Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt?

By | August 9, 2017
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Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt?

This tip applies to Windows 10 Creators Update [version 1703] or newer versions of Windows 10.

No doubt, Windows PowerShell is a powerful command line tool. Running cmdlets, as they are called, using PowerShell is great way to make changes to your Windows computer. A cmdlet is a lightweight command that is used in the Windows PowerShell environment.  There are dozens of prewritten cmdlets or you can write your own.  If you’re interested,  read more about Windows PowerShell and cmdlets here.

We have written a few tips for Windows PowerShell, but most of the time when we feature a tip that requires running a command, we tell you to open a Command Prompt or Command Prompt (Admin) in Windows 10 by right-clicking the Start button (or using the Windows Key + X shortcut) and choosing one or the other from the menu.

In the Creators Update, the default is to show Windows PowerShell and PowerShell (Admin) in the Win-X menu – they replace Command Prompt and Command Prompt (Admin). So, if you’re using Windows 10 Creators Update (version 1703) or newer, when you right-click the Windows 10 start button (or press Windows Key + X) you’re probably going to find that Windows PowerShell has replaced Command Prompt. This will also be the case if you’ve just purchased a new Windows 10 computer with Windows 10 Creators Update preinstalled.

Why? It appears that Microsoft may eventually do away with the Command Prompt by creating a hybrid version of PowerShell. That’s just a hunch – we may be wrong. We certainly don’t have the inside scoop.  But since most of our tips that require you to run commands using  ommand Prompt or Command Prompt (Admin), if you right-click your Windows 10 start button and see PowerShell, it’s no problem to replace PowerShell on the Win -X menu with Command Prompt. In fact, it’s easy to switch back and forth between Command Prompt and PowerShell.

Here’s how:

Right-click on your taskbar and choose “Taskbar settings”.  Under “Replace Command Prompt with Windows PowerShell in the menu when I right-click the start button or press Windows Key + X”  turn the switch OFF and you’ll see Command Prompt on that menu; turn the switch on and you’ll see Windows PowerShell. It’s easy!

cCloudeight InfoAve Tips & Tricks

Here’s a screen shot with the switched turned Off :

Cloudeight InfoAve Tips & Tricks

Here’s what you’ll see if the switch  is turned On.

Cloudeight InfoAve Tips & Tricks

So whether a tip requires a Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell,  you can quickly and easily switch back and a forth… just by flipping a switch.

4 thoughts on “Windows PowerShell or Command Prompt?

  1. Jason Miller

    I’m a bit confused here. When you give a tip that has us used a command in “command prompt”, would that same command work in powershell?

    1. John Ludlow

      Most commands you use in CMD.exe will work just fine in PowerShell, even ones like netsh and diskpart which open a nested shell.

      I sometimes tell people to open CMD. PowerShell is different and scary for some people and unless the goal is to show someone PowerShell it’s just easier to let them use what they know.

      But I pretty much only use PowerShell


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