Can Powershell 5.1 And 6.0 Side By Side

Shell Programming

Yes, PowerShell 5.1 and 6.0 can coexist on the same machine and this has been a game-changer for me as a developer. As a professional who heavily relies on PowerShell for automation and scripting tasks, I often find myself needing access to both versions for compatibility reasons.

PowerShell 5.1 and 6.0

PowerShell 5.1 is the version that ships with Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016. It is also available for older versions of Windows as a separate download. On the other hand, PowerShell 6.0 is a cross-platform version (PowerShell Core) that runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux.

One of the main reasons I find it essential to have both versions side by side is compatibility. While the majority of my existing scripts were written for PowerShell 5.1, I often need to create cross-platform scripts for systems running PowerShell 6.0. Having both versions installed allows me to test and execute scripts on either platform without the need for constant reconfiguration.

Coexistence and Usage

Installing PowerShell 6.0 alongside 5.1 is a straightforward process. I typically install PowerShell 6.0 using the appropriate package for my operating system from the official GitHub repository. Once installed, I can easily switch between the two versions using specific commands or by launching the respective PowerShell executable.

I have found that having PowerShell 6.0 alongside 5.1 has greatly expanded my capabilities. It enables me to tap into the latest features of PowerShell Core without sacrificing the compatibility of my existing scripts. Additionally, it has allowed me to work seamlessly across different operating systems, making my scripts more versatile and useful in various environments.

Challenges and Benefits

While having both versions offers numerous benefits, it does come with its own set of challenges. I have had to ensure that the correct version is being used for a specific task, especially when the default version is not the one I need. Managing environment variables and executing the correct version of PowerShell for specific tasks has been a learning curve, but the benefits far outweigh these challenges.

Being able to harness the power of PowerShell Core’s cross-platform capabilities while maintaining compatibility with existing Windows-based systems has been a significant advantage in my workflow. I have been able to streamline automation tasks, manage infrastructure across different platforms, and develop more robust and adaptable scripts, all thanks to the coexistence of PowerShell 5.1 and 6.0.


In conclusion, the ability to have PowerShell 5.1 and 6.0 side by side has been immensely beneficial for me. It has allowed me to bridge the gap between Windows and cross-platform environments, making my scripting and automation tasks more efficient and versatile. The coexistence of these two versions has become an indispensable part of my development workflow, and I highly recommend exploring this setup for anyone working with PowerShell across diverse systems.