PowerShell Productivity tip: Working with History

One thing I’ve always done while hacking along in the terminal is working with my command-line history. There’s quite a few ways to do so currently, so I thought i’d share some of my favorite ones.

Different ways of viewing your history

  • To view your current sessions history, PowerShell creates an alias for the cmdlet Get-History -> h. Simple as that.
  • To view your over-all history in your current environment, PSReadLine is your friend:
cat (Get-PSReadLineOption).HistorySavePath

Viewing the txt-file of PSReadLines history can be a lifesaver if you work with colleagues that tend to never document their solutions. You could modify the HistorySavePath property of your own output, to view someone else’s history on a shared server/computer.

cat (Get-PSReadLineOption).historysavepath.Replace("$env:USERNAME","Your-Colleague-That-Did-Not-Docx-It")

History Tend To Repeat Itself

As we all know, we humans always have a need to re-run history. Without being political about it, here’s some examples on how you could do this in PowerShell

r 25

It’s that simple. In your current session, each command you enter will be available in your Get-History (h). Each history entry has an ID. The cmdlet behind the alias r (Invoke-History) will execute your history based on the ID you provide. In the example above, I’m executing my 25’th command inputed in my terminal.

But there’s more!

PS C:\Users\Emil\git> #25<tab>
PS C:\Users\Emil\git> Write-Host "Tomorrow is monday!!!" -ForegroundColor (Get-Random "Green","Yellow","Blue")

The following is PowerShell Black-Magic, and is’s really useful. It saves you the trouble of copy-pasting your history.

Simply view your history, memorize the ID, hit ‘#’ and the ID, followed by a ’tab’ and you have it printed ready to be executed in your terminal.


If you’ve read this far and desire more reading, run the following one-liner

gcm *-history | % { help $_.name -s }

To be clear:

Get-Command *-history | ForEach-Object { Get-Help $_.Name -ShowWindow }
Get-Help about_history

Hopefully this was a decent history-lesson for someone!

Happy coding