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Update-Help

JuanPablo Jofre|Last Updated: 11/22/2016
|
3 Contributors

SYNOPSIS

Downloads and installs the newest help files on your computer.

SYNTAX

Path (Default)

Update-Help [[-Module] <String[]>] [-FullyQualifiedModule <ModuleSpecification[]>] [[-SourcePath] <String[]>]
 [-Recurse] [[-UICulture] <CultureInfo[]>] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-UseDefaultCredentials] [-Force]
 [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]

LiteralPath

Update-Help [[-Module] <String[]>] [-FullyQualifiedModule <ModuleSpecification[]>] [-LiteralPath <String[]>]
 [-Recurse] [[-UICulture] <CultureInfo[]>] [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-UseDefaultCredentials] [-Force]
 [-WhatIf] [-Confirm] [<CommonParameters>]

DESCRIPTION

The Update-Help cmdlet downloads the newest help files for Windows PowerShell modules and installs them on your computer. You can use the Get-Help cmdlet to view the new help files immediately. You do not have to restart Windows PowerShell to make the change effective. This feature enables you to install help files for modules that do not include them and to update help files on your computer so that they never become obsolete.

Update-Help checks the version of the help files on your computer. If you do not have help files for a module or do not have the newest help files for a module, Update-Help downloads the newest help files from the Internet or a file share and installs them on your computer in the correct module folder.

Without parameters, Update-Help updates the help for modules in the session and for all installed modules, in a PSModulePath location, that support Updatable Help, even if the module is not in the current session. You can also use the Module parameter to update help for a particular module and use the UICulture parameter to download help files in multiple languages and locales.

You can use Update-Help even on computers that are not connected to the Internet. Use the Save-Help cmdlet to download help files from the Internet and save them in a file system location, such as a shared folder or file system directory. Then use the SourcePath parameter of Update-Help to get the updated help files from a file system location and install them on the computer.

You can even automate the running of Update-Help by adding an Update-Help command to your Windows PowerShell profile. By default, Update-Help runs only one time per day on each computer. To override the once-per-day limit, use the Force parameter.

To download or update the help files for modules in the Windows PowerShell installation directory ($pshome\Modules), including the Windows PowerShell Core modules, start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as administrator option. You must be a member of the Administrators group on the computer to update the help files for these modules.

You can also update help files by using the Update Windows PowerShell Help menu item in the Help menu in Windows PowerShell Integrated Scripting Environment (ISE). The Update Windows PowerShell Help item runs an Update-Help command without parameters. To update help for modules in the $PSHome directory, start Windows PowerShell ISE by using the Run as administrator option.

This cmdlet was introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

EXAMPLES

Example 1: Update help for all modules

PS C:\>Update-Help

This command updates help for all installed modules that support Updatable Help in the language specified by the UI culture that is set for Windows.

To run this command, start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as administrator option (Start-Process PowerShell -Verb RunAs).

Example 2: Update help for specified modules

PS C:\>Update-Help -Module ServerManager, Microsoft.PowerShell*

This command updates help only for the ServerManager module and for modules that have names that begin with Microsoft.PowerShell.

Because these modules are in the $pshome\Modules folder, to run this command, start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as administrator option.

Example 3: Update help in different languages

PS C:\>Update-Help -UICulture ja-JP, en-US
Update-Help : Failed to update Help for the module(s) 'ServerManager' with UI culture(s) {ja-JP} : 
The specified culture is not supported: ja-JP. Specify a culture from the following list: {en-US}.

This command updates the Japanese and English help files for all modules.

If a module currently does not provide help files for the specified UI culture, the error message lists the UI cultures that the module supports. In this example, the error message indicates that the ServerManager module currently provides help files only in en-US.

Example 4: Update help automatically

PS C:\>Register-ScheduledJob -Name UpdateHelpJob -Credential Domain01\User01 -ScriptBlock {Update-Help} -Trigger (New-JobTrigger -Daily -At "3 AM")
Id         Name            JobTriggers     Command                                  Enabled
--         ----            -----------     -------                                  -------
1          UpdateHelpJob   1               Update-Help                              True

This command creates a scheduled job that updates help for all modules on the computer every day at 3:00 in the morning.

The command uses the Register-ScheduledJob cmdlet to create a scheduled job that runs an Update-Help command. The command uses the Credential parameter to run Update-Help by using the credentials of a member of the Administrators group on the computer. The value of the Trigger parameter is a New-JobTrigger command that creates a job trigger that starts the job every day at 3:00 AM.

