Get-Help Command: Syntax, Parameters, Examples

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Introduction

Don’t know how to use a PowerShell cmdlet? PowerShell Get-Help cmdlet will give you information about any powerShell command.

In this guide you will learn how to use PowerShell Get-Help cmdlet. Its syntax, parameters and some examples.

Powershell Get-Help Command Syntax

The simplified syntax of Powershell Get-Help is:

Get-Help -Name <cmdlet | function | aliases | workflow | CIM commands | provider |    script> -Parameter <parameter-name> -Examples -Category -Full -Detailed -Online
Some parameters of the Powershell Get-Help cmdlet is not shown above. I only listed parameters you will need for everyday use.
The Get-Help cmdlet can provide PowerShell help information for cmdlets, functions, CIM commands, workflows, providers, aliases and scripts.
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Powershell Get-Help Parameters

The table below lists the parameters shown in the last section and what they mean. It also includes examples. For detailed examples, see the Examples later in the guide.

S/NParameter MeaningPowershell Get-Help Example
1NameSpecifies the name of the cmdlet, function, script, workflow, provider or aliasGet-Help -Name Get-Command
2ParameterUsed to specify a parameter of the cmdlet you need to get help forGet-Help -Name Get-Command -Parameter Name
3ExamplesThis parameter does not require an input value. If specified Get-Help will return examples for the cmdletGet-Help -Name Get-Command -Examples
4CategoryDisplays help only for items in the specified category and their aliases. Some accepted values: Alias, Cmdlet, etcGet-Help -Category Alias
5FullDisplays the whole help topic for a cmdlet, including parameters, attributes and examplesGet-Help Get-Command -Full
6DetailedAdds parameter descriptions and examples to the basic help display.Get-Help Get-Command -Detailed
7OnlineOpens the online version of a help topic in the default Internet browserGet-Help Get-Command -Online

Powershell Get-Help Examples

Here are some examples of PowerShell Get-Help cmdlet. In this section I will use Get-Help to get information about the Get-Command cmdlet.

Powershell Get-Help Example 1: Basic Powershell Help

To get the basic help information about the Get-Command cmdlet, run the command below:

Get-Help Get-Command

In this example, the cmdlet is Get-Command. Notice that I did not include the -Name parameter. It doesn’t have to be included. Here is the result of the command in PowerShell.

Get-Help Example 1: Basic Powershell Help:

The command returned SYNOPSIS (description of the cmdlet), its SYNTAX (how to use the cmdlet) and its DESCRIPTION (detailed information about the cmdlet).

Powershell Get-Help Example 2: Detailed and Full Powershell Help

To display more detailed information about a cmdlet, simply include the Detailed parameter. Here is the modified example.

Get-Help Get-Command -Detailed

When you include the Detailed parameter, Get-Help adds parameter descriptions and examples to the basic PowerShell help information.

Get-Help Example 2: Detailed Powershell Help
Most of the information is not shown in the previous image.

Moreover, if you wish to display the full help information about the cmdlet, use the Full parameter.

Here is a sample command:

Get-Help Get-Command -Full

Powershell Get-Help Example 3: Online Powershell Help

If you want Get-Help to open the online help for the cmdlet, use the Online parameter. Get-Help will open the help information for the cmdlet using your default browser.

Here is the command to display the online information for the Get-Command cmdlet.

Get-Help Get-Command -Online

Here is the result. Opened in Chrome (my default browser):

Get-Help Get-Command -Online
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Powershell Get-Help Example 4: Category Powershell Help

The Get-Help command has a parameter called Category. You can use this to get help information about any of the following categories:

Alias, Cmdlet, Provider, General, FAQ, Glossary, HelpFile, ScriptCommand, Function, Filter, ExternalScript, All, DefaultHelp, Workflow, DscResource, Class and Configuration

One very useful application of this is to display a full list the Aliases of all PowerShell cmdlets in your computer.

Here is the command:

Get-Help -Category Alias

And the result…

Using cmdlet aliases shortens your script. Next time you are scripting, you can get the aliases of cmdlets using the command above.

In another example, to return ALL the cmdlets in your computer, use the command below:

Get-Help -Category Cmdlet

If you need specific cmdlets, you can use the Where-Object cmdlet to return them.

As an example, to return commands beginning with the words co, use the command below

Get-Help -Category Cmdlet | Where-Object Synopsis -Like "co*"

This will return the cmdlets close to what I want. See the results below:

Get-Help -Category Cmdlet  Where-Object Synopsis -Like

Powershell Get-Help Example 5: Get Examples of a Cmdlet

One of the benefits of the Powershell Get-Help command is that it can give you examples of how to use a cmdlet.

To display examples of how to use Get-Command, use the command below:

Get-Help Get-Command -Examples

The command displays all available examples:

Get-Help Get-Command -Examples

Conclusion

I hope this guide simplified how to use Powershell Get-Help for you. Most importantly, I hope you picked up one or two things you need to write your next PowerShell script.

If you have any question or comment, use the “Leave a Reply” form at the end of this page. You could also share your personal experience with PowerShell.

To learn more about powershell, visit our PowerShell page. You could also search PowerShell to list all our PowerShell guides.

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