How to Use PowerShell’s History Feature

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PowerShell’s history feature is what allows you to easily search through previous commands and run them again. This makes your work with PowerShell seamless, but also allows for a lot of flexibility that can be used in various situations. Expert how-tos show you how to use the history command like a pro!

The “powershell history file location” is a feature that allows users to view the commands they have run in the past. This can be done by typing “history” at the command prompt, and then pressing enter.

How to Use PowerShell's History Feature

Have you forgotten a command or wished you had stored history while on the command line? PowerShell history may help!

Learn how to perform previous commands, import and export files, and clear history in this lesson. You won’t have to depend on the up and down arrow keys to recover history by the conclusion of this article!

Prerequisites

Make sure you have Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 or PowerShell 7.x on any supported platform to follow along with this lesson.

Command History Retrieval

If you’ve ever misplaced a command, you may wish to preserve it so you can locate it later. If this is the case, PowerShell will save you time by storing your history for easy retrieval. The Get-History cmdlet in PowerShell allows you to see your stored history.

Because the history is reset with each terminal session, you must first create some before retrieving it. To do so, just copy and execute the code below; any code will suffice. Before Get-History can return anything, commands must exist!

Get-Service ‘BITS’ -ServiceName Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript (

Have you forgotten a command or wished you had stored history while on the command line? PowerShell history may help!

Learn how to perform previous commands, import and export files, and clear history in this lesson. You won’t have to depend on the up and down arrow keys to recover history by the conclusion of this article!

Prerequisites

Make sure you have Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 or PowerShell 7.x on any supported platform to follow along with this lesson.

Command History Retrieval

If you’ve ever misplaced a command, you may wish to preserve it so you can locate it later. If this is the case, PowerShell will save you time by storing your history for easy retrieval. The Get-History cmdlet in PowerShell allows you to see your stored history.

Because the history is reset with each terminal session, you must first create some before retrieving it. To do so, just copy and execute the code below; any code will suffice. Before Get-History can return anything, commands must exist!

Get-Service -ServiceName ‘BITS’ Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript {($_.Status -eq ‘Running’) -and ($_.StartType -eq ‘Manual’)}

You now have history to work with after running the instructions listed below.

The history of PowerShell commands is being built.The history of PowerShell commands is being built.

Be wary of sensitive instructions that may include information that should not be exposed to inquisitive eyes. If you don’t utilize secure strings in your code, for example, confidential data like a password or API secret will be displayed in plain text in the history file!

To clean up the screen and display the history features, use the Clear-Host command.

Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.

When you clear the screen, it doesn’t imply that all of your history is gone. To rapidly see the console hosts’ command history, use the up or down arrows to discover the commands that were previously cleared.

To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.

When looking for a single command you executed earlier, the up and down arrows come in handy. But what if you want to re-run many commands? In such instance, execute Get-History to examine your whole session history, as seen below, which displays a list of previously ran commands.

Get-History delivers not only the commands that were ran, but also a command ID and the time it took to execute that command, as seen below. Later on, the command ID will be useful.

The Get-History command's output is shown.The Get-History command’s output is shown.

The MaximumHistoryCount variable stores the maximum number of default history entries, which is 4096. With the command Set-Variable MaximumHistoryCount 32767, you may increase this number to allow up to 32767 items.

The Get-History cmdlet does not retrieve all object attributes by default. Pipe the history output to the Select-Object cmdlet to get all object attributes. The StartExecutionTime and EndExecutionTime attributes are returned by piping the output to the Select-Object cmdlet, and they are used to calculate the Duration.

Select-Object -Property * | Get-History

Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.

Executing Commands That Have Been Run Before

What good is it now that you can recover prior commands? The majority of the time, PowerShell users must run such commands. Fortunately, you won’t have to copy/paste anything. It might be difficult to recall a prior command or set of instructions. Use the Invoke-History cmdlet to perform a prior command.

You should have a prior Get-Service command in your history if you’ve been following along. As previously stated, each entry in the history has a unique ID.

Perhaps one of the Get-Service instructions you did earlier has to be re-run. In such scenario, as demonstrated in the illustration below, copy and execute the code below to re-run the second history entry.

Depending on your command history, your ID value may need to be changed.

When the ID option is set to 2, the Invoke-History cmdlet instantly re-runs the command as if it were written straight into the console.

With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.

The ID option accepts a pattern to match against in addition to a number. Running Invoke-History -Id ‘Get-Service’, for example, will return all history entries that begin with that value.

Exporting the history of PowerShell commands

You may wish to save and export your commands after a lengthy work session. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. PowerShell can export almost everything to a text file, including command history. When dealing with command history, the most often used formats are CSV and XML.

As seen below, you may save your PowerShell history for future use. You may save the history items to a file by piping Get-History to the Export-CSV cmdlet. PowerShell saves the file to C:Temp in this example, but you may store the command history wherever.

Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ Get-History | Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’

The history of commands is being exported.The history of commands is being exported.