To run the Register-ScheduledJob command, start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as administrator option. When you run the command, Windows PowerShell prompts you for the password of the user specified in the value of the Credential parameter. The credentials are stored with the scheduled job. You are not prompted when the job runs.

You can use the Get-ScheduledJob cmdlet to view the scheduled job, use the Set-ScheduledJob cmdlet to change it, and use the Unregister-ScheduledJob cmdlet to delete it. You can also view and manage the scheduled job in Task Scheduler in the following path: Task Scheduler Library\Microsoft\Windows\PowerShell\ScheduledJobs.

Example 5: Update help on multiple computers from a file share

The first command uses **Save-Help** to download the newest help files for all modules that support Updatable Help. The command saves the downloaded help files in the \\Server01\Share\PSHelp file share.The command uses the *Credential* parameter of the **Save-Help** cmdlet to specify the credentials of a user who has permission to access the remote file share. By default, the command does not run with explicit credentials and attempts to access the file share might fail.
PS C:\>Save-Help -DestinationPath \\Server01\Share\PSHelp -Credential Domain01\Admin01

The second command uses the Invoke-Command cmdlet to run **Update-Help** commands on many computers remotely.The **Invoke-Command** command gets the list of computers from the Servers.txt file. The **Update-Help** command installs the help files from the file share on all of the remote computers. The remote computer must be able to access the file share at the specified path.The **Update-Help** command uses *SourcePath* to get the updated help files from the file share, instead of the Internet, and the *Credential* parameter to run the command by using explicit credentials. By default, the command runs with network token privileges and attempts to access the file share from each remote computer (a "second hop") might fail.
PS C:\>Invoke-Command -ComputerName (Get-Content Servers.txt) -ScriptBlock {Update-Help -SourcePath \\Server01\Share\Help -Credential Domain01\Admin01}

These commands download updated help files for system modules from the Internet and save them in file share. Then the commands install the updated help files from the file share on multiple computers. You can use a strategy such as the one shown here to update the help files on many computers, even those that are behind firewalls or are not connected to the Internet.

All of the commands in this example were run in a Windows PowerShell session that was started by using the Run as administrator option.

Example 6: Get a List of Updated Help Files

PS C:\>Update-Help -Module BestPractices, ServerManager -Verbose

This command updates help for two modules. It uses the Verbose common parameter of Update-Help to get a list of the help files that the command updated.

Without the Verbose parameter, Update-Help does not display the results of the command. The Verbose parameter is especially useful when you want to verify that you have updated help files for a particular module or a particular locale.

Example 7: Find modules that support Updatable Help

PS C:\>Get-Module -ListAvailable | Where HelpInfoUri

This command gets modules that support Updatable Help.

The command uses the HelpInfoUri property of modules to identify modules that support Updatable Help. The value of the HelpInfoUri property contains the address of the Internet location where the module stores its Updatable Help information file.

This command uses the simplified syntax of the Where-Object cmdlet. This syntax is introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0.

Example 8: Inventory updated help files

PS C:\>
#Get-UpdateHelpVersion.ps1
Param
      (
         [parameter(Mandatory=$False)]
         [String[]]
         $Module
      )      
$HelpInfoNamespace = @{helpInfo="http://schemas.microsoft.com/powershell/help/2010/05"}

if ($Module) { $Modules = Get-Module $Module -ListAvailable | where {$_.HelpInfoUri} }
else { $Modules = Get-Module -ListAvailable | where {$_.HelpInfoUri} }

foreach ($mModule in $Modules)
{
    $mDir = $mModule.ModuleBase

    if (Test-Path $mdir\*helpinfo.xml)
    {
        $mName=$mModule.Name
        $mNodes = dir $mdir\*helpinfo.xml -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Select-Xml -Namespace $HelpInfoNamespace -XPath "//helpInfo:UICulture"
        foreach ($mNode in $mNodes)
        {
            $mCulture=$mNode.Node.UICultureName
            $mVer=$mNode.Node.UICultureVersion

            [PSCustomObject]@{"ModuleName"=$mName; "Culture"=$mCulture; "Version"=$mVer}
        }
    }
}
ModuleName                              Culture                                 Version
----------                              -------                                 -------
ActiveDirectory                         en-US                                   3.0.0.0
ADCSAdministration                      en-US                                   3.0.0.0
ADCSDeployment                          en-US                                   3.0.0.0
ADDSDeployment                          en-US                                   3.0.0.0
ADFS                                    en-US                                   3.0.0.0

The Get-UpdateHelpVersion.ps1 script creates an inventory of the Updatable Help files for each module and their version numbers. Copy the script and paste it in a text file.

