Mastering the Art of Running PowerShell on a Mac: A Comprehensive Guide

5 Steps to Run PowerShell on a Mac like an Expert

In today’s fast-paced world of software development and IT management, PowerShell has gained immense popularity among professionals due to its robust scripting capabilities and built-in commands. As our curiosity has peaked over the past few years, Mac users have incessantly sought ways to harness the power of PowerShell in their daily tasks. If you’re among those who have wondered *how to run PowerShell on a Mac*, this technical article will guide you through a comprehensive five-step process that satisfies that exact search intent.

This article’s focal point is the main keyword “how to run PowerShell on a Mac”. By using Natural Language Processing techniques, we will avoid unnecessary repetition while incorporating secondary keywords derived from the primary keyword. Moreover, this article aims to maximize retention by providing intriguing, informative, and useful content that engages the reader and meets their informational needs.

As an expert in software and acknowledging our audience’s technical knowledge, we will dive deep into the process while maintaining a sophisticated level of language. Throughout this article, you will find examples and insights to assist you in leveraging PowerShell on your Mac to its full potential.

1. Setting up PowerShell on a Mac

Before discussing how to run PowerShell on a Mac, it’s crucial to ensure the prerequisite tools are installed in your system. To make this possible, there are two essential components: Homebrew and PowerShell Core. Homebrew is a package manager for macOS. Its primary function is streamlining the installation of terminal-based utilities and applications, including PowerShell Core.

To install Homebrew, launch Terminal on your Mac and paste the command below:

/bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL”

After installing Homebrew, you may now proceed with the PowerShell Core installation. This version of PowerShell is designed to run on multiple platforms, including macOS. Type the following command in Terminal:

brew install –cask powershell

2. Launching PowerShell on a Mac

Once the installation process is completed, you can now launch PowerShell. To do so, open Terminal and simply type:


This command initializes a new PowerShell session within your Terminal window. You will notice that the default command prompt has changed from `$` to `PS`, indicating that you are now operating within a PowerShell environment.

3. Mastering Basic PowerShell Commands on a Mac

To aid you in adapting to PowerShell usage, we compiled a list of essential commands that could help you navigate through the intricacies of managing files, directories, and processes with ease:

– `Get-Command`: Lists available cmdlets or functions in PowerShell.
– `Get-Help`: Provides detailed information about a specific command.
– `Get-ChildItem`: Displays contents of a directory or file information.
– `Set-Location` (or `cd`): Changes the current directory.
– `New-Item`: Creates a new file or folder.
– `Remove-Item`: Deletes a file or folder.
– `Copy-Item`: Copies a file or folder to another location.
– `Move-Item`: Moves a file or folder to another location.
– `Get-Content`: Displays the content of a text file.
– `Set-Content`: Writes or modifies the content in a text file.

4. Accessing Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on a Mac

For those who require access to both macOS and Windows environments, virtualization is a viable option. VirtualBox and VMware Fusion are examples of software that enable users to run a Windows virtual machine (VM) on a Mac. By installing the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) on this VM, you may consequently obtain access to PowerShell.

After setting up a Windows VM and installing WSL, PowerShell can be launched through these methods:

– Type `powershell` in the Command Prompt or Windows Terminal.
– Launch PowerShell from the Start Menu.

5. Utilizing PowerShell Remoting

PowerShell remoting enables users to manage remote computers from their local systems by running PowerShell commands. This feature uses the Windows Remote Management (WinRM) service, which is built on the Web Services for Management (WS-Man) protocol.

Setting up PowerShell remoting consists of three primary stages:

1. Enabling WinRM on the Windows machine: Run the following command with administrative privileges:
Enable-PSRemoting -Force

2. Configuring the Mac to connect to the Windows machine: On the Mac, install the OpenSSL library using Homebrew:
brew install openssl

3. Establishing a remote PowerShell session: On the Mac, initiate the PowerShell session using the `Enter-PSSession` cmdlet:
Enter-PSSession -HostName -UserName

By following these five steps, you will have acquired the knowledge and tools necessary to run PowerShell on a Mac effectively. From installing PowerShell Core using Homebrew to understanding basic commands, accessing WSL via virtualization, and utilizing PowerShell remoting, you are now equipped to harness the full potential of PowerShell on your macOS system.