Get-History | Export-CliXml -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.xml’ to export the history as XML

Delete Commands from History

Your history may grow crowded over time, or you may have ran a program that stored a sensitive value to history. In any case, such entries should be removed from your command history. To do so, use the Clear-History cmdlet to clear the console history.

The Clear-History command clears all console history by default. But what if you don’t want to erase everything? Clear history selectively using a particular entry ID, a defined Count of entries, or merely the most recent set of entries in that instance.

Pass an array of wildcard patterns to the CommandLine argument to delete all matching commands if you don’t want to fill in or find a particular group of items.

*Help*, *Syntax*, Clear-History -CommandLine

A different form of history is stored to disk using the PSReadLine module. Although the Clean-History cmdlet simply clears the current in-memory console history, you may wish to erase any stored disk history entries as well.

Use the PSReadline function to erase all history except the last ran command by running: [Microsoft.PowerShell.PSConsoleReadLine]::ClearHistory ()

Before you can delete the disk history, you must first figure out where it is kept. To do so, copy and execute the following command to find the location of the history file on disk.

= $History (Get-PSReadLineOption). $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $Hi

Finding the location where the history file is saved.Finding the location where the history file is saved.

The default PSReadLine Windows path is: percent userprofile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsPowerShellPSReadLineConsoleHost history.txt, which is kept in the HistorySavePath variable.

Now, in notepad, open the history file in the same way as indicated below. Each stored command is appended to the bottom of the history list.

Notepad History FileNotepad History File

Now that you know where the history file is and what it contains, use the Remove-Item cmdlet to delete it, as shown below.

Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -P

The history file is being deleted.The history file is being deleted.

The history file will be recreated when you execute another command.

Command History Import

If you’ve just started a new console session or stored a long list of commands, you may wish to import them into your current history. Use the Add-History command to add those commands to your current console history.

You’ll need an exported history file to import previous history. You stored a set of commands in a CSV file in the previous step, and you may need to import those commands. Run the code below, modifying your CSV path as needed, to import the previous CSV file and add history items to the current session.

Add-History -InputObject $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Passthru $OldHistory

PowerShell imported the preceding commands into the console history and presented them using the PassThru argument, as seen below.

Some instructions do not return the items that were provided in. The original object is retrieved by using the PassThru option, which is accessible on various cmdlets.

Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.

When it comes to security and PowerShell’s past,

Despite PowerShell’s long history of use, there are several security concerns to be mindful of. When inputting sensitive commands, be in mind that they will be recorded to the plaintext command history file, where they will be scrutinized.

Pretend you’re a member of the ‘Red Team.’ You’d want to do some reconnaissance on a certain user. During a typical day, you could be interested in the commands they execute, the passwords they use, and the API keys they send across the session.

By just reloading the text file in Notepad++, you can see an example of what you may see looking at a target’s history file in real time:

In Notepad, reloading a text fileIn Notepad, reloading a text file

You now have access to the target’s password. You’ll most likely find where that password is used if you go through the remainder of the session history.

Be unconcerned by what you’ve seen. You can make better selections now that you know what you know.

How do you keep your secrets safe? Using the Get-Credential cmdlet to get credentials from disk or through keyboard input. Convert to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet to protect API keys and other information. The secret will not be shown in either cmdlet’s history. PowerShell Secrets Management is another viable option.

Using the Get-Credential Cmdlet in PowerShell and all things credentials

Turning on ScriptBlock and Module logging is a good idea in any situation. PowerShell is a terrible option for an attacker since every execution of code is kept for later retrieval thanks to its logging.

PowerShell Logging: Everything You Need to Know About Recording and Auditing

What Will Happen Next?

You should now have a good understanding of how the PowerShell history commands function. Now you have no excuse if you forget a crucial command or need to store your session’s history!

Use the PSReadline technique to delete all history except the last ran command if you need to.

.Status -eq ‘Running’) -and (

Have you forgotten a command or wished you had stored history while on the command line? PowerShell history may help!

Learn how to perform previous commands, import and export files, and clear history in this lesson. You won’t have to depend on the up and down arrow keys to recover history by the conclusion of this article!

Prerequisites

Make sure you have Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 or PowerShell 7.x on any supported platform to follow along with this lesson.

Command History Retrieval

If you’ve ever misplaced a command, you may wish to preserve it so you can locate it later. If this is the case, PowerShell will save you time by storing your history for easy retrieval. The Get-History cmdlet in PowerShell allows you to see your stored history.

Because the history is reset with each terminal session, you must first create some before retrieving it. To do so, just copy and execute the code below; any code will suffice. Before Get-History can return anything, commands must exist!

Get-Service -ServiceName ‘BITS’ Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript {($_.Status -eq ‘Running’) -and ($_.StartType -eq ‘Manual’)}

You now have history to work with after running the instructions listed below.

The history of PowerShell commands is being built.The history of PowerShell commands is being built.

Be wary of sensitive instructions that may include information that should not be exposed to inquisitive eyes. If you don’t utilize secure strings in your code, for example, confidential data like a password or API secret will be displayed in plain text in the history file!

