Mastering PowerShell: A Comprehensive Guide to Checking Your Installed Version and Keeping it Updated

5 Essential Steps to Check the Version of PowerShell Installed on Your System

You’re working on an important project, and all of a sudden, you come across a script that is specifically designed for a particular version of PowerShell. You might be wondering which version of PowerShell is installed on your system to determine if the script is compatible. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into how to check the version of PowerShell you have installed on your system, ensuring that you can confidently proceed with your tasks.

1. Understanding the Importance of PowerShell Version

PowerShell has become an essential tool for system administrators, developers, and automation experts alike since its introduction in 2006. Over the years, it has gone through several updates and transformations, making it all the more important to know which version is installed on your machine.

Different versions of PowerShell come with varying features and enhancements, such as improved security, new cmdlets, and better performance. Ensuring that you’re using the correct version of PowerShell for your tasks can not only save time but also prevent errors and compatibility issues.

2. Identifying the Different Versions of PowerShell

Before diving into the details of how to check the version of PowerShell installed, let’s take a quick look at the major releases:

– Windows PowerShell 1.0: The initial release of PowerShell, introduced in 2006.
– Windows PowerShell 2.0: Released in 2009, this version added many new features, such as remoting and background jobs.
– Windows PowerShell 3.0: Launched in 2012, this update brought significant improvements, including enhanced language features, workflow support, and numerous new cmdlets.
– Windows PowerShell 4.0: Released in 2013, this version focused on improving Desired State Configuration (DSC) and included new cmdlets.
– Windows PowerShell 5.0 and 5.1: Launched between 2015 and 2016, these updates offered a wealth of new features, security enhancements, and several bug fixes.
– PowerShell Core 6.0 and 6.1: In 2018, Microsoft introduced PowerShell Core, a cross-platform version built on .NET Core. This version marked the beginning of the transition from Windows PowerShell to the new open-source PowerShell Core.
– PowerShell Core 6.2 and 7.0: Released between 2019 and 2020, these versions continued to build on the previous releases of PowerShell Core, adding more features and improvements.

Now that we have a clear overview of the different versions of PowerShell, let’s explore how to check which version you have installed on your system.

3. Launching PowerShell

Before checking the version, you’ll need to launch PowerShell. There are several ways to do this:

– Option 1: Press `Win + X` on your keyboard, then select “Windows PowerShell” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin)” from the menu that appears.
– Option 2: Press `Win + R`, type `powershell`, and hit `Enter`.

Once you’ve successfully launched PowerShell, it’s time to identify the version installed on your system.

4. Determining the PowerShell Version

Here are three methods to check the version of PowerShell installed on your machine:

# Method 1: Using the PSVersion Property

In the PowerShell console, type the following command:


This command returns a detailed view of your PowerShell version in the format Major.Minor.Build.Revision, e.g., 5.1.19041.1320.

# Method 2: Using Get-Host Cmdlet

You can also use the Get-Host cmdlet to check the PowerShell version:


This command will display the version in a similar format as the PSVersion property.

# Method 3: Using $Host Variable

Another way to check the PowerShell version is by using the $Host variable:


This command, like the previous two methods, will display the installed PowerShell version in the Major.Minor.Build.Revision format.

5. Updating PowerShell (Optional)

Upon identifying your installed PowerShell version, you might discover that you’re not using the latest version. To upgrade to the newest release, follow these steps:

1. Uninstall any previous versions of PowerShell.
2. Download and install the latest release from the official GitHub repository (
3. Verify the installation by checking the version again, following the methods mentioned earlier in this guide.

*Note: Always consult your organization’s IT policies and guidelines before updating any software.*

By following these five essential steps, you can quickly and easily check what version of PowerShell you have installed on your system. Staying informed about your installed PowerShell version and updating it when necessary ensures that you stay on top of the latest features and enhancements, making your work more efficient and secure.

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How can you verify the PowerShell version within a PowerShell script?

