A .exe file found by some instances of PowerShell and not others got me questioning what is the difference between:

  • Starting PowerShell in a folder from the explorer context menu that appears on "shift + right click". (In my case, the file is not found by this shell)

  • Starting PowerShell from the context menu that appears when right clicking the lower left corner of the desktop. (In my case, the file is found by this shell)


  • Windows 10 Pro, 64 bit. Version 1709, Build 16299.431

  • When starting from the explorer context window:

    • The window title is "Windows PowerShell" and the terminal reads "PS" followed by a space and the path to the current folder.

    • $PSVersionTable.PSVersion returns Major 5 , Minor 1 , Build 16299, Revision 431

  • When starting it from the desktop, the only difference with starting it from explorer is that "Windows PowerShell" and the copyright information is shown before the terminal line.

  • 2
    As the person who made the comment, I can tell you, this is not due to running PowerShell in the incorrect user context. Can you supply us information more specific about your system, providing your own screenshots, will help answer your question. You should indicate which version of PowerShell you are using, and which version of Windows if you are using Windows 10 include which build you have installed. – Ramhound May 22 '18 at 13:29
  • try .\file.exe instead of just file.exe – SimonS May 22 '18 at 14:46
  • @SimonS it didn't work. – cladelpino May 22 '18 at 15:43
  • @Ramhound I've edited in the requested info. Thanks! – cladelpino May 22 '18 at 15:43
  • What happens if you run [System.IO.FileInfo]::new($theFile) where $theFile is the full path to your file? What is the output of [System.Environment]::Is64BitProcess? – Ben N May 22 '18 at 17:06

There are various ways by which you can open powershell in windows 10. Some of the ways are:

By pressing win+x i for opening in normal mode and win+x a for opening in Anmin Mode.

You can also use the following command in the Command prompt(cmd) or RunAs Dialog Box for getting the PowerShell Window with desired Title in the traditional CMD styled window.

cmd /k PowerShell -NoExit -Command "& {$host.ui.RawUI.WindowTitle = 'Powershell'}"

P.S: Its like traditional CMD with PowerShell features and Syntax Highlighting.

  • win+x i doesn't do anything for me on Windows 10. win+x a opens a normal cmd.exe, not powershell. – esqew Jul 11 '19 at 17:10

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