To clean up the screen and display the history features, use the Clear-Host command.

Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.

When you clear the screen, it doesn’t imply that all of your history is gone. To rapidly see the console hosts’ command history, use the up or down arrows to discover the commands that were previously cleared.

To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.

When looking for a single command you executed earlier, the up and down arrows come in handy. But what if you want to re-run many commands? In such instance, execute Get-History to examine your whole session history, as seen below, which displays a list of previously ran commands.

Get-History delivers not only the commands that were ran, but also a command ID and the time it took to execute that command, as seen below. Later on, the command ID will be useful.

The Get-History command's output is shown.The Get-History command’s output is shown.

The MaximumHistoryCount variable stores the maximum number of default history entries, which is 4096. With the command Set-Variable MaximumHistoryCount 32767, you may increase this number to allow up to 32767 items.

The Get-History cmdlet does not retrieve all object attributes by default. Pipe the history output to the Select-Object cmdlet to get all object attributes. The StartExecutionTime and EndExecutionTime attributes are returned by piping the output to the Select-Object cmdlet, and they are used to calculate the Duration.

Select-Object -Property * | Get-History

Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.

Executing Commands That Have Been Run Before

What good is it now that you can recover prior commands? The majority of the time, PowerShell users must run such commands. Fortunately, you won’t have to copy/paste anything. It might be difficult to recall a prior command or set of instructions. Use the Invoke-History cmdlet to perform a prior command.

You should have a prior Get-Service command in your history if you’ve been following along. As previously stated, each entry in the history has a unique ID.

Perhaps one of the Get-Service instructions you did earlier has to be re-run. In such scenario, as demonstrated in the illustration below, copy and execute the code below to re-run the second history entry.

Depending on your command history, your ID value may need to be changed.

When the ID option is set to 2, the Invoke-History cmdlet instantly re-runs the command as if it were written straight into the console.

With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.

The ID option accepts a pattern to match against in addition to a number. Running Invoke-History -Id ‘Get-Service’, for example, will return all history entries that begin with that value.

Exporting the history of PowerShell commands

You may wish to save and export your commands after a lengthy work session. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. PowerShell can export almost everything to a text file, including command history. When dealing with command history, the most often used formats are CSV and XML.

As seen below, you may save your PowerShell history for future use. You may save the history items to a file by piping Get-History to the Export-CSV cmdlet. PowerShell saves the file to C:Temp in this example, but you may store the command history wherever.

Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ Get-History | Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’

The history of commands is being exported.The history of commands is being exported.

Get-History | Export-CliXml -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.xml’ to export the history as XML

Delete Commands from History

Your history may grow crowded over time, or you may have ran a program that stored a sensitive value to history. In any case, such entries should be removed from your command history. To do so, use the Clear-History cmdlet to clear the console history.

The Clear-History command clears all console history by default. But what if you don’t want to erase everything? Clear history selectively using a particular entry ID, a defined Count of entries, or merely the most recent set of entries in that instance.

Pass an array of wildcard patterns to the CommandLine argument to delete all matching commands if you don’t want to fill in or find a particular group of items.

*Help*, *Syntax*, Clear-History -CommandLine

A different form of history is stored to disk using the PSReadLine module. Although the Clean-History cmdlet simply clears the current in-memory console history, you may wish to erase any stored disk history entries as well.

Use the PSReadline function to erase all history except the last ran command by running: [Microsoft.PowerShell.PSConsoleReadLine]::ClearHistory ()

Before you can delete the disk history, you must first figure out where it is kept. To do so, copy and execute the following command to find the location of the history file on disk.

= $History (Get-PSReadLineOption). $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $Hi

Finding the location where the history file is saved.Finding the location where the history file is saved.

The default PSReadLine Windows path is: percent userprofile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsPowerShellPSReadLineConsoleHost history.txt, which is kept in the HistorySavePath variable.

Now, in notepad, open the history file in the same way as indicated below. Each stored command is appended to the bottom of the history list.

Notepad History FileNotepad History File

Now that you know where the history file is and what it contains, use the Remove-Item cmdlet to delete it, as shown below.

Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -P

The history file is being deleted.The history file is being deleted.

The history file will be recreated when you execute another command.

Command History Import

If you’ve just started a new console session or stored a long list of commands, you may wish to import them into your current history. Use the Add-History command to add those commands to your current console history.

You’ll need an exported history file to import previous history. You stored a set of commands in a CSV file in the previous step, and you may need to import those commands. Run the code below, modifying your CSV path as needed, to import the previous CSV file and add history items to the current session.

Add-History -InputObject $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Passthru $OldHistory

PowerShell imported the preceding commands into the console history and presented them using the PassThru argument, as seen below.

Some instructions do not return the items that were provided in. The original object is retrieved by using the PassThru option, which is accessible on various cmdlets.

Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.

When it comes to security and PowerShell’s past,

Despite PowerShell’s long history of use, there are several security concerns to be mindful of. When inputting sensitive commands, be in mind that they will be recorded to the plaintext command history file, where they will be scrutinized.