The script identifies modules that support Updatable Help by using the HelpInfoUri property of modules. For modules that support Updatable Help, the script looks for and parses the help information file (HelpInfo XML) to find the latest version number.

The script uses the PSCustomObject class and a hash table to create a custom output object.

PARAMETERS

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet.

Type: SwitchParameter
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: cf

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: False
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-Credential

Specifies credentials of a user who has permission to access the file system location specified by SourcePath. This parameter is valid only when the SourcePath or LiteralPath parameter is used in the command.

This parameter enables you to run Update-Help commands that have SourcePath on remote computers. By providing explicit credentials, you can run the command on a remote computer and access a file share on a third computer without encountering an access denied error or using CredSSP authentication to delegate credentials.

Type: PSCredential
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-Force

Indicates that this cmdlet does not follow the once-per-day limitation, skips version checking, and downloads files that exceed the 1 GB limit.

Without this parameter, Update-Help runs only once in each 24-hour period, downloads are limited to 1 GB of uncompressed content per module and help files are installed only when they are newer than the files on the computer.

The once-per-day limit protects the servers that host the help files and makes it practical for you to add an Update-Help command to your Windows PowerShell profile without incurring the resource cost of repeated connections or downloads.

To update help for a module in multiple UI cultures without the Force parameter, include all UI cultures in the same command, such as: Update-Help -Module PSScheduledJobs -UICulture en-US, fr-FR, pt-BR

Type: SwitchParameter
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-FullyQualifiedModule

Specifies modules with names that are specified in the form of ModuleSpecification objects. These are described in the Remarks section of Module Specification Constructor (Hashtable)http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/desktop/jj136290(v=vs.85).aspx (http://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/desktop/jj136290(v=vs.85).aspx) in the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN). For example, the FullyQualifiedModule parameter accepts a module name that is specified in the format @{ModuleName = "modulename"; ModuleVersion = "version_number"} or @{ModuleName = "modulename"; ModuleVersion = "version_number"; Guid = "GUID"}. ModuleName and ModuleVersion are required, but Guid is optional.

You cannot specify the FullyQualifiedModule parameter in the same command as a Module parameter.

Type: ModuleSpecification[]
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters: False

-LiteralPath

Specifies the folder for updated help files instead of downloading them from the Internet. Use this parameter or SourcePath if you have used the Save-Help cmdlet to download help files to a directory.

You can also pipe a directory object, such as one from the Get-Item or Get-ChildItem cmdlets, to Update-Help.

Unlike the value of SourcePath, the value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it is typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcard characters. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell Windows PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.

Type: String[]
Parameter Sets: LiteralPath
Aliases: PSPath

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters: False

-Module

Specifies modules for which this cmdlet updates help. Enter one or more module names or name patters in a comma-separated list, or specify a file that lists one module name on each line. Wildcard characters are permitted. You can also pipe modules from the Get-Module cmdlet, to the Update-Help cmdlet.

The modules that you specify must be installed on the computer, but they do not have to be imported into the current session. You can specify any module in the session or any module that is installed in a location listed in the PSModulePath environment variable.

A value of * (all) attempts to update help for all modules that are installed on the computer. This includes modules that do not support Updatable Help. This value might generate errors when the command encounters modules that do not support Updatable Help. Instead, run Update-Help without parameters.

The Module parameter of the Update-Help cmdlet does not accept the full path of a module file or module manifest file. To update help for a module that is not in a PSModulePath location, import the module into the current session before you run the Update-Help command.

Type: String[]
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: Name

Required: False
Position: 0
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters: False

-Recurse

Searches recursively for help files in the specified directory. This parameter is valid only when SourcePath is used in the command.

Type: SwitchParameter
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-SourcePath

Specifies a file system folder from which this cmdlet gets updated help files, instead of downloading them from the Internet. Enter the path of a folder. Do not specify a file name or file name extension. You can also pipe a folder, such as one from the Get-Item or Get-ChildItem cmdlets, to Update-Help.

By default, Update-Help downloads updated help files from the Internet. Use this parameter when you have used the Save-Help cmdlet to download updated help files to a directory.

