PowerShell is an important command-line tool that allows you to perform various tasks and automate processes. You can use it to provide administrative rights to apps, uninstall applications from your computer, and much more. However, you cannot perform all these tasks if PowerShell is not opening on your computer.
There are various ways to launch PowerShell. However, if none of the methods work, you’ve come to the right place. We’ll explore ways to fix PowerShell not working or opening on a Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC. So, let’s begin.
1. Enable Windows PowerShell
If you can’t run PowerShell, you’ll need to ensure it is enabled on your computer. To check that, follow the below steps:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to launch the Start Menu.
Step 2: Type Control Panel in the search bar and press Enter.
Step 3: Choose Programs.
Step 4: Click the ‘Turn Windows features on or off’ option.
Step 5: Click the Plus icon (+) before Windows PowerShell 2.0.
Step 6: Check the Windows PowerShell 2.0 and Windows PowerShell 2.0 Engine box. Then, click OK to save the changes.
Restart your computer to apply the changes.
2. Run SFC and DISM Scans
It’s common for the system files to get corrupted. When that happens, you become prone to various issues, including the one at hand.
If you can’t run PowerShell due to corrupt system files, you’ll have to run SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) scans. These built-in utilities diagnose and try to fix corrupt system files using Windows image files. Follow the below steps to run SFC and DISM scan:
Step 1: Press Windows key to launch the Start Menu, type Command Prompt in the search bar and choose ‘Run as administrator’ from the right pane.
Step 2: In the elevated Command Prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
That scan might take a while to complete if there are problems in your computer.
Step 3: To run a DISM scan on your Windows computer, type the following commands one by one and press Enter after each command:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
After that, restart your computer and check for the issue. If it continues, try the next solution on the list.
3. Change Local Group Policy Editor Settings
The ‘Don’t run specified Windows application’ policy in the Local Group Policy Editor can stop Windows PowerShell from opening on your computer. You’ll have to disable this policy to solve the issue. Here’s how to do that:
Note: The Local Group Policy Editor is a feature exclusively available for Windows Pro, Enterprise, and Education editions. If you try to access it on Windows Home, you will get the ‘gpedit.msc missing error.’ Thankfully, eliminating this error is a straightforward process. Check our guide on fixing the ‘gpedit.msc missing error’ on Windows.
Step 1: Press the Windows + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run tool.
Step 2: Type gpedit.msc in the search bar and click OK.
Step 3: In the Local Group Policy Editor, navigate to the following location:
User Configuration\Administrative Templates\System
Step 4: Double-click on the ‘Don’t run specified Windows applications’ policy in the right pane.
Step 5: Choose Not configured. Then, click Apply and OK.
After that, restart your computer and check for the issue.
4. Perform a Clean Boot
Another quick way to fix PowerShell not working or opening on Windows is to perform a clean boot. Windows starts with only an essential set of startup applications and drivers in the clean boot state.
Performing a clean boot will be helpful if PowerShell is not opening due to conflict between a third-party application and PowerShell. You can perform a clean boot by following the below instructions:
Step 1: Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu, type System Configuration in the search bar and press Enter.
Step 2: Choose Selective startup and then click the Services tab.
Step 3: Check the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ box. Then, click the Disable all button.
Step 4: Switch to the Startup tab. Then, click on ‘Open Task Manager.’
Step 5: Choose a third-party application and click the Disable option at the top. Similarly, disable all the other third-party apps.
After that, restart your computer to enter a clean boot state and try to open Windows PowerShell again. If this solves your problem, one of the third-party programs you just disabled was causing the issue.
To narrow down that application, continue clean booting Windows, but this time, enable one app on every boot. Once the issue appears again, disable or uninstall the app you just enabled from your computer.
5. Create a New User Account
If you still can’t run PowerShell on your computer, probably there’s some issue with your user account. In this case, the solution is to create a new user account. Here’s how:
Step 1: Open the Run tool, type netplwiz, and press Enter.
Step 2: Click the Add button.
Step 3: Click the ‘Sign in without a Microsoft account (not recommended)’ option.
Step 4: Click on Local account.
Step 5: Enter the credentials and then click Next.
Step 6: Click Finish.
After that, access your account from the User Accounts window and use Windows PowerShell.
Fixing PowerShell Not Opening on Windows 11
It’s common for UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps to run into issues, and Windows PowerShell is no different. Windows PowerShell might fail to launch on your computer due to corruption in the system files or misconfigured Local Group Policy Editor settings. Fortunately, you can quickly troubleshoot the issue using the above fixes.
Last updated on 29 June, 2023
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