PowerShell for Windows Admins

May 22 2018   1:01PM GMT

PowerShell parameter sets

Richard Siddaway Richard Siddaway Profile: Richard Siddaway


PowerShell parameter sets allow you to control which parameters can be used together. If a parameter isn’t in the parameter set you’re trying to use you’ll get an error message.

PS> Get-VM -Name XYZ -id (New-Guid)
Get-VM : Parameter set cannot be resolved using the specified named parameters.
At line:1 char:1
+ Get-VM -Name XYZ -id (New-Guid)
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidArgument: (:) [Get-VM], ParameterBindingException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : AmbiguousParameterSet,Microsoft.HyperV.PowerShell.Commands.GetVM

You can also use parameter sets to help control the processing within your function as this example shows:

function Convert-Temperature {
param (



$temps = New-Object -TypeName psobject -Property @{
'Temperature-Celsius' = 0.0
'Temperature-Fahrenheit' = 0.0
'Temperature-Kelvin' = 0.0

switch ($psCmdlet.ParameterSetName) {
"Celsius" {
$temps.'Temperature-Celsius' = $degreeC
$temps.'Temperature-Fahrenheit' = [math]::Round((32 + ($degreeC * 1.8)), 2)
$temps.'Temperature-Kelvin' = $degreeC + 273.15

"Fahrenheit" {
$temps.'Temperature-Celsius' = [math]::Round((($degreeF - 32) / 1.8), 2)
$temps.'Temperature-Fahrenheit' = $degreeF
$temps.'Temperature-Kelvin' = $temps.'Temperature-Celsius' + 273.15

"Kelvin" {
$temps.'Temperature-Celsius' = $degreeK - 273.15
$temps.'Temperature-Fahrenheit' = [math]::Round((32 + ($temps.'Temperature-Celsius' * 1.8)), 2)
$temps.'Temperature-Kelvin' = $degreeK

default {Write-Error -Message "Error!!! Should not be here" }



Each of the input parameters is in its own parameter set meaning that they are mutually exclusive – you can only use one of them!

The switch statement uses the active parameter set name to decide how to perform the relevant conversions – the output object contains the temperature in Celsius, Fahrenheit and Kelvin

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