To verify the PowerShell version within a PowerShell script, you can use the $PSVersionTable.PSVersion automatic variable. This variable contains information about the current PowerShell runtime, including the version number.

Here’s a simple script to display the PowerShell version:

# Get PowerShell version
$version = $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

# Display the version information
Write-Host “PowerShell version: $version

This script will display the PowerShell version in the format: Major.Minor.Build.Revision. For example, if you are using PowerShell 5.1, the output will be:

PowerShell version: 5.1.x.x

Remember that this variable is available only in PowerShell 2.0 and later. If you need to check for PowerShell 1.0, you can use the $host.Version property instead.

What is the command for verifying the installation of PowerShell?

To verify the installation of PowerShell, you can use the following command:

Get-Host | Select-Object Version

This command retrieves the current PowerShell host information and displays the Version property, indicating the installed version of PowerShell.

How can I determine the version of PowerShell installed on my Mac?

To determine the version of PowerShell installed on your Mac, you can use the following command in the PowerShell command-line interface:


This command will return an object representing the current PowerShell version, including its Major, Minor, Build, and Revision information. For example, if you see the output, this indicates that PowerShell 7.0.3 is installed on your Mac.

How can I locate the PowerShell installation path?

To locate the PowerShell installation path in the context of PowerShell command-line, you can use the built-in variable $PSHome. This variable stores the path of the installation directory for the current version of PowerShell.

To display the installation path, simply type the following command in the PowerShell command-line:


This will return the full path to the PowerShell installation directory. For example, on Windows, the output might look like this:


Keep in mind that the specific path may vary depending on your operating system and the installed version of PowerShell.

How can I identify the specific version of PowerShell installed on my system using command-line?

To identify the specific version of PowerShell installed on your system using command-line, follow these steps:

1. Open PowerShell by searching for it in the Start menu or pressing Win + X and then choosing “Windows PowerShell” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin)”.

2. In the PowerShell window, type the following command:


3. Press Enter to execute the command. The output will display the specific version of PowerShell installed on your system. The output will look something like this:

Major Minor Build Revision
—– —– —– ——–
5 1 19041 1023

In this example, the installed PowerShell version is 5.1 with a build number of 19041 and a revision number of 1023.

What are the different methods to check the PowerShell version installed on Windows operating systems?

There are several methods to check the PowerShell version installed on Windows operating systems. Here, I am listing a few common methods:

1. Using `$PSVersionTable` variable:

In the PowerShell console, simply type `$PSVersionTable.PSVersion` and press Enter. This will display the PowerShell version details.

2. Using the `Get-Host` cmdlet:

Type `Get-Host | Select-Object Version` in the PowerShell console and press Enter. This will show the version of the PowerShell host.

3. Using the `powershell` command with `-version` parameter:

Open the Command Prompt or PowerShell console and type `powershell -version` followed by Enter. This will display the default installed version of PowerShell.

Please note that method 1 and 2 work only within the PowerShell console, whereas method 3 can be used in both Command Prompt and PowerShell console.

Are there any compatibility issues between various PowerShell versions, and how can I verify my installed version to ensure proper functioning?

Indeed, there can be compatibility issues between different PowerShell versions. Some cmdlets and features introduced in newer versions might not work as expected or at all in older versions. This is particularly relevant when comparing PowerShell Core (cross-platform) with Windows PowerShell (Windows-specific).

To ensure proper functioning, it is essential to verify your installed version of PowerShell. To do so, you can use the $PSVersionTable automatic variable which provides information about the currently running PowerShell version.

Here’s a quick example of how to check your installed PowerShell version:


This command will output the PowerShell version in use, displaying the Major, Minor, Patch, and other details.

For most scenarios, you should focus on the Major and Minor version numbers. For instance, Windows PowerShell typically has a version number of 5.1, while PowerShell Core starts at version 6.

Keep in mind that it is always recommended to stay up-to-date with the latest PowerShell version to ensure maximum compatibility and receive new features, bug fixes, and enhancements.