How To Fix ‘the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet’ in Windows PowerShell

PowerShell is a command-line utility for use in Windows that allows some powerful apps and scripts to run. While the GUI is easy to use and gets the job done, a quick script can achieve much more in a much shorter time. If you’re running routines over dozens or hundreds of computers, scripts are a genuine lifesaver.

How To Fix ‘the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet’ in Windows PowerShell

A ‘cmdlet’ is a script or process that runs within PowerShell, usually denoted by a word, then a hyphen, then another word—for example, Add-Computer or Start-service. Just like everything in Powershell command lines, getting the syntax exactly right is essential.

One thing that all Microsoft products have in common is the notorious error messages when something goes wrong. Rather than speaking in plain English so everyone can understand, Microsoft programs give you some undecipherable gibberish that you need to use Google to comprehend anything at all. The error message, “the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet,” in PowerShell, is one such message.

How to Solve the Term is Not Recognized in PowerShell

If you know PowerShell already, you easily identify the error that generates the message, “the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet.” If you’re new to PowerShell, it may look like gibberish for a while.

Many things can go wrong with a PowerShell command, but three specific ones are the most common: spelling, path, or module issues. When you see the error, “the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet,” it will likely be one of those three problems. Lets’ break them down.

1. Check for Spelling Errors in PowerShell

If you spell something wrong, PowerShell won’t be able to understand your instructions and execute them. This scenario is usually the hardest to troubleshoot. Even getting a space wrong can throw PowerShell off. When this situation occurs, it is best to highlight the input text to stand out a little more and then go through it letter by letter.

If there is a lot of text or the highlighting option doesn’t work for you, copy the code into Notepad++ or another plain text editor, and then check it from there. Retype the instructions/code if you don’t see any errors and retry it. Don’t use Word or a rich text editor as it messes around with formatting. Use a plain text editor such as Notepad or Notepad++(recommended).

2. Check for the Wrong Path in PowerShell

If you type the path wrong, PowerShell won’t be able to find your script or module. For example, by pointing PowerShell at a particular folder and inputting the wrong drive letter or a share that isn’t accessible, PowerShell won’t be able to do its thing.

This scenario is often the case when trying to execute a cmdlet on a remote computer. If that computer is locked down or does not allow remotely running specific scripts or changes, it will lead to an error. In most situations, you can cmdlets remotely, but some organizations only allow high-level scripts. Anything that alters security, policies, or core settings gets locked down. In this case, you would need to run the script locally.

You can use “resolve-path” or check the path manually to see if your command is the issue.

3. Check for Missing Modules in PowerShell

If the module is missing or damaged, PowerShell won’t be able to execute it. By default, you have to install modules in the exact order to use them. If that module is missing, corrupt, or got moved, it throws up the error, “the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet.”

You can use “get-module” in PowerShell to see if the module is present and correct. It will show you what modules are loaded, and you can add or repair them depending on your needs.

In closing, there is nothing wrong with a newcomer using PowerShell, as long as you’re careful. If you’re using it on a home computer, the worst that could happen is that you need a system restore or rebuild. If you’re working on company computers, you may need to be more careful.

If you are new to using Powershell, don’t be intimidated by it. Create a system restore point before you begin and have a play around. The very worst thing you can do is ruin that Windows installation, but that easily gets remedied for a home user that took precautions first!

6 thoughts on “How To Fix ‘the term is not recognized as the name of a cmdlet’ in Windows PowerShell”

karamveer says:
This blog includes the heading spelling errors that worked for me because i changed the name of my folder and changing it back to previous made everything fine
Franco Vivona says:
hi
I am trying to run the following command on Windows 10 Powershell ( Administrator)
Remove-appxpackage c:\Program files(x86)\Microsoft\edge\application\84.0.522..52\installer
I cannot run the command because I get a message that the term “ Program” is not a recognized cmdlet. I understand that there may be a missing module for the term “ Program”.
How do I go about it?

Thanks
Franco

Frank Vivona says:
hi
I am trying to run the following command on Windows 10 Powershell ( Administrator)
Remove-appxpackage c:\Program files(x86)\Microsoft\edge\application\84.0.522..52\installer
I cannot run the command because I get a message that the term “ Program” is not a recognized cmdlet. I understand that there may be a missing module for the term “ Program”.
How do I go about it?

Thanks
Franco

Mark says:
You don’t seem to cover the most common cause of this error, which is certain commands are only available in certain versions of powershell and windows. EG the get-volume command requires powershell 5.1 and windows 10. It returns the above error if you try this on an earlier version of PS and windows. I upgraded our powershell 2.0 Win 7 machines to PS 5.1 to discover that this wasn’t even enough to enable the command to work.

This becomes a serious problem, when I search up “how do I find what disks are available” to be presented with the get-volume command, then to discover this command doesn’t work on the version of win/ps that I’m using. It then becomes very difficult to find a solution that does work. And this happens quite frequently. Current PS does not have a stable interface, so is very difficult to write a script that I will know will work on all the machines I’m running it on.

aishwarya says:
Hi thank you so much for this information.
I am however looking for a powershell script that could detect cmdlet spelling errors and syntax errors. Do you think this could be done?

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