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Powershell Version–What Version is installed

Posted by kiquenet en 29 julio 2014

Use $PSVersionTable.PSVersion to determine the engine version. If the variable does not exist, it is safe to assume the engine is version 1.0.

Note that $Host.Version and (Get-Host).Version are not reliable – they reflect the version of the host only, not the engine. PowerGUI, PowerShellPLUS, etc. are all hosting applications, and they will set the host’s version to reflect their product version, which is entirely correct.

PS C:\> $PSVersionTable.PSVersion

Major  Minor  Build  Revision
-----  -----  -----  --------
4      0      -1     -1

$PSVersionTable is more reliable and returns $PSVersion. You can also use $PSVersionTable.PSVersion. Even if you are connected remotely to the machine running different version (invoke-command -computername myRemotePC -Credential foo {$host}), it looks like $host will just show the lowest version they agreed upon for serializing. While $PSVersionTable will show the true version

About Host vs $PSVersionTable

Get-Host or $PSVersionTable. As Andy Schneider points out, $PSVersionTable doesn’t work in version 1; it was introduced in version 2.
$host.version is just plain wrong/unreliable. This gives you the version of the hosting executable (powershell.exe, powergui.exe, powershell_ise.exe, powershellplus.exe etc) and not the version of the engine itself.

The engine version is contained in $psversiontable.psversion. For PowerShell 1.0, this variable does not exist, so obviously if this variable is not available it is entirely safe to assume the engine is 1.0, obviously.


Microsoft recommends checking the registry to see which version, if any, is installed

  • To check if any version of PowerShell is installed, check for the following value in the registry:

    • Key Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1
    • Value Name: Install
    • Value Type: REG_DWORD
    • Value Data: 0x00000001 (1
  • To check whether version 1.0 or 2.0 of PowerShell is installed, check for the following value in the registry:
    • Key Location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellEngine
    • Value Name: PowerShellVersion
    • Value Type: REG_SZ
    • Value Data: <1.0 | 2.0>


  • Depending on any other registry key(s), or version of PowerShell.exe or the location of PowerShell.exe is not guaranteed to work in the long term.

  • PowerShell 2.0 doesn’t support side by side installations with 1.0, but 2.0 is back-wards compatible with 1.0.

To determine if PowerShell is installed, you can check the registry for the existence of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\Install and, if it exists, whether the value is 1 (for installed), as detailed in the blog post Check if PowerShell installed and version.

To determine the version of PowerShell that is installed, you can check the registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1\PowerShellEngine\PowerShellVersion.

To determine the version of PowerShell that is installed from a .ps1 script, you can use the following one-liner, as detailed on PowerShell.com in Which PowerShell Version Am I Running.

For PowerScript 3.0 there seems to be a new entry,
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\3 (in addition toHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\1).

The proper place in this case for getting the version appears to be
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\PowerShell\3\PowerShellEngine\PowerShellV‌​ersion(sample value is "3.0").

$isV2 = test-path variable:\psversiontable

The same site also gives a function to return the version:

function Get-PSVersion {
    if (test-path variable:psversiontable) {$psversiontable.psversion} else {[version]""}

Test Powershell Version.cmd

@echo off
echo Checking powershell version...
del "%temp%\PSVers.txt" 2>nul
powershell -command "[string]$PSVersionTable.PSVersion.Major +'.'+ [string]$PSVersionTable.PSVersion.Minor | Out-File ([string](cat env:\temp) + '\PSVers.txt')" 2>nul
if errorlevel 1 (
 echo Powershell is not installed. Please install it from download.Microsoft.com; thanks.
) else (
 echo You have installed Powershell version:
 type "%temp%\PSVers.txt"
 del "%temp%\PSVers.txt" 2>nul
timeout 15




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