Can’t Run Powershell Script Not Digitally Signed

Shell Programming

As a tech enthusiast and PowerShell aficionado, I’ve encountered my fair share of challenges when running PowerShell scripts. One particular hurdle I faced was when I couldn’t run a PowerShell script because it wasn’t digitally signed. In this article, I’ll delve into the reasons behind this restriction and provide insights on how to overcome this obstacle in your PowerShell scripting endeavors.

Understanding PowerShell Script Signatures

Digital signatures add an extra layer of security to PowerShell scripts, ensuring that the script hasn’t been tampered with since it was signed by the original author. When a script is digitally signed, it means that a trusted certificate authority has verified the script’s integrity and authenticity. By default, PowerShell has a security policy in place to only allow the execution of digitally signed scripts. This policy helps protect your system from running potentially malicious or unauthorized scripts.

The “Execution Policy” and Its Impact

The PowerShell “Execution Policy” is a security feature that determines which scripts can be run on a system. There are several execution policy options available, ranging from “Restricted” (where no scripts are allowed to run) to “Unrestricted” (where all scripts can run without any restrictions). By default, the execution policy is set to “Restricted,” which means that only interactive commands can be executed in PowerShell.

When you encounter the “Can’t run PowerShell script not digitally signed” error, it means that your current execution policy doesn’t allow the execution of unsigned scripts. While it’s important to have this security measure in place, there are a few different approaches to work around it.

Temporary Workaround: Bypassing the Execution Policy

If you trust the script’s source and just need to run it temporarily, you can bypass the execution policy for the current session by using the “-ExecutionPolicy” parameter when running your script. For example:


powershell -ExecutionPolicy Bypass -File "C:\Path\to\your\script.ps1"

This command temporarily bypasses the execution policy and allows you to run the script without it being digitally signed. However, keep in mind that this workaround should be used cautiously and only when you trust the script’s source, as it temporarily reduces the security of your system.

Permanent Solution: Changing the Execution Policy

If you frequently encounter the “Can’t run PowerShell script not digitally signed” error and trust the scripts you’re running, you can permanently change the execution policy to allow the execution of unsigned scripts. However, I would strongly recommend exercising caution and only using this solution on trusted systems.

To change the execution policy permanently, open an elevated PowerShell window (run as administrator) and use the following command:


Set-ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted

This command sets the execution policy to “Unrestricted,” allowing the execution of all scripts without them being digitally signed. Although this solution may be convenient, it does come with some security risks. It’s important to consider the potential consequences before making this change on a production or sensitive system.

Conclusion

The “Can’t run PowerShell script not digitally signed” error can be quite frustrating when you’re trying to run a script that you trust. However, understanding the reasons behind this limitation and the available workarounds can help you navigate this obstacle. Whether you choose to temporarily bypass the execution policy or permanently change it, it’s crucial to exercise caution and consider the security implications of your actions. Happy scripting!