Pretend you’re a member of the ‘Red Team.’ You’d want to do some reconnaissance on a certain user. During a typical day, you could be interested in the commands they execute, the passwords they use, and the API keys they send across the session.

By just reloading the text file in Notepad++, you can see an example of what you may see looking at a target’s history file in real time:

In Notepad, reloading a text fileIn Notepad, reloading a text file

You now have access to the target’s password. You’ll most likely find where that password is used if you go through the remainder of the session history.

Be unconcerned by what you’ve seen. You can make better selections now that you know what you know.

How do you keep your secrets safe? Using the Get-Credential cmdlet to get credentials from disk or through keyboard input. Convert to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet to protect API keys and other information. The secret will not be shown in either cmdlet’s history. PowerShell Secrets Management is another viable option.

Using the Get-Credential Cmdlet in PowerShell and all things credentials

Turning on ScriptBlock and Module logging is a good idea in any situation. PowerShell is a terrible option for an attacker since every execution of code is kept for later retrieval thanks to its logging.

PowerShell Logging: Everything You Need to Know About Recording and Auditing

What Will Happen Next?

You should now have a good understanding of how the PowerShell history commands function. Now you have no excuse if you forget a crucial command or need to store your session’s history!

Use the PSReadline technique to delete all history except the last ran command if you need to.

.StartType -eq ‘Manual’) Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript (

Have you forgotten a command or wished you had stored history while on the command line? PowerShell history may help!

Learn how to perform previous commands, import and export files, and clear history in this lesson. You won’t have to depend on the up and down arrow keys to recover history by the conclusion of this article!

Prerequisites

Make sure you have Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 or PowerShell 7.x on any supported platform to follow along with this lesson.

Command History Retrieval

If you’ve ever misplaced a command, you may wish to preserve it so you can locate it later. If this is the case, PowerShell will save you time by storing your history for easy retrieval. The Get-History cmdlet in PowerShell allows you to see your stored history.

Because the history is reset with each terminal session, you must first create some before retrieving it. To do so, just copy and execute the code below; any code will suffice. Before Get-History can return anything, commands must exist!

Get-Service -ServiceName ‘BITS’ Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript {($_.Status -eq ‘Running’) -and ($_.StartType -eq ‘Manual’)}

You now have history to work with after running the instructions listed below.

The history of PowerShell commands is being built.The history of PowerShell commands is being built.

Be wary of sensitive instructions that may include information that should not be exposed to inquisitive eyes. If you don’t utilize secure strings in your code, for example, confidential data like a password or API secret will be displayed in plain text in the history file!

To clean up the screen and display the history features, use the Clear-Host command.

Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.

When you clear the screen, it doesn’t imply that all of your history is gone. To rapidly see the console hosts’ command history, use the up or down arrows to discover the commands that were previously cleared.

To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.

When looking for a single command you executed earlier, the up and down arrows come in handy. But what if you want to re-run many commands? In such instance, execute Get-History to examine your whole session history, as seen below, which displays a list of previously ran commands.

Get-History delivers not only the commands that were ran, but also a command ID and the time it took to execute that command, as seen below. Later on, the command ID will be useful.

The Get-History command's output is shown.The Get-History command’s output is shown.

The MaximumHistoryCount variable stores the maximum number of default history entries, which is 4096. With the command Set-Variable MaximumHistoryCount 32767, you may increase this number to allow up to 32767 items.

The Get-History cmdlet does not retrieve all object attributes by default. Pipe the history output to the Select-Object cmdlet to get all object attributes. The StartExecutionTime and EndExecutionTime attributes are returned by piping the output to the Select-Object cmdlet, and they are used to calculate the Duration.

Select-Object -Property * | Get-History

Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.

Executing Commands That Have Been Run Before

What good is it now that you can recover prior commands? The majority of the time, PowerShell users must run such commands. Fortunately, you won’t have to copy/paste anything. It might be difficult to recall a prior command or set of instructions. Use the Invoke-History cmdlet to perform a prior command.

You should have a prior Get-Service command in your history if you’ve been following along. As previously stated, each entry in the history has a unique ID.

Perhaps one of the Get-Service instructions you did earlier has to be re-run. In such scenario, as demonstrated in the illustration below, copy and execute the code below to re-run the second history entry.

Depending on your command history, your ID value may need to be changed.

When the ID option is set to 2, the Invoke-History cmdlet instantly re-runs the command as if it were written straight into the console.

With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.

The ID option accepts a pattern to match against in addition to a number. Running Invoke-History -Id ‘Get-Service’, for example, will return all history entries that begin with that value.

Exporting the history of PowerShell commands

You may wish to save and export your commands after a lengthy work session. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. PowerShell can export almost everything to a text file, including command history. When dealing with command history, the most often used formats are CSV and XML.

As seen below, you may save your PowerShell history for future use. You may save the history items to a file by piping Get-History to the Export-CSV cmdlet. PowerShell saves the file to C:Temp in this example, but you may store the command history wherever.

Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ Get-History | Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’

The history of commands is being exported.The history of commands is being exported.

Get-History | Export-CliXml -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.xml’ to export the history as XML

Delete Commands from History

Your history may grow crowded over time, or you may have ran a program that stored a sensitive value to history. In any case, such entries should be removed from your command history. To do so, use the Clear-History cmdlet to clear the console history.

The Clear-History command clears all console history by default. But what if you don’t want to erase everything? Clear history selectively using a particular entry ID, a defined Count of entries, or merely the most recent set of entries in that instance.

Pass an array of wildcard patterns to the CommandLine argument to delete all matching commands if you don’t want to fill in or find a particular group of items.

*Help*, *Syntax*, Clear-History -CommandLine

A different form of history is stored to disk using the PSReadLine module. Although the Clean-History cmdlet simply clears the current in-memory console history, you may wish to erase any stored disk history entries as well.

Use the PSReadline function to erase all history except the last ran command by running: [Microsoft.PowerShell.PSConsoleReadLine]::ClearHistory ()

Before you can delete the disk history, you must first figure out where it is kept. To do so, copy and execute the following command to find the location of the history file on disk.

= $History (Get-PSReadLineOption). $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $Hi

Finding the location where the history file is saved.Finding the location where the history file is saved.

The default PSReadLine Windows path is: percent userprofile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsPowerShellPSReadLineConsoleHost history.txt, which is kept in the HistorySavePath variable.

Now, in notepad, open the history file in the same way as indicated below. Each stored command is appended to the bottom of the history list.

Notepad History FileNotepad History File

Now that you know where the history file is and what it contains, use the Remove-Item cmdlet to delete it, as shown below.

Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -P

The history file is being deleted.The history file is being deleted.

The history file will be recreated when you execute another command.

Command History Import

If you’ve just started a new console session or stored a long list of commands, you may wish to import them into your current history. Use the Add-History command to add those commands to your current console history.

You’ll need an exported history file to import previous history. You stored a set of commands in a CSV file in the previous step, and you may need to import those commands. Run the code below, modifying your CSV path as needed, to import the previous CSV file and add history items to the current session.

Add-History -InputObject $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Passthru $OldHistory

PowerShell imported the preceding commands into the console history and presented them using the PassThru argument, as seen below.

Some instructions do not return the items that were provided in. The original object is retrieved by using the PassThru option, which is accessible on various cmdlets.

Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.

When it comes to security and PowerShell’s past,

Despite PowerShell’s long history of use, there are several security concerns to be mindful of. When inputting sensitive commands, be in mind that they will be recorded to the plaintext command history file, where they will be scrutinized.

Pretend you’re a member of the ‘Red Team.’ You’d want to do some reconnaissance on a certain user. During a typical day, you could be interested in the commands they execute, the passwords they use, and the API keys they send across the session.

By just reloading the text file in Notepad++, you can see an example of what you may see looking at a target’s history file in real time:

In Notepad, reloading a text fileIn Notepad, reloading a text file

You now have access to the target’s password. You’ll most likely find where that password is used if you go through the remainder of the session history.

Be unconcerned by what you’ve seen. You can make better selections now that you know what you know.

How do you keep your secrets safe? Using the Get-Credential cmdlet to get credentials from disk or through keyboard input. Convert to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet to protect API keys and other information. The secret will not be shown in either cmdlet’s history. PowerShell Secrets Management is another viable option.

Using the Get-Credential Cmdlet in PowerShell and all things credentials

Turning on ScriptBlock and Module logging is a good idea in any situation. PowerShell is a terrible option for an attacker since every execution of code is kept for later retrieval thanks to its logging.

PowerShell Logging: Everything You Need to Know About Recording and Auditing

What Will Happen Next?

You should now have a good understanding of how the PowerShell history commands function. Now you have no excuse if you forget a crucial command or need to store your session’s history!

Use the PSReadline technique to delete all history except the last ran command if you need to.

.Status -eq ‘Running’) Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript (

Have you forgotten a command or wished you had stored history while on the command line? PowerShell history may help!

Learn how to perform previous commands, import and export files, and clear history in this lesson. You won’t have to depend on the up and down arrow keys to recover history by the conclusion of this article!

Prerequisites

Make sure you have Windows PowerShell on Windows 10 or PowerShell 7.x on any supported platform to follow along with this lesson.

Command History Retrieval

If you’ve ever misplaced a command, you may wish to preserve it so you can locate it later. If this is the case, PowerShell will save you time by storing your history for easy retrieval. The Get-History cmdlet in PowerShell allows you to see your stored history.

Because the history is reset with each terminal session, you must first create some before retrieving it. To do so, just copy and execute the code below; any code will suffice. Before Get-History can return anything, commands must exist!

Get-Service -ServiceName ‘BITS’ Get-Service | Where-Object -Property Name -Like “Microsoft*” Get-Service | Where-Object -FilterScript {($_.Status -eq ‘Running’) -and ($_.StartType -eq ‘Manual’)}

You now have history to work with after running the instructions listed below.

