What Is Windows PowerShell ISE & How to Open It (5 Ways)? [MiniTool Wiki]

What Is PowerShell ISE?

Windows PowerShell ISE (Integrated Scripting Environment) is a host app for Windows PowerShell. In the ISE, you can perform commands and write, test, and debug scripts in a single Windows-based graphic UI (user interface).

Windows PowerShell ISE was first introduced with PowerShell v2. It was re-designed with PowerShell v3. The ISE is supported in all supported versions of PowerShell up to and including Windows PowerShell v5.1.

PowerShell ISE is no longer in active feature development. As a shipping component of Windows, there is no need to download it somewhere. PowerShell ISE continues to be officially supported for security and high-priority servicing fixes. Currently, Microsoft has no plan to remove it.

However, there is no support for the ISE in PowerShell v6 and beyond. As a replacement, you can make use of Visual Studio Code with the PowerShell Extension.

Windows PowerShell ISE

PowerShell ISE Key Features

PowerShell ISE offers multiline editing, tab completion, selective execution, context-sensitive help, syntax coloring, as well as supports right-to-left languages. Menu items and keyboard shortcuts are mapped to many of the same tasks that you would do in the Windows PowerShell console.

  • Multiple editing: to insert a blank line under the current line in the command pane. Just use Shift + Enter.
  • Selective execution: to run a part of a script, select the text and click the Run Script Or, just press F5.
  • Context-sensitive help: input Invoke-Item and press F1. The help file options to the article for the Invoke-Item cmdlet.

The Windows PowerShell ISE enables you to customize some aspects of its appearance. It also has its own Windows PowerShell profile script. PowerShell ISE supports up to 8 PowerShell Unicode-enabled consoles (Runspaces) in a tabbed UI. It allows users to use dialog boxes to fill in parameters for PowerShell cmdlets.

How to Open Windows PowerShell ISE?

In general, there are many ways to open Windows PowerShell ISE. The following screenshots are based on the latest Windows 11 operating system (OS).

#1 Start PowerShell ISE Through Searching

First of all, you can find and open PowerShell ISE using the Windows Search utility. Just type “powershell ise” in the search blank and press Enter.

Search for PowerShell ISE

#2 Run PowerShell ISE in Command Platforms

Secondly, you can launch Windows PowerShell ISE within any command platform including PowerShell, CMD, and Windows Run. Just type powershell_ise.exe and press Enter.

use command to open PowerShell ISE

#3 Launch PowerShell ISE by File Explorer

Thirdly, you are able to trigger PowerShell ISE from Windows File Explorer. Simply, key in powershell_ise.exe in the address bar of Windows Explorer and press Enter.

open PowerShell ISE from File Explorer

#4 Open PowerShell ISE from Control Panel

Besides, you can also start Windows PowerShell ISE via Control Panel. Open Windows Control Panel and navigate to All Control Panel Items > Windows Tools. There, double-click to open the PowerShell ISE version you prefer, Windows PowerShell ISE or Windows PowerShell ISE (x86).

PowerShell ISE in Control Panel

#5 Launch PowerShell ISE with Desktop Shortcut

Finally, you can create a desktop shortcut to build an entrance to PowerShell ISE. The guide is below.

  1. Right-click on your desktop and choose New > Shortcut.
  2. In the pop-up window, input exe.
  3. Next, click Finish.

create PowerShell ISE desktop shortcut

PowerShell vs PowerShell ISE

Both PowerShell ISE and PowerShell offer fundamentally the same scripting capabilities for the Windows environments. Yet, there are still differences between PowerShell and PowerShell ISE – convenience. PowerShell is a more straightforward scripting and execution environment while PowerShell ISE offers more flexible and forgiving editing and execution features.

Therefore, PowerShell is a good choice for simple tasks whereas PowerShell ISE is more suitable for situations where scripting tasks are larger, more complicated and interrelated.

The new and powerful Windows 11 will bring you many benefits. At the same time, it will also bring you some unexpected damages such as data loss. Thus, it is strongly recommended that you back up your crucial files before or after upgrading to Win11 with a robust and reliable program like MiniTool ShadowMaker, which will assist you to protect your increasing data automatically on schedules!

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