Is there any way to make powershell script work by double clicking .ps1 file?

I am distributing Powershell script to my team. The script is to fetch IP address from Vsphere client, make mstsc connection and logs it in a shared file.

The moment they used the script they got to know the IP address of machine. After that they always tend to use mstsc directly instead of running powershell script. (As they are using mstsc i am not able to know whether they are using the VM frequently or not)

Mainly they are telling me that running powershell is not straight forward.

I am sick by their laziness.

Is there any way to make powershell script work by double clicking .ps1 file?


Create a shortcut with something like this as the "Target":

powershell.exe -command "& 'C:\A path with spaces\MyScript.ps1' -MyArguments blah"

Or if you want all PS1 files to work the way VBS files do, you can edit the registry like this:


Edit the Default value to be something like so...

"C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -noLogo -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -file "%1"

Then you can just double click all your .PS1 files like you would like to. in my humble opinion, be able to out of the box.

I'm going to call this "The Powershell De-castration Hack". LOL enjoy!

Be aware that one of PowerShell's security features is that users can NOT launch script with a double click. Use great care if you modify this setting. An alternative might be to package your script. Some editors like PrimalScript can do that. The users still need PowerShell installed but then they can double-click the exe. And it sounds like your team needs a little education.

I wrote this a few years ago (run it with admin rights):

    Change the registry key in order that double-clicking on a file with .PS1 extension
    start its execution with PowerShell.
    This operation bring (partly) .PS1 files to the level of .VBS as far as execution
    through Explorer.exe is concern.
    This operation is not advised by Microsoft.
    File Name   : ModifyExplorer.ps1  
    Author      : J.P. Blanc -
    Prerequisite: PowerShell V2 on Vista and later versions.
    Copyright 2010 - Jean Paul Blanc/Silogix    
    Script posted on:  
    PS C:\silogix> Set-PowAsDefault -On
    Call Powershell for .PS1 files.
    Done !
    PS C:\silogix> Set-PowAsDefault
    Tries to go back  
    Done !
function Set-PowAsDefault

    if ($On.IsPresent)
      Write-Host "Call Powershell for .PS1 files."
      Write-Host "Try to go back."

    # Text Menu
    [string]$TexteMenu = "Go inside PowerShell"

    # Text of the program to create
    [string] $TexteCommande = "%systemroot%\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe -Command ""&'%1'"""

    # Key to create
    [String] $clefAModifier = "HKLM:\SOFTWARE\Classes\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\Open\Command"

      $oldCmdKey = $null
      $oldCmdKey = Get-Item $clefAModifier -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
      $oldCmdValue = $oldCmdKey.getvalue("")

      if ($oldCmdValue -ne $null)
        if ($On.IsPresent)
          $slxOldValue = $null
          $slxOldValue = Get-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "slxOldValue" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue
          if ($slxOldValue -eq $null)
            New-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "slxOldValue" -Value $oldCmdValue  -PropertyType "String" | Out-Null
            New-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "(default)" -Value $TexteCommande  -PropertyType "ExpandString" | Out-Null
            Write-Host "Done !"
            Write-Host "Already done !"          

          $slxOldValue = $null
          $slxOldValue = Get-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "slxOldValue" -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue 
          if ($slxOldValue -ne $null)
            New-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "(default)" -Value $slxOldValue."slxOldValue"  -PropertyType "String" | Out-Null
            Remove-ItemProperty $clefAModifier -Name "slxOldValue" 
            Write-Host "Done !"
            Write-Host "No former value !"          
  end {}

I agree that setting a system setting may be a bit much, but the shortcut requiring a hardcoded path is not ideal. A bat file actually solves the problem nicely


 start powershell -command "& '.\MyPowershellScript.ps1' -MyArguments blah"

This batch file can now be double clicked on, shortcuts can be easily created to the batch file, and the script can be deployed to any folder.

You'll need to tweak registry. First, configure a PSDrive for HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT since this isn’t set up by default. The command for this is:


Now you can navigate and edit registry keys and values in HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT just like you would in the regular HKCU and HKLM PSDrives.

To configure double-clicking to launch PowerShell scripts directly:

Set-ItemProperty HKCR:\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell '(Default)' 0

To configure double-clicking to open PowerShell scripts in the PowerShell ISE:

Set-ItemProperty HKCR:\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell '(Default)' 'Edit'

To restore the default value (sets double-click to open PowerShell scripts in Notepad):

Set-ItemProperty HKCR:\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell '(Default)' 'Open'

This worked for me on Windows 10 and powershell 5.1:

  • right click on the .ps1 file
  • Open with...
  • Choose another app
  • Copy the location of powershell.exe to the address bar (by default it won't show windows folder) i.e. C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0
  • select powershell.exe
  • select "Always use this app to open .ps1 files"
  • click OK

Simple powershell commands to set this in the registry;

New-PSDrive -Name HKCR -PSProvider Registry -Root HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
Set-ItemProperty -Path "HKCR:\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\open\command" -name '(Default)' -Value '"C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -noLogo -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -file "%1"'

  1. Navigate REGEDIT to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell
  2. On the right pane, double-click "(Default)"
  3. Delete existing value of "Open" (which launches Notepad) and type "0" (being zero, which launches Powershell directly).