In this article, we have not only provided answers to the search intent of *how to run PowerShell on a Mac* but also offered valuable insights and examples that cater to our expert audience. As you continue to explore the world of PowerShell on macOS, may this article serve as a comprehensive guide in navigating and mastering its capabilities.

CMD PRANKS! (Educational Purposes ONLY!)

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Is it possible to run PowerShell on a Mac?

Yes, it is possible to run PowerShell on a Mac. With the introduction of PowerShell Core, which is a cross-platform version of PowerShell, you can install and use PowerShell on macOS, Linux, and Windows operating systems.

To get started, you need to download and install PowerShell Core on your Mac. Once installed, you can open a terminal and start using PowerShell commands by typing pwsh in the command line. This will launch the PowerShell environment on your Mac, allowing you to execute PowerShell scripts and commands as you would on a Windows system.

How can I execute PowerShell on Mac within Visual Studio Code?

To execute PowerShell on Mac within Visual Studio Code, you will need to follow these steps:

1. Install PowerShell Core: First, you need to install PowerShell Core for macOS. You can download the latest release of PowerShell from the GitHub repository ( Look for the `.pkg` file for macOS and install it following the provided instructions.

2. Install Visual Studio Code: If you haven’t already, download and install Visual Studio Code ( on your Mac.

3. Install PowerShell Extension: Open Visual Studio Code, then go to the Extensions view by clicking the square icon on the left side or pressing `Cmd + Shift + X`. Search for “PowerShell” in the search bar and install the official Microsoft PowerShell extension.

4. Create a new PowerShell script file: Click on `File > New File` or press `Cmd + N` to create a new file. Save the file with the extension `.ps1` to enable PowerShell syntax highlighting and IntelliSense.

5. Select the PowerShell interpreter: In the lower right corner of the window, click on the language mode (it might say “Plain Text” or another language) and select “PowerShell” from the list. This sets the language mode for the current file to PowerShell.

6. Execute the PowerShell script: To run your PowerShell script within Visual Studio Code, you can either right-click on the editor and select “Run PowerShell Script” or use the integrated terminal. To open the integrated terminal, go to `Terminal > New Terminal` or press “ Ctrl + ` “. In the terminal, type `pwsh` to start PowerShell Core and then execute your script using its filename, like `./MyScript.ps1`.

That’s it! Now you can create, edit and run PowerShell scripts on your Mac using Visual Studio Code.

How can I execute a PowerShell script from the command-line interface?

To execute a PowerShell script from the command-line interface, you need to follow these steps:

1. Open a command prompt or terminal window.

2. Type powershell and hit Enter to launch the PowerShell environment.

3. Use the Set-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet to allow the execution of scripts on your system, if you haven’t already done so. To do this, run the command:

Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

4. Navigate to the directory where your script file is located using the cd (Change Directory) command. For example:

cd C:UsersYourUsernameScripts

5. Execute the script by typing .YourScriptName.ps1 and hit Enter. Replace “YourScriptName.ps1” with the actual name of your script. For example:


Once you have completed these steps, your PowerShell script will be executed through the command-line interface.

How can you execute PowerShell from the command line?

To execute PowerShell from the command line, you can start by opening a Command Prompt or Windows Terminal on your system. Once opened, you can simply type `powershell` and press Enter to launch the PowerShell console.

Method 1: Using Command Prompt

1. Press Windows key + R on your keyboard, type in cmd, and hit Enter. This will open a Command Prompt window.
2. Type powershell in the Command Prompt window and press Enter. This will switch your command line environment to the PowerShell console.

Method 2: Using Windows Terminal

1. Press Windows key + S on your keyboard, type in Windows Terminal in the search box, and click on the application from the search results.
2. In Windows Terminal, click on the dropdown arrow beside the Plus (+) sign, and select Windows PowerShell. This will open a new tab with the PowerShell console.

Now that you have the PowerShell console open, you can execute any PowerShell command by typing it and pressing Enter. For example, to get a list of all running processes, type the following command:


And press Enter. This will display a list of all currently running processes on your system.

What are the essential steps to install and run PowerShell on a Mac for executing command-line tasks?