The history of PowerShell commands is being built.The history of PowerShell commands is being built.

Be wary of sensitive instructions that may include information that should not be exposed to inquisitive eyes. If you don’t utilize secure strings in your code, for example, confidential data like a password or API secret will be displayed in plain text in the history file!

To clean up the screen and display the history features, use the Clear-Host command.

Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.

When you clear the screen, it doesn’t imply that all of your history is gone. To rapidly see the console hosts’ command history, use the up or down arrows to discover the commands that were previously cleared.

To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.

When looking for a single command you executed earlier, the up and down arrows come in handy. But what if you want to re-run many commands? In such instance, execute Get-History to examine your whole session history, as seen below, which displays a list of previously ran commands.

Get-History delivers not only the commands that were ran, but also a command ID and the time it took to execute that command, as seen below. Later on, the command ID will be useful.

The Get-History command's output is shown.The Get-History command’s output is shown.

The MaximumHistoryCount variable stores the maximum number of default history entries, which is 4096. With the command Set-Variable MaximumHistoryCount 32767, you may increase this number to allow up to 32767 items.

The Get-History cmdlet does not retrieve all object attributes by default. Pipe the history output to the Select-Object cmdlet to get all object attributes. The StartExecutionTime and EndExecutionTime attributes are returned by piping the output to the Select-Object cmdlet, and they are used to calculate the Duration.

Select-Object -Property * | Get-History

Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.

Executing Commands That Have Been Run Before

What good is it now that you can recover prior commands? The majority of the time, PowerShell users must run such commands. Fortunately, you won’t have to copy/paste anything. It might be difficult to recall a prior command or set of instructions. Use the Invoke-History cmdlet to perform a prior command.

You should have a prior Get-Service command in your history if you’ve been following along. As previously stated, each entry in the history has a unique ID.

Perhaps one of the Get-Service instructions you did earlier has to be re-run. In such scenario, as demonstrated in the illustration below, copy and execute the code below to re-run the second history entry.

Depending on your command history, your ID value may need to be changed.

When the ID option is set to 2, the Invoke-History cmdlet instantly re-runs the command as if it were written straight into the console.

With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.

The ID option accepts a pattern to match against in addition to a number. Running Invoke-History -Id ‘Get-Service’, for example, will return all history entries that begin with that value.

Exporting the history of PowerShell commands

You may wish to save and export your commands after a lengthy work session. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. PowerShell can export almost everything to a text file, including command history. When dealing with command history, the most often used formats are CSV and XML.

As seen below, you may save your PowerShell history for future use. You may save the history items to a file by piping Get-History to the Export-CSV cmdlet. PowerShell saves the file to C:Temp in this example, but you may store the command history wherever.

Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ Get-History | Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’

The history of commands is being exported.The history of commands is being exported.

Get-History | Export-CliXml -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.xml’ to export the history as XML

Delete Commands from History

Your history may grow crowded over time, or you may have ran a program that stored a sensitive value to history. In any case, such entries should be removed from your command history. To do so, use the Clear-History cmdlet to clear the console history.

The Clear-History command clears all console history by default. But what if you don’t want to erase everything? Clear history selectively using a particular entry ID, a defined Count of entries, or merely the most recent set of entries in that instance.

Pass an array of wildcard patterns to the CommandLine argument to delete all matching commands if you don’t want to fill in or find a particular group of items.

*Help*, *Syntax*, Clear-History -CommandLine

A different form of history is stored to disk using the PSReadLine module. Although the Clean-History cmdlet simply clears the current in-memory console history, you may wish to erase any stored disk history entries as well.

Use the PSReadline function to erase all history except the last ran command by running: [Microsoft.PowerShell.PSConsoleReadLine]::ClearHistory ()

Before you can delete the disk history, you must first figure out where it is kept. To do so, copy and execute the following command to find the location of the history file on disk.

= $History (Get-PSReadLineOption). $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $Hi

Finding the location where the history file is saved.Finding the location where the history file is saved.

The default PSReadLine Windows path is: percent userprofile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsPowerShellPSReadLineConsoleHost history.txt, which is kept in the HistorySavePath variable.

Now, in notepad, open the history file in the same way as indicated below. Each stored command is appended to the bottom of the history list.

Notepad History FileNotepad History File

Now that you know where the history file is and what it contains, use the Remove-Item cmdlet to delete it, as shown below.

Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -P

The history file is being deleted.The history file is being deleted.

The history file will be recreated when you execute another command.

Command History Import

If you’ve just started a new console session or stored a long list of commands, you may wish to import them into your current history. Use the Add-History command to add those commands to your current console history.

You’ll need an exported history file to import previous history. You stored a set of commands in a CSV file in the previous step, and you may need to import those commands. Run the code below, modifying your CSV path as needed, to import the previous CSV file and add history items to the current session.

Add-History -InputObject $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Passthru $OldHistory

PowerShell imported the preceding commands into the console history and presented them using the PassThru argument, as seen below.

Some instructions do not return the items that were provided in. The original object is retrieved by using the PassThru option, which is accessible on various cmdlets.

Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.

When it comes to security and PowerShell’s past,

Despite PowerShell’s long history of use, there are several security concerns to be mindful of. When inputting sensitive commands, be in mind that they will be recorded to the plaintext command history file, where they will be scrutinized.

Pretend you’re a member of the ‘Red Team.’ You’d want to do some reconnaissance on a certain user. During a typical day, you could be interested in the commands they execute, the passwords they use, and the API keys they send across the session.

By just reloading the text file in Notepad++, you can see an example of what you may see looking at a target’s history file in real time:

In Notepad, reloading a text fileIn Notepad, reloading a text file

You now have access to the target’s password. You’ll most likely find where that password is used if you go through the remainder of the session history.

Be unconcerned by what you’ve seen. You can make better selections now that you know what you know.

How do you keep your secrets safe? Using the Get-Credential cmdlet to get credentials from disk or through keyboard input. Convert to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet to protect API keys and other information. The secret will not be shown in either cmdlet’s history. PowerShell Secrets Management is another viable option.

Using the Get-Credential Cmdlet in PowerShell and all things credentials

Turning on ScriptBlock and Module logging is a good idea in any situation. PowerShell is a terrible option for an attacker since every execution of code is kept for later retrieval thanks to its logging.

PowerShell Logging: Everything You Need to Know About Recording and Auditing

What Will Happen Next?

You should now have a good understanding of how the PowerShell history commands function. Now you have no excuse if you forget a crucial command or need to store your session’s history!

Use the PSReadline technique to delete all history except the last ran command if you need to.

.Status -eq ‘Running’) Get

You now have history to work with after running the instructions listed below.

The history of PowerShell commands is being built.The history of PowerShell commands is being built.

Be wary of sensitive instructions that may include information that should not be exposed to inquisitive eyes. If you don’t utilize secure strings in your code, for example, confidential data like a password or API secret will be displayed in plain text in the history file!

To clean up the screen and display the history features, use the Clear-Host command.

Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.Clear-Host may be used to clean up the screen.

When you clear the screen, it doesn’t imply that all of your history is gone. To rapidly see the console hosts’ command history, use the up or down arrows to discover the commands that were previously cleared.

To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.To display console hosts command history, use the up and down arrow keys.

When looking for a single command you executed earlier, the up and down arrows come in handy. But what if you want to re-run many commands? In such instance, execute Get-History to examine your whole session history, as seen below, which displays a list of previously ran commands.

Get-History delivers not only the commands that were ran, but also a command ID and the time it took to execute that command, as seen below. Later on, the command ID will be useful.

The Get-History command's output is shown.The Get-History command’s output is shown.

The MaximumHistoryCount variable stores the maximum number of default history entries, which is 4096. With the command Set-Variable MaximumHistoryCount 32767, you may increase this number to allow up to 32767 items.

The Get-History cmdlet does not retrieve all object attributes by default. Pipe the history output to the Select-Object cmdlet to get all object attributes. The StartExecutionTime and EndExecutionTime attributes are returned by piping the output to the Select-Object cmdlet, and they are used to calculate the Duration.

Select-Object -Property * | Get-History

Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.Additional Get-History properties are being viewed.

Executing Commands That Have Been Run Before

What good is it now that you can recover prior commands? The majority of the time, PowerShell users must run such commands. Fortunately, you won’t have to copy/paste anything. It might be difficult to recall a prior command or set of instructions. Use the Invoke-History cmdlet to perform a prior command.

You should have a prior Get-Service command in your history if you’ve been following along. As previously stated, each entry in the history has a unique ID.

Perhaps one of the Get-Service instructions you did earlier has to be re-run. In such scenario, as demonstrated in the illustration below, copy and execute the code below to re-run the second history entry.

Depending on your command history, your ID value may need to be changed.

When the ID option is set to 2, the Invoke-History cmdlet instantly re-runs the command as if it were written straight into the console.

With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.With Invoke-History, you may re-run a previous command.

The ID option accepts a pattern to match against in addition to a number. Running Invoke-History -Id ‘Get-Service’, for example, will return all history entries that begin with that value.

Exporting the history of PowerShell commands

You may wish to save and export your commands after a lengthy work session. If that’s the case, you’re in luck. PowerShell can export almost everything to a text file, including command history. When dealing with command history, the most often used formats are CSV and XML.

As seen below, you may save your PowerShell history for future use. You may save the history items to a file by piping Get-History to the Export-CSV cmdlet. PowerShell saves the file to C:Temp in this example, but you may store the command history wherever.

Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ Get-History | Export-CSV -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’

The history of commands is being exported.The history of commands is being exported.

Get-History | Export-CliXml -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.xml’ to export the history as XML

Delete Commands from History

Your history may grow crowded over time, or you may have ran a program that stored a sensitive value to history. In any case, such entries should be removed from your command history. To do so, use the Clear-History cmdlet to clear the console history.

