PowerShell Basics: Getting help

When starting out in PowerShell, you’ll need to spend a lot of time figuring out how to use various cmdlets. Google can help you, but PowerShell already provides a cmdlet for this purpose. The cmdlet is called Get-Help and is very useful.


Note that if you’re using PowerShell 3.0, you will have to run Update-Help before any help is available, this command requires an internet connection. It must also be run from an elevated PowerShell session.

The usage of the command is: Get-Help <cmdlet>
Like this:

#Use any cmdlet you want after Get-Help
Get-Help Get-Process

Running this will give you a lot of useful information about how to use the cmdlet, including which parameters are accepted and aliases you can use for the cmdlet.

There are several switches you can add to Get-Help to get the information you want. Try the following commands to get a feel for the different options.

Get-Help Get-Process -Full
Get-Help Get-Process -Detailed
Get-Help Get-Process -Examples

If nothing else, remember this:

Perhaps the most useful usage of Get-Help is using it with the -Examples switch. This one will show you command examples to illustrate the usage.