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Bypass and set PowerShell script execution policies

Bypass and set PowerShell script execution policies

David Y.

The ProblemJump To Solution

When I attempt to run a PowerShell script (for example, MyScript.ps1), I get the error:

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MyScript.ps1 cannot be loaded because the execution of scripts is disabled on this system.

How do I enable script execution?

The Solution

To run PowerShell scripts, it may be necessary to change the PowerShell execution policy. The execution policy on most modern Windows systems is set to Restricted by default, preventing the execution of any PowerShell scripts. This is a security measure as PowerShell scripts can have powerful and dangerous functionality.

To see the current execution policy, run the following PowerShell cmdlet:

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Get-ExecutionPolicy

To temporarily bypass the execution policy and run scripts in a single PowerShell session, we can specify the flag -ExecutionPolicy Bypass when starting PowerShell from Windows CMD or the Run dialog.

For example, the command below will run MyScript.ps1 without modifying the execution policy:

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powershell -noexit -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File MyScript.ps1

To enable script execution permanently, we can use PowerShell’s Set-ExecutionPolicy cmdlet.

Run PowerShell as Administrator and execute the following command:

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Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned

This will allow execution of any locally written PowerShell scripts, but will also require that PowerShell scripts downloaded from the internet are digitally signed by a trusted publisher. This is the default setting for Windows Servers.

If this policy is still too restrictive, we can remove all restrictions with this command:

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Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

This will allow any script to be executed. You will still be prompted for permission when executing a script from the internet.

A full list of execution policy options is available here.

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