Run Powershell Script With Parameters

This article discusses how to pass parameters into a PowerShell script from the command line. We will start by discussing the syntax of the needed commands and then work through some examples to apply the knowledge.

The “param” Block

To run a PowerShell script with parameters, we need to define a “param” block containing all parameters we need at the beginning of the script.

The general syntax for the “param” block is as follows:


  • Attribute – specifies the conditions for valid value(s). In most cases, it is used to validate the input parameters (Don’t worry if that is not clear, we will work on examples),
  • Data-Type is the parameter’s data type, e.g., string, bool, or int. If you pass a different type parameter, PowerShell will attempt to convert it into the specified type.
  • Default_Value is a fallback value if a mandatory parameter is not supplied,
  • Parameter_Name is the name of the first parameter.

Let’s discuss two of the attributes that are commonly used.

The Parameter Attribute

The [Parameter()] attribute is an essential attribute when checking the parameters that have been passed. It accepts several arguments, including

  • Mandatory – this argument indicates if a parameter is required or optional. It accepts the values $true or $false (default).
  • Position – specifies the position of the parameter during script execution. If the user passes parameter values without the name, they can assign the position using this argument. By default, PowerShell assigns Position=0 to the first parameter issued, Position=1 for the second parameter value, etc.
  • HelpMessage – specifies the help message a user should be greeted with if they do not pass a mandatory parameter or the validation fails.

Validation Attributes

These attributes are used to specify the valid parameter values. Some attributes in this category include ValidateSet, ValidatePattern, and ValidateScript (we will learn more about this in the examples).

Next, let’s go through examples. However, before we do that, please note the following:

  • All commands in this article were executed on PowerShell 7.3.2. You can check the PowerShell version by running the command “Get-Host” from PowerShell itself.
  • All lines starting with the “#” symbol are comments.


The following examples will build on the concepts we have discussed above. Each example will explain a specific and unique concept.

Example 1: A script with no attributes – a basic example

The following script is saved as “01general.ps1”. The param block defines three parameters with no supporting attributes.

File: 01general.ps1

Then you can run the script using the following commands

In our case, we will navigate into the folder with the script using the cd command and execute the following commands.

In the last example, parameter names are not provided. By default, parameters are positional. That is, PowerShell can infer the parameter being passed based on position. That means “Tomasz” is assigned to the first parameter (-Name), 56 is assigned to the second parameter (-Eng), and PowerShell assumes that -Math was not passed.

Example 2: Mandatory and optional parameters

As explained, a parameter is set as optional or mandatory using the Mandatory argument on the [Parameter()] attribute. Here is an example with $Name and $Math as required parameters and $Eng as optional.

File: make_variables_mandatory.ps1

Note from the code examples below that PowerShell will prompt you to provide mandatory parameters if you do not supply them.

Example 3: Specifying the position of positional parameters

When you issue parameters without names on the command line, PowerShell assumes that the first value belongs to the first parameter, the second value belongs to the second parameter, etc.

You can change that using the Position argument of the [Parameter()] attributes, as shown below.

File: specify_position.ps1

In the execution shown in the Figure below, the first value is assigned to the $Name parameter, the second to $Math, and the last to $Eng.

Example 4: Using default values, supplying help message, and validating parameter values

This example shows how to use default values and validate input parameter values using ValidateSet, ValidateRange, and, ValidateScript.

The following line shows a mandatory parameter with a HelpMessage. PowerShell will prompt the user to input the value alongside the help message if the parameter is not supplied in the command line.

The ValidateSet attribute specifies a set of valid values for the parameter. The following snippet shows a $ExamType parameter that accepts two values only – “cat1” or “cat2”.

ValidateRange specifies a numeric range for a given parameter. For example, ValidateRange(0,100) means the parameter in question must be between 0 and 100.

The ValidateScript attribute specifies a script that is used to validate a parameter. It allows the user to create a custom validation scheme for a specific purpose. For example, [ValidateScript({($_ -is [string]) -and ($_.Length -le 10)})] means that a given parameter must be a string of fewer than ten characters.

Let’s put all that together in a PowerShell script.

File: validate_parameter_values.ps1

Then we can call the script with these commands.


This article discussed how to pass parameters to a PowerShell script. The first section discussed the syntax of the “param” block – the key command to pass the parameters to a script.

The second section covered four examples of how to use param. We discussed how to pass mandatory and optional parameters and validate the parameter values passed by the user.