Administrators can use the Set the default source path for Update-Help Group Policy setting under Computer Configuration to specify a default value for SourcePath. This Group Policy setting prevents users from using Update-Help to download help files from the Internet. For more information, see about_Group_Policy_Settings (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=251696).

Type: String[]
Parameter Sets: Path
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: 1
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-UICulture

Specifies UI culture values for which this cmdlet gets updated help files. Enter one or more language codes, such as es-ES, a variable that contains culture objects, or a command that gets culture objects, such as a Get-Culture or Get-UICulture command. Wildcard characters are not permitted and you cannot submit a partial language code, such as "de".

By default, Update-Help gets help files in the UI culture set for Windows or its fallback culture. If you specify the UICulture parameter, Update-Help looks for help only for the specified UI culture, not in any fallback culture.

Commands that use the UICulture parameter succeed only when the module provides help files for the specified UI culture. If the command fails because the specified UI culture is not supported, the error message includes a list of UI cultures that the module supports.

Type: CultureInfo[]
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: 2
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-UseDefaultCredentials

Indicates that this cmdlet runs the command, including the Internet download, by using the credentials of the current user. By default, the command runs without explicit credentials.

This parameter is effective only when the Web download uses NTLM, negotiate, or Kerberos-based authentication.

Type: SwitchParameter
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: 

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: None
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

-WhatIf

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet is not run.

Type: SwitchParameter
Parameter Sets: (All)
Aliases: wi

Required: False
Position: Named
Default value: False
Accept pipeline input: False
Accept wildcard characters: False

CommonParameters

This cmdlet supports the common parameters: -Debug, -ErrorAction, -ErrorVariable, -InformationAction, -InformationVariable, -OutVariable, -OutBuffer, -PipelineVariable, -Verbose, -WarningAction, and -WarningVariable. For more information, see about_CommonParameters (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=113216).

INPUTS

System.IO.DirectoryInfo

You can pipe a directory path to this cmdlet.

System.Management.Automation.PSModuleInfo

You can pipe a module object from the Get-Module cmdlet to this cmdlet.

OUTPUTS

None

This cmdlet does not generate any output.

NOTES

  • To update help for the Windows PowerShell Core modules, which contain the commands that are installed with Windows PowerShell, or any module in the $pshome\Modules folder, start Windows PowerShell by using the Run as administrator option.

    Only members of the Administrators group on the computer can update help for the for the Windows PowerShell Core modules, the commands that are installed together with Windows PowerShell, and for modules in the $pshome\Modules folder. If you do not have permission to update help files, you might be able to read the help topics online. To open the online version of any cmdlet help topic, type Get-Help \<cmdlet-name\> -Online.

  • Modules are the smallest unit of updatable help. You cannot update help for a particular cmdlet. To find the module that contains a particular cmdlet, use the ModuleName property of the Get-Command cmdlet, for example, (Get-Command \<cmdlet-name\>).ModuleName

  • Because help files are installed in the module directory, the Update-Help cmdlet can install updated help file only for modules that are installed on the computer. However, the Save-Help cmdlet can save help for modules that are not installed on the computer.
  • If Update-Help cannot find updated help files for a module, or cannot find updated help in the specified language, it continues silently without displaying an error message. To see status and progress details, use the Verbose parameter.
  • The Update-Help cmdlet was introduced in Windows PowerShell 3.0. It does not work in earlier versions of Windows PowerShell. On computers that have both Windows PowerShell 2.0 and Windows PowerShell 3.0, use the Update-Help cmdlet in a Windows PowerShell 3.0 session to download and update help files. The help files are available to both Windows PowerShell 2.0 and Windows PowerShell 3.0.
  • The Update-Help and Save-Help cmdlets use the following ports to download help files: Port 80 for HTTP and port 443 for HTTPS.
  • Update-Help supports all modules and the Windows PowerShell Core snap-ins. It does not support any other snap-ins.
  • To update help for a module in a location that is not listed in the PSModulePath environment variable, import the module into the current session and then run an Update-Help command. Run Update-Help without parameters or use the Module parameter to specify the module name. The Module parameter of the Update-Help and Save-Help cmdlets does not accept the full path of a module file or module manifest file.
  • Any module can support Updatable Help. For instructions for supporting Updatable Help in the modules that you author, see Supporting Updatable Help (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=242129) in the MSDN Library.
  • The Update-Help and Save-Help cmdlets are not supported on Windows Preinstallation Environment (Windows PE).

Updatable Help Status Table (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=270007)

Get-Help

Get-Module

Start-Job

Save-Help

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