Windows Explorer (desktop) has the ability to run a PowerShell script by right-clicking and selecting "Run with PowerShell". However, as the window is closed when the script has finished, any messages are lost. So one could stick a "Press any key" at the end. However, that would be very annoying when run from the PowerShell command prompt.

Is there a way for PowerShell to determine where it was run from? Specifically, the desktop?

closed as off-topic by user259412, kasperd, Jenny D, sebix, mdpc Aug 18 '17 at 23:10

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    PowerShell is nothing to do with server management?? sigh – Rob Nicholson Feb 7 at 23:03

Run with PowerShells $myinvocation.line is taken from corresponding registry key. For instance, on (my) Windows 8.1 with PS version 5.1:

PS D:\PShell> $auxRegKey='\SOFTWARE\Classes\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\0\Command'
PS D:\PShell> (get-itemproperty -literalpath HKLM:$auxRegKey).'(default)'
"C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" "-Command" "if((Get-ExecutionPolicy ) -ne 'AllSigned') { Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process Bypass }; & '%1'"
PS D:\PShell>

The following code snippet could help:

'script ouput here'
$auxRegVal=(get-itemproperty -literalpath HKLM:$auxRegKey).'(default)'
$auxRegCmd=$auxRegVal.Split(' ',3)[2].Replace('%1', $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Definition)
if ("`"$($myinvocation.Line)`"" -eq $auxRegCmd) {
    $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Definition + ': supposedly run via explorer right click'
    $x = Read-Host
} else {
    $MyInvocation.MyCommand.Definition + ': run from CLI'    # optional

The script says supposedly because we could imagine following (improbable) command from an open cmd window (or even its equivalent from PowerShell prompt):

==> "C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" "-Command" "if((Get-ExecutionPolicy ) -ne 'AllSigned') { Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process Bypass }; & 'D:\PShell\SF\q866281.ps1'"
script ouput here
D:\PShell\SF\q866281.ps1: supposedly run via explorer right click

  • Thanks for this - so you're suggesting looking in the registry to find the full command path that the desktop uses to build the invocation and testing against that. Yes, I can see that working. Bit fiddly but what the heck – Rob Nicholson Aug 3 '17 at 16:36
  • Okay, really smelly code but marked as the answer :-) Let's hope Microsoft doesn't change the registry key entry drastically - but as long as they leave that %1 in there, it'll hang together – Rob Nicholson Aug 3 '17 at 16:48

There is a variable named $myinvocation will return a InvocationInfo Class object. It contains various information about how the script was invoked. https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.management.automation.invocationinfo(v=vs.85).aspx

You could do something like this to reach your goal.

"hello world"
if ($myinvocation.line) {
    "run from cli"
} else {
    "run via explorer right click"
    $x = read-host
  • This doesn't work for me. I get run from cli with right click as well. (Using PS version 5.1) – Gerald Schneider Aug 1 '17 at 13:41
  • What version of Powershell are you running? I am using Version 3. – Clayton Aug 1 '17 at 13:43
  • When run from the desktop, I get Line: if((Get-ExecutionPolicy ) -ne 'AllSigned') { Set-ExecutionPolicy -Scope Process Bypass }; & 'C:\Users\HeliosComms(RobNicho\OneDrive - Helios Medical Communications\My Scripts\Run-Test.ps1' – Rob Nicholson Aug 1 '17 at 15:26
  • I'm guessing your running a script named run-test.ps1... If that line code does not appear in the run-test.ps1 script, it may be coming from the User or Machine Powershell profile. Is there some sort of error it is throwing? Is it actually running the run-test.ps1 script? – Clayton Aug 1 '17 at 15:51
  • Yes, it's running the script fine. That invocation line must be what Windows 10 tacks on the front when running from the desktop. So this is PowerShell v5 – Rob Nicholson Aug 3 '17 at 16:18

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