Ten Handy PowerShell Commands

Published on: Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 4:52 pm EST

PowerShell is the command line included with Windows. It is a very handy tool for doing simple tasks without the GUI. In this guide, I'll show you 10 tips that will improve your Windows Server experience and make your life easier.

Getting a Process

Rather than using the Task Manager or a similar tool, you can use PowerShell to retrieve information about a specific process and kill it, if needed. This will show the process ID (Id ProcessName):

Get-Process ProcessName

Official documentation

Killing a Process

Once you have the process ID of a process, you can kill it:

Stop-Process -id PID

Official documentation

Getting Contents of a File

You can actually get the content of a file (for example a .txt file) and view it in PowerShell:

Get-Content file.txt

Official documentation

Getting Item Information

You can get information about a certain file with the Get-Item command. The cool thing about this is that you can use it to return multiple kinds of data, for example, you can see the last time somebody accessed a file:

$(Get-Item D:\Users\William\Desktop\file.txt).lastaccesstime

Official documentation

Adding a New Active Directory User

You can add an Active Directory user with the New-ADUser command:

New-ADUser -SamAccountName "william" -GivenName "William" -Surname "Edwards" -DisplayName "William David Edwards"

Official documentation

Removing an Active Directory User

Removing an Active Directory user with PowerShell is possible too:

Remove-ADUser William

You can use a DN, SAM account name, SID, or an object GUID here.

Official documentation

Adding an Active Directory group

You can add an Active Directory group with PowerShell very easily:

New-ADGroup –name Staff” –groupscope Global

Use the name of the new Active Directory group for -name and change the group scope if needed.

Official documentation

Removing an Active Directory group

Likewise, you can also remove an Active Directory group with PowerShell:

Remove-ADGroup Staff

Official documentation

Finding All Domain Controllers

You can find all domain controllers in a domain with PowerShell by finding out which computers are in the Domain Controllers group:

Get-ADGroupMember 'Domain Controllers'

Disabling an Active Directory account

You can disable an account in Active Directory to prevent a user from logging in. This can be done from PowerShell to avoid having to use the GUI for this simple task:

Disable-ADAccount William

Again, you can use a DN, SAM account name, SID, or an object GUID here.

Official documentation