to this:

PS> Get-Help -Name 'about_If' -ShowWindow  

In other editors like VSCode, and the PowerShell console, you’d have to type the command yourself. It opens the help topic in the PowerShell help viewer.

You can also search for specific help topics, such as:

PS> help operator

Name                       Category Module Synopsis         
----                       -------- ------ --------         
about_Arithmetic_Operators HelpFile        Describes the operators that perform…
about_Assignment_Operators HelpFile        Describes how to use operators to…
about_Comparison_Operators HelpFile        Describes the operators that compare…
about_Logical_Operators    HelpFile        Describes the operators that connect…
about_Operators            HelpFile        Describes the operators that are…
about_Operator_Precedence  HelpFile        Lists the Windows PowerShell operators…
about_Type_Operators       HelpFile        Describes the operators that work with…

In PowerShell ISE, again just click one of the listed about topics and press F1 to see its content.

Technically, all about topics are text files located here:

PS> explorer $pshome\en-us

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