7 best powershell books in 2021 with faded black background

7 Best PowerShell Books in 2021 [Learn PowerShell ASAP]

Did you know that PowerShell has made the TIOBE’S index for top 50 languages? It’s 46th, but it beats out RPG, Bash, Haskell and Elixir.

What is PowerShell?

PowerShell is a task automation which contains a command line shell, scripting language and configuration management framework. It can automate almost any Windows task but can also run on Linux and macOS.

So, what’s the best way to learn PowerShell?

We think books are the best way to learn PowerShell.

And today we’re looking at the best PowerShell books in 2021.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: The Best PowerShell Books in 2021

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy

💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, 3rd Edition

💸 Best Value 💸
PowerShell Cookbook

Best PowerShell Books

1. PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy

🚨 Ideal for: IT professional, systems administrators
💥 Major topics: control flow, handle errors, write scripts

PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy (No Starch Press) by Adam Bertram is one of those PowerShell books geared towards IT professionals and system administrators.

It will show you how to control and automate almost every aspect of IT using PowerShell. This includes your desktop and server environments.

You’ll learn how to:

  • combine commands
  • control flow
  • handle errors
  • write scripts

And beyond.

Then you’ll explore parsing structured data like XML and JSON. In addition, you’ll work with common domains like Amazon Web Services and Azure.

After that, you’ll use PowerShell to create an automated Windows deployment. You’ll also build an Active Directory and create Web and SQL servers.

Useful book. You get more information than you can get from a Udemy course.

Me, Customer

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

We love No Starch Press books. We’ll always tell you this and we’ll always mean it.

And as far as PowerShell books for sysadmins goes, we think PowerShell for Sysadmins is a cut above the rest.

With its no-nonsense approach, you’ll learn almost everything you need to know about PowerShell in a way that makes sense.



2. PowerShell Cookbook

🚨 Ideal for: beginner & intermediate users
💥 Major topics:
command model, object-based pipeline, scripting

PowerShell Cookbook by Lee Holmes is one of the best PowerShell books for learning 400 task-oriented recipes for solving problems. 🥩

And for intermediate users, there are over 100 scripts to copy and paste.

You’ll learn things like how to:

  • navigate the filesystem
  • manage files and folders
  • retrieve a web page

And more in Windows 10.

First you’ll master the fundamentals like the interactive shell and pipelines.

Then you’ll explore PowerShell’s main features such as:

  • the command model
  • object-based pipeline
  • scripting

And beyond.

You’ll also touch upon technologies and format specifiers used alongside PowerShell.

PowerShell Cookbook covers PowerShell 5 and Open Source PowerShell 7.


3. Windows PowerShell in Action, 3rd Edition

🚨 Ideal for: intermediate developers and systems administrators
💥 Major topics:
performance, model architecture, parallel execution

Windows PowerShell in Action by Bruce Payette and Richard Siddaway is on its 3rd edition and covers PowerShell 6. It starts with the fundamentals and moves on to more complex concepts such as performance, model architecture and parallel execution.

You’ll also learn about PowerShell workflows and classes. Then you’ll work on writing models and scripts.

After that, Windows PowerShell in Action examines Desired State Configuration. This allows a PowerShell script to specify the machine configuration using a declarative model.

Finally, you’ll discover programming APIs and pipelines in PowerShell.

Windows PowerShell in Action is directed towards intermediate developers and administrators.


4. Mastering Windows PowerShell Scripting, 3rd Edition

🚨 Ideal for: PowerShell newbies, systems administrators
💥 Major topics:
working with parameters and objects, managing large amounts of data

Mastering Windows PowerShell Scripting by Chris Dent is one of the best PowerShell books for automating and managing your environment using PowerShell Core 6.0.

You’ll start with the fundamentals like:

  • installing PowerShell Core 6.0 on Linux
  • working with parameters and objects
  • working with .Net classes

And beyond.

Then you’ll move onto more complex concepts as you progress. This includes learning how to manage large amounts of data and interacting with other services.

After that, you’ll explore its automation feature. Here you’ll observe different parsing methods and manipulate Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI).

Finally, you’ll learn how to extend PowerShell Core 6.0 using advanced scripts. You’ll also work on error handling techniques to debug issues.

