Default to PowerShell in Windows 2012 Core

What year is this,1981?  Like Windows Server 2008 Core, Windows Server 2012 Core still defaults to the Command  Prompt.  MS-DOS commands might be fine for those E.T. watching, Michael Jackson listening, and Rubik’s Cube playing IT Admins of the 80’s, but not for me.  I want that NEW, HOT, off the showroom floor PoweShell action as my default.  Luckily it’s not that hard to replace the default Command Prompt with a PowerShell Prompt.

Configure PowerShell with GUI:

Step 1 – On the Command Prompt type “RegEdit”.


Step 2 – Navigate to  “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon


Step 3 – Edit the Shell registry key replacing Explorer.exe with PowerShell.exe.


Step 4 – Log off the server and then log back on.  You are now greeted with PowerShell.


Configure Default with PowerShell:

Now let’s change the default from the Command Line to PowerShell with PowerShell.  This is great for if you want to script the change for new builds.

Step 1. From the Command Prompt type PowerShell.exe.


Step 2. – Type the following into PowerShell:

Set-ItemProperty -Path 'HKLM:SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon' -Name Shell -Value PowerShell.exe


Step 3. – Just like before log off the server and then log back on.

You should now be able to access your Window 2012 Server Core with PowerShell by default.

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