Troubleshooting PowerShell ‘is not recognized’ Error

Introduction

If you are a Windows user and have recently encountered the ‘PowerShell is not recognized’ error, you are not alone. This error typically occurs when the PowerShell executable is not found in the system’s PATH environment variable. In this blog post, we will guide you through the troubleshooting steps to resolve this issue and get PowerShell up and running smoothly.

Step 1: Check System Environment Variables

The first thing you need to do is check if the PowerShell executable is present in the system’s PATH environment variable. To do this:

  1. Right-click on the ‘This PC’ or ‘My Computer’ icon on your desktop and select ‘Properties’.
  2. Click on ‘Advanced system settings’ on the left-hand side.
  3. In the ‘System Properties’ window, click on the ‘Environment Variables’ button.
  4. Under the ‘System variables’ section, scroll down and look for the ‘Path’ variable. Select it and click on ‘Edit’.
  5. In the ‘Edit Environment Variable’ window, make sure that the path to the PowerShell executable (usually ‘C:WindowsSystem32WindowsPowerShellv1.0’) is listed. If not, click on ‘New’ and add it.
  6. Click ‘OK’ to save the changes.

Step 2: Reinstall PowerShell

If the PowerShell executable is missing from the specified path, it might have been accidentally deleted or removed. In such cases, you can reinstall PowerShell to resolve the issue:

  1. Open the official Microsoft PowerShell download page in your web browser.
  2. Download the appropriate version of PowerShell for your operating system.
  3. Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.

Step 3: Update Windows

Outdated Windows installations can sometimes cause issues with PowerShell. To ensure that your system is up to date:

  1. Open the ‘Settings’ app by pressing the Windows key + I on your keyboard.
  2. Click on ‘Update & Security’.
  3. In the ‘Windows Update’ section, click on ‘Check for updates’.
  4. If any updates are available, click on ‘Download’ and install them.

Step 4: Check Antivirus or Security Software

Some antivirus or security software can mistakenly flag PowerShell as a threat and block its execution. To check if this is the case:

  1. Open your antivirus or security software.
  2. Look for any settings related to PowerShell or script execution.
  3. Temporarily disable any settings that might be blocking PowerShell.

Conclusion

The ‘PowerShell is not recognized’ error can be frustrating, but with the troubleshooting steps mentioned above, you should be able to resolve the issue and get PowerShell working again. Remember to always exercise caution when making changes to your system’s environment variables or installing software.

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