The Clear-History command clears all console history by default. But what if you don’t want to erase everything? Clear history selectively using a particular entry ID, a defined Count of entries, or merely the most recent set of entries in that instance.

Pass an array of wildcard patterns to the CommandLine argument to delete all matching commands if you don’t want to fill in or find a particular group of items.

*Help*, *Syntax*, Clear-History -CommandLine

A different form of history is stored to disk using the PSReadLine module. Although the Clean-History cmdlet simply clears the current in-memory console history, you may wish to erase any stored disk history entries as well.

Use the PSReadline function to erase all history except the last ran command by running: [Microsoft.PowerShell.PSConsoleReadLine]::ClearHistory ()

Before you can delete the disk history, you must first figure out where it is kept. To do so, copy and execute the following command to find the location of the history file on disk.

= $History (Get-PSReadLineOption). $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $HistorySavePath $Hi

Finding the location where the history file is saved.Finding the location where the history file is saved.

The default PSReadLine Windows path is: percent userprofile percent AppDataRoamingMicrosoftWindowsPowerShellPSReadLineConsoleHost history.txt, which is kept in the HistorySavePath variable.

Now, in notepad, open the history file in the same way as indicated below. Each stored command is appended to the bottom of the history list.

Notepad History FileNotepad History File

Now that you know where the history file is and what it contains, use the Remove-Item cmdlet to delete it, as shown below.

Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -Path $History -Verbose Remove-Item -P

The history file is being deleted.The history file is being deleted.

The history file will be recreated when you execute another command.

Command History Import

If you’ve just started a new console session or stored a long list of commands, you may wish to import them into your current history. Use the Add-History command to add those commands to your current console history.

You’ll need an exported history file to import previous history. You stored a set of commands in a CSV file in the previous step, and you may need to import those commands. Run the code below, modifying your CSV path as needed, to import the previous CSV file and add history items to the current session.

Add-History -InputObject $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Path ‘C:TempCommandHistory.Csv’ $O$OldHistory = Import-Csv -Passthru $OldHistory

PowerShell imported the preceding commands into the console history and presented them using the PassThru argument, as seen below.

Some instructions do not return the items that were provided in. The original object is retrieved by using the PassThru option, which is accessible on various cmdlets.

Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.Exported PowerShell command history is being imported.

When it comes to security and PowerShell’s past,

Despite PowerShell’s long history of use, there are several security concerns to be mindful of. When inputting sensitive commands, be in mind that they will be recorded to the plaintext command history file, where they will be scrutinized.

Pretend you’re a member of the ‘Red Team.’ You’d want to do some reconnaissance on a certain user. During a typical day, you could be interested in the commands they execute, the passwords they use, and the API keys they send across the session.

By just reloading the text file in Notepad++, you can see an example of what you may see looking at a target’s history file in real time:

In Notepad, reloading a text fileIn Notepad, reloading a text file

You now have access to the target’s password. You’ll most likely find where that password is used if you go through the remainder of the session history.

Be unconcerned by what you’ve seen. You can make better selections now that you know what you know.

How do you keep your secrets safe? Using the Get-Credential cmdlet to get credentials from disk or through keyboard input. Convert to a secure string using the ConvertTo-SecureString cmdlet to protect API keys and other information. The secret will not be shown in either cmdlet’s history. PowerShell Secrets Management is another viable option.

Using the Get-Credential Cmdlet in PowerShell and all things credentials

Turning on ScriptBlock and Module logging is a good idea in any situation. PowerShell is a terrible option for an attacker since every execution of code is kept for later retrieval thanks to its logging.

PowerShell Logging: Everything You Need to Know About Recording and Auditing

What Will Happen Next?

You should now have a good understanding of how the PowerShell history commands function. Now you have no excuse if you forget a crucial command or need to store your session’s history!

Use the PSReadline technique to delete all history except the last ran command if you need to.

PowerShell’s history feature allows users to revisit commands that were previously executed. This is useful for debugging and learning from previous actions. Reference: powershell ise history.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enable PowerShell history?

A: In order to enable PowerShell history, you will have to first do the following.
If you are on a user account with administrator privileges then open an elevated command prompt by pressing Win+X and clicking Command Prompt (Admin). If not, open Run from Start Menu Type powershell and press enter. You should now be in an elevated PowerShell window where you can configure your settings as desired. To add commands into the History list type History followed by whats for instance cmdlet or function name that would be something like history length, or any other thing mentioned in step four of this article https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/powershell/scripting/edit-the-command-shell-prompt?view=win10 . After doing so its advised that you restart Powershell because sometimes changes dont take effect right away

Does PowerShell have a history command?

A: PowerShell has a variety of commands that allow you to search, filter and group data. You can use the Get-History cmdlet in order to find any past commands or sessions. This is similar to using Ctrl+P/Ctrl+E on Windows and macOS respectively.

What is the PowerShell command to display the history of commands executed?

A:
PS C:\> Get-History | Sort Command,Time

Related Tags

  • powershell history previous session
  • get-history powershell
  • get-history all sessions
  • export powershell history to text file
  • powershell history clear