Mastering Windows PowerShell Scripting is for system administrators and those new to PowerShell.


5. Windows PowerShell Step by Step, 3rd Edition

🚨 Ideal for: IT professionals, consultants
💥 Major topics:
administer servers and desktops, automate AD DS

Windows PowerShell Step by Step by Ed Wilson is an official Microsoft release. It’s your intermediate hands-on guide to the fundamentals of PowerShell 5 scripting.

You’ll learn things like how to:

In addition, you’ll learn how to create maintainable functions. You’ll also use profiles to build standardized environments.

Then you’ll discover how to debug scripts, handle errors, and run commands that survive interruptions.

By the end of this book, you’ll master techniques for automating Windows, management and deployment in PowerShell.

Windows PowerShell Step by Step is one of the best PowerShell books if you’re an IT professional, consultant or user pursuing PowerShell certification.

Above: Finding and running commands in the book Windows PowerShell Step by Step

6. Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, 3rd Edition

🚨 Ideal for: programming/scripting newbies, IT professionals
💥 Major topics:
the pipeline, formatting, security

Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches by Don Jones and Jeffrey Hicks is one of the most popular PowerShell books available.

It’s a little older, covering PowerShell v3 up to v5 concepts. But you can still gain plenty of relevant PowerShell insights.

So while we don’t think it should be the only PowerShell book you read, we think it should definitely be one of them.

This third edition of Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches is a tutorial-style introduction to PowerShell Scripting. It’s designed for IT professionals, though the casual user can also benefit.

There are 28 chapters, or lessons, covering concepts like:

  • running commands
  • the pipeline
  • formatting
  • security
  • scripting

And much, much more.

Each lesson takes less than an hour to complete.

You don’t need any prior programming or scripting experience.


7. PowerShell Pocket Reference, 3rd Edition

🚨 Ideal for: experienced PowerShell users
💥 Major topics:
write scripts, manage errors, format output, .NET classes

PowerShell Pocket Reference by Microsoft team leader Lee Holmes is one of the more handy PowerShell books out there.

Holmes takes the most important parts of his other book PowerShell Cookbook and presents them here.

In this third edition, you’ll learn about .NET classes. You’ll also examine legacy management tools that you’ll need to manage your system.

Then you’ll learn how to:

  • write scripts
  • manage errors
  • format output

And beyond.

PowerShell Pocket Reference is useful for both client and server versions of Windows as well as other systems.


PowerShell Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best PowerShell books for this year, and three came out on top:

Best Overall
PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy

Best for Newbies
Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches, 3rd Edition

Best Value
PowerShell Cookbook

So whether you’re on a budget, are new to PowerShell, or want the best money can buy, we think there are PowerShell books for almost everyone.


Up Next:


  1. What are the best PowerShell books?

    We think there are three PowerShell books that are a cut above the rest. Overall, we think PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy is the best. For newbies, we liked Learn Windows PowerShell in a Month of Lunches. And for value, we think PowerShell Cookbook takes the win.

  2. Is PowerShell for Sysadmins worth it?

    PowerShell for Sysadmins: Workflow Automation Made Easy (No Starch Press) by Adam Bertram is one of those PowerShell books geared towards IT professionals and system administrators. It will show you how to control and automate almost every aspect of IT using PowerShell. This includes your desktop and server environments. You'll learn how to combine commands, control flow, handle errors, write scripts and beyond. Then you'll explore parsing structured data like XML and JSON. In addition, you'll work with common domains like Amazon Web Services and Azure. After that, you'll use PowerShell to create an automated Windows deployment. You'll also build an Active Directory and create Web and SQL servers.

  3. Is PowerShell Cookbook worth it?

    PowerShell Cookbook by Lee Holmes is one of the best PowerShell books for learning 400 task-oriented recipes for solving problems.
    And for intermediate users, there are over 100 scripts to copy and paste. You'll learn things like how to navigate the filesystem, manage files and folders, retrieve a web page and more in Windows 10. First you'll master the fundamentals like the interactive shell and pipelines. Then you'll explore PowerShell's main features such as the command model, object-based pipeline, scripting, and beyond.
    You'll also touch upon technologies and format specifiers used alongside PowerShell. PowerShell Cookbook covers PowerShell 5 and Open Source PowerShell 7.