To install and run PowerShell on a Mac for executing command-line tasks, follow these essential steps:

1. Install Homebrew: Homebrew is a package manager for macOS that simplifies the installation of software. If you don’t have it already, open Terminal and run the following command:

/bin/bash -c “$(curl -fsSL”

2. Install PowerShell: Once Homebrew is installed, use it to install PowerShell by executing the following command in Terminal:

brew install –cask powershell

3. Start PowerShell: After the installation is complete, you can start PowerShell by running the following command:


This command will launch PowerShell within your existing Terminal session. You should now see the PowerShell prompt, which looks like this:

PS /Users//>

4. Execute Command-Line Tasks: Now you can execute PowerShell command-line tasks on your Mac. For example, to list all files and folders in the current directory, use the `Get-ChildItem` cmdlet:


5. Exit PowerShell: When you are done using PowerShell, you can exit the session by typing `exit`:


Following these steps, you can efficiently install and run PowerShell on a Mac to perform various command-line tasks.

Are there any differences in using PowerShell commands on a macOS system compared to Windows when running command-line tasks?

Yes, there are some differences in using PowerShell commands on a macOS system compared to Windows when running command-line tasks. Here are a few key differences:

1. Installation: PowerShell is not installed by default on macOS, unlike Windows where it comes pre-installed. You’ll need to download and install PowerShell on your macOS system before using it.

2. File System: macOS uses a different file system structure than Windows. This means that file paths will be different, and you’ll need to adjust your scripts accordingly when working with files and directories.

3. Platform-specific commands: Some cmdlets or commands that work on Windows may not work on macOS due to platform-specific limitations. For example, certain system administration tasks (such as managing Windows services) may not be possible on macOS. In these cases, you may need to find alternative commands or tools that are compatible with macOS.

4. Case sensitivity: macOS file systems are usually case-sensitive whereas Windows file systems are case-insensitive. Consequently, you must take care of the casing when working with file paths and variables in PowerShell scripts on macOS.

5. Native commands: While PowerShell enables running native commands across platforms, you need to be aware of the differences between the native utilities on macOS and Windows. For instance, the “ping” command has different flags and syntax on macOS compared to Windows.

6. Script compatibility: Some PowerShell scripts designed for Windows might not work as expected on macOS. You may need to modify these scripts for cross-platform compatibility.

In summary, while PowerShell commands can be used on both Windows and macOS systems, there are notable differences due to the underlying operating system and file system. Always consider the platform-specific nuances and make necessary adjustments to your PowerShell scripts when working across different systems.

What possible issues or limitations can one encounter while using PowerShell on a Mac, and how can they be resolved when executing command-line tasks?

While using PowerShell on a Mac, you may come across a few issues or limitations that can affect your ability to execute command-line tasks. Some of these issues and their potential solutions include:

1. Compatibility Issues: PowerShell on macOS is based on .NET Core, which means some modules and functions available in Windows PowerShell might not work in macOS. To resolve these compatibility issues, try to find alternative commands or modules that are supported in .NET Core.

2. Execution Policy: By default, PowerShell on a Mac has a restrictive execution policy that might prevent running scripts. You can change the execution policy by running `Set-ExecutionPolicy` followed by the desired policy level (e.g., Unrestricted, RemoteSigned, or AllSigned).

3. File System Differences: macOS has a different file system structure compared to Windows, which can lead to issues when running PowerShell scripts originally written for Windows. To overcome these problems, use cross-platform-friendly file paths and ensure that your scripts can handle case-sensitive file systems.

4. Terminal Emulation: Certain terminal emulation features, such as colors, can behave differently between platforms. When writing or adapting scripts for macOS, test them in the native Terminal app or another emulator of your choice to ensure they work as expected.

5. Running Windows-Specific Commands: Some PowerShell cmdlets or .NET classes may not have a macOS equivalent, as they rely on Windows-specific functionality. In these cases, you may need to find an alternative or resort to using third-party tools to perform the same task on macOS.

6. Permission Issues: On macOS, some system folders and files require administrator privileges to access or modify. To get the necessary permissions, run your PowerShell script using `sudo`.

By addressing these issues and limitations, you can enhance your experience with PowerShell on a Mac and execute command-line tasks more efficiently.