PowerShell arrays: How they can be created and used

PowerShell arrays: How they can be created and used

Variables can be described as the most basic form of data Any type of programming. . However, single variables may not be sufficient to meet all your needs. This is especially true when you are dealing with complex algorithms.

Arrays are the answer. Whether it’s C or Arrays, the choice is yours Python, Arrays are a feature of every programming language. However, what about Windows PowerShell arrays? But how do PowerShell arrays function? They can be used in a variety of ways. Which syntax is it? Let’s discover.

Powershell arrays:  create and use them

PowerShell Arrays 101

An array can simply be described as a structured set of variables. By collapsing similar variables into one numbered set, you can eliminate the need to keep track of many names.

PowerShell allows you to create variables by adding the $ symbol before a variable name. Take this example:

$prime = 13

Any data type can be used to create variables, such as numbers or strings. For a string to be specified, double- or single-quotes are sufficient.

$name = “Levin”

You can now create a new array by simply assigning multiple values to the variable. Separated with commas, This is how it looks:

$week = “Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday”, “Friday”, “Saturday”, “Sunday”

To avoid confusion, some people prefer to cast an explicit variable into an array. However, this is not necessary. You can do this by placing the values in parentheses, prefaced with @.

$week = @(“Monday”, “Tuesday”, “Wednesday”, “Thursday”, “Friday”, “Saturday”, “Sunday”)

It is useful when you need to place the output from other commands in an array.

How to Create an Array

This is the most commonly used method to create an array. There may be other methods that are more appropriate depending on what situation you’re dealing with. The range operator can be used to create arrays that contain a variety of numbers:

$digits = (0..9)

You will get an array containing all digits starting at zero through nine. If you don’t need to store any values in the future, it is possible to initialize an empty array.

$values = @()

Even though multiple arrays may be combined into one another in nested fashion, this practice can lead to confusion.

$coordinates = @(
    (5, 10, 23),
    (11, 7, 16)

A default array is able to store all types of variable, including numbers and strings. If you wish to restrict what it can store, you may define the type. You can use this example as an exampl:

[int[]] $numbers = 2,3,4,5

In this way, an array can hold only integers. Any other kind of value will result in an error. This is helpful to avoid errors that are common in arrays only working with numerical values. However, entering strings into variables to be used for calculations can cause issues.

Accessing Arrays

We have already seen several methods to create arrays that contain different types of data. How do you access this data?

PowerShell arrays follow the exact same formatting as other programming languages. You can access each array variable by its index number. Take this example:

$var = $numbers[5]

You will then copy the value from the index five $numbers The array $var variable. You should note that array indexes begin counting with 0, so you can access the first item by using zero.

For example, this would be outpu:


It will be Wednesday and not Tuesday.

This same technique can also be used to alter these values. The following commands will convert the second element in the array into zero:

$numbers[1] = 0

An alternative to changing the value of existing entries, you can add additional elements to existing arrays by simply adding them as an arithmetic expression.

$names += “Johny”

This can also be used to combine multiple entries, or complete arrays.

$names += “Charlie, Liam, Teresa”

$names += $surnames

Multiple array elements can also be accessed using the comma separated method. This stores, for instance, the first five elements $days in $weekdays.

$weekdays = $days[0,1,2,3,4]

You can iterate through arrays

While it is possible to manually access specific elements within an array, this can be tedious if you need to do so for the entirety of the array. You can use For loops to make it more efficient.

Loops are able to systematically traverse all elements in an array and process each value following instructions. You can create such a loop by following these steps:

For ($i = 0 ; $i -lt $days.Length ; $i++)


The array.Length function returns its size, which is the total number of elements within it. To iterate through all elements, you can plug this into the test parameter of a For loop.

You can use the Foreach loop or the Foreach object loop to accomplish the same thing with a smaller PowerShell script.

Foreach ($day in $days)


You don’t have to calculate the size of the array. PowerShell will handle the details.

PowerShell Arrays: When should you use them?

A complex script can be plagued by bugs due to incorrectly referenced variable names. Because of the number of variables that are uniquely named, it is difficult to remember what they do.

This issue can be solved by using arrays frequently. You can assign all variables that are related to one another to one array, and access them through their index numbers.

Microsoft PowerShell’s Automation is the prime application, and arrays play an important role. PowerShell cmdlets returns objects which can then be stored in arrays. This simplifies the administration of your system by allowing sequential tasks to be completed automatically.

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