Revert the value if you wish to use Notepad as the default again.

put a simple .cmd file in my subfolder with my .ps1 file with the same name, so, for example, a script named "foobar" would have "foobar.ps1" and "foobar.cmd". So to run the .ps1, all I have to do is click the .cmd file from explorer or run the .cmd from a command prompt. I use the same base name because the .cmd file will automatically look for the .ps1 using its own name.

:: Powershell script launcher
    @echo off
    for /f "tokens=*" %%p in ("%~p0") do set SCRIPT_PATH=%%p
    pushd "%SCRIPT_PATH%"

    powershell.exe -sta -c "& {.\%~n0.ps1 %*}"

    set SCRIPT_PATH=

The pushd/popd allows you to launch the .cmd file from a command prompt without having to change to the specific directory where the scripts are located. It will change to the script directory then when complete go back to the original directory.

You can also take the pause off if you want the command window to disappear when the script finishes.

If my .ps1 script has parameters, I prompt for them with GUI prompts using .NET Forms, but also make the scripts flexible enough to accept parameters if I want to pass them instead. This way I can just double-click it from Explorer and not have to know the details of the parameters since it will ask me for what I need, with list boxes or other forms.

If you are familiar with advanced Windows administration, then you can use this ADM package (instructions are included on that page) and allow running PS scripts after double click via this template and Local GPO. After this you can simply change default program associated to .ps1 filetype to powershell.exe (use search, it's quite stashed) and you're ready to run PS scripts with double click.

Otherwise I would recommend to stick with other suggestions as you can mess up whole system with these administrations tools.

I think that the default settings are too strict. If someone manages to put some malcious code on your computer then he is also able to bypass this restriction (wrap it into .cmd file or .exe, or trick with shortcut) and all that it in the end accomplishes is just to prevent you from easy way of running the script you've written.

This is what I use to have scrips run as admin by default:

Powershell.exe -Command "& {Start-Process PowerShell.exe -Verb RunAs -ArgumentList '-File """%1"""'}"

You'll need to paste that into regedit as the default value for:


Or here's a script that will do it for you:

$hive = [Microsoft.Win32.RegistryKey]::OpenBaseKey('ClassesRoot', 'Default')
$key = $hive.CreateSubKey('Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell\Open\Command')
$key.SetValue($null, 'Powershell.exe -Command "& {Start-Process PowerShell.exe -Verb RunAs -ArgumentList ''-File """%1"""''}"')

You can use the Windows 'SendTo' functionality to make running PS1 scripts easier. Using this method you can right click on a PS1 script and execute. This is doesn't exactly answer the OP question but it is close. Hopefully, this is useful to others. BTW.. this is helpful for a variety of other tasks.

  • Locate / Search for Powershell.exe
  • Right click on Powershell.exe and choose Open File Location
  • Right click on Powershell.exe and choose Create Shortcut. Temporarily save some place like your desktop
  • You might want to open as Admin by default. Select Shortcut > Properties > Advanced > Open As Admin
  • Open the Sendto folder. Start > Run > Shell:Sendto
  • Move the Powershell.exe shortcut to the Sendto folder
  • You should now be able to right click on a PS1 script.
  • Right Click on a PS1 file, Select the SendTo context option > Select the Powershell shortcut
  • Your PS1 script should execute.

This is based on KoZm0kNoT's answer. I modified it to work across drives.

@echo off
pushd "%~d0"
pushd "%~dp0"
powershell.exe -sta -c "& {.\%~n0.ps1 %*}"

The two pushd/popds are necessary in case the user's cwd is on a different drive. Without the outer set, the cwd on the drive with the script will get lost.

I used this (need to run it only once); also make sure you have rights to execute:

from PowerShell with elevated rights:


then from a bat file:


 ftype Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1="C:\WINDOWS\system32\windowspowershell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -noexit ^&'%%1'

 assoc .ps1=Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1

auto exit: remove -noexit 

and voila; double-clicking a *.ps1 will execute it.

You may set the default file association of ps1 files to be powershell.exe which will allow you to execute a powershell script by double clicking on it.

In Windows 10,

  1. Right click on a ps1 file
  2. Click Open with
  3. Click Choose another app
  4. In the popup window, select More apps
  5. Scroll to the bottom and select Look for another app on this PC.
  6. Browse to and select C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe.
  7. List item

That will change the file association and ps1 files will execute by double-clicking them. You may change it back to its default behavior by setting notepad.exe to the default app.



Set the default value for the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Microsoft.PowerShellScript.1\Shell to 0

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