# Powershell profiles

# Create an basic profile

A PowerShell profile is used to load user defined variables and functions automatically.

PowerShell profiles are not automatically created for users.

To create a PowerShell profile C:>New-Item -ItemType File $profile.

If you are in ISE you can use the built in editor C:>psEdit $profile

An easy way to get started with your personal profile for the current host is to save some text to path stored in the $profile-variable

"#Current host, current user" > $profile

Further modification to the profile can be done using PowerShell ISE, notepad, Visual Studio Code or any other editor.

The $profile-variable returns the current user profile for the current host by default, but you can access the path to the machine-policy (all users) and/or the profile for all hosts (console, ISE, 3rd party) by using it's properties.

PS> $PROFILE | Format-List -Force

AllUsersAllHosts       : C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\profile.ps1
AllUsersCurrentHost    : C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1
CurrentUserAllHosts    : C:\Users\user\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\profile.ps1
CurrentUserCurrentHost : C:\Users\user\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1
Length                 : 75

PS> $PROFILE.AllUsersAllHosts

# Remarks

Profile file is a powershell script that will run while the powershell console is starting. This way we can have our environment prepared for us each time we start new powershell session.

Typical things we want to do on powershell start are:

  • importing modules we use often (ActiveDirectory, Exchange, some specific DLL)
  • logging
  • changing the prompt
  • diagnostics

There are several profile files and locations that have different uses and also hierarchy of start-up order:

Host User Path Start order Variable
All All %WINDIR%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\profile.ps1 1 $profile.AllUsersAllHosts
All Current %USERPROFILE%\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\profile.ps1 3 $profile.CurrentUserAllHosts
Console All %WINDIR%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1 2 $profile.AllUsersCurrentHost
Console Current %USERPROFILE%\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Microsoft.PowerShell_profile.ps1 4 $profile.CurrentUserCurrentHost
ISE All %WINDIR%\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Microsoft.PowerShellISE_profile.ps1 2 $profile.AllUsersCurrentHost
ISE Current %USERPROFILE%\Documents\WindowsPowerShell\Microsoft.PowerShellISE_profile.ps1 4 $profile.CurrentUserCurrentHost