Uncover Your PowerShell Version: A Comprehensive Guide to Checking and Understanding Your PowerShell Edition

5 Key Steps to Accurately Check What Version of PowerShell You Have

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were unsure about the version of PowerShell installed in your system? Imagine working with a program or script that relies on specific features available only in specific versions of PowerShell, and not knowing which one you’re using. Frustrating, isn’t it?

Worry no more, as this article will guide you on how to check what version of PowerShell you have and ensure compatibility with your scripts and programs. We’ll be covering the 5 key steps to quickly and accurately determine your PowerShell version, as well as providing some context on the different PowerShell editions available.

Before we dive into the essential steps, let’s briefly discuss the various editions of PowerShell.

# PowerShell Editions: A Quick Overview

PowerShell has evolved over the years, and Microsoft has released multiple editions with numerous updates. Some of the most notable editions include:

1. Windows PowerShell 1.0: Released in 2006 as a standalone software for Windows XP, Server 2003, and later operating systems.
2. Windows PowerShell 2.0: Integrated with Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2. Also available for other supported operating systems as an optional feature.
3. Windows PowerShell 3.0: Released alongside Windows 8 and Server 2012. Introduced advanced features such as workflow support and better remoting capabilities.
4. Windows PowerShell 4.0: Bundled with Windows 8.1 and Server 2012 R2. Improved performance and new features, including Desired State Configuration (DSC).
5. Windows PowerShell 5.0/5.1: The final versions of Windows PowerShell, released with Windows 10 and Server 2016. Introduced class-based DSC resources and further enhanced security and performance.
6. PowerShell Core 6.0/6.1/6.2: The first open-source, cross-platform editions of PowerShell, built on .NET Core. Enabled support for macOS and Linux platforms.
7. PowerShell 7.0/7.1: The latest edition, powered by .NET Core 3.1. Combines the best features from Windows PowerShell and PowerShell Core while maintaining compatibility with existing scripts and modules.

Now that we have a general understanding of the different editions, let’s dive into the 5 key steps to check what version of PowerShell you have.

# Step 1: Open PowerShell

To begin, open a PowerShell session. You can do this by pressing `Win + X` and selecting “Windows PowerShell” or “PowerShell” (depending on your system) from the menu. Alternatively, you can search for “PowerShell” in the Start menu or Cortana search bar and click on the corresponding result.

# Step 2: Check the PowerShell Edition

When your PowerShell session is active, you might want to know if you’re using Windows PowerShell or PowerShell Core/7.x. To determine this, type the following command and press Enter:


The output will display either `Desktop` (for Windows PowerShell) or `Core` (for PowerShell Core/7.x).

# Step 3: Verify the Major Version

Next, we’ll check the major version number of your PowerShell installation. Run the following command:


This will return an integer value, representing the major version of PowerShell you are currently using (e.g., `5` for Windows PowerShell 5.0/5.1 or `7` for PowerShell 7.x).

# Step 4: Examine the Complete Version Information

For more detailed information regarding your PowerShell version, execute the following command:


This will display a `System.Version` object, containing the major, minor, build, and revision numbers of your installed PowerShell edition (e.g., `5.1.19041.610` for Windows PowerShell 5.1).

# Step 5: Interpret Your PowerShell Version Information

Last but not least, let’s understand the output generated from the previous steps. Using the information you’ve gathered, you can now accurately determine which edition and version of PowerShell you have installed.

For example, if the `PSEdition` value is `Desktop` and the `PSVersion` value is `5.1.x`, then you’re using Windows PowerShell 5.1. If the `PSEdition` is `Core` and the `PSVersion` is `7.1.x`, then you’re using PowerShell 7.1.

By following these 5 key steps, you can confidently check what version of PowerShell you have and ensure you are using the right edition and version for your scripts and programs. This knowledge will not only save you time troubleshooting compatibility issues but also grant you a deeper understanding of the tools at your disposal as an expert in software engineering.

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

To determine the installed version of PowerShell on your system using command-line, you can use the following command:


This command will display the PowerShell version installed on your system, including the Major, Minor, Build, and Revision numbers.

What is the best command to check the PowerShell version I’m currently running?

The best command to check the PowerShell version you’re currently running is by using the $PSVersionTable.PSVersion command. This will display the complete information about the PowerShell version installed on your system.

Are there different methods to find out the current PowerShell version through command-line? If so, what are they?

Yes, there are different methods to find out the current PowerShell version through the command-line. Here are some of the most commonly used methods:

1. $PSVersionTable.PSVersion: This command returns the PowerShell version information as a System.Version object. The output will display Major, Minor, Build, and Revision numbers.


2. Get-Host: This command retrieves information about the current PowerShell host. Look for the “Version” property in the output.


3. [System.Environment]::Version: You can use this .NET method to obtain the CLR (Common Language Runtime) version. Note that this might not give you the exact PowerShell version, but it can provide useful information related to the underlying .NET version.


4. Using a script: You can create a script that combines the previous commands and presents the information in a friendly format.

Write-Host “PowerShell Version: $($PSVersionTable.PSVersion.ToString())”
Write-Host “Host Version: $((Get-Host).Version.ToString())”
Write-Host “.NET CLR Version: $([System.Environment]::Version.ToString())”

Remember to run these commands in the PowerShell command-line to get the desired information about the current PowerShell version.