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PowerShell Will Not Scroll Vertically – Here’s the Fix

PowerShell has been a part of Windows 10 for quite some time now. It’s a default feature on the OS which means that everyone has the tool installed out of the box. It’s not as popular as Command Prompt but this command-line shell has its own unique features that set it apart from Command Prompt.

On Windows 10, there are many actions that can only be executed from PowerShell such as removing stock apps from the OS, reregistering and resetting UWP app and the Windows Store, running scripts written specifically for it, etc.

At its core, PowerShell is still a command-line tool but it makes use of commandlets and allows users to add modules that can expand on what it can do.

PowerShell will not scroll

Like any Terminal, PowerShell can scroll in both directions i.e., you can view a history of the commands you’ve executed in the current session, and you can scroll to the end, and beyond, of the last command that you executed. 

If you’re unable to scroll a PowerShell window, try the following.

1. PowerShell buffer size

The default PowerShell buffer size allows users to scroll a few lines forward or back however, if your window isn’t scrolling at all or the scroll doesn’t go as far back as you want it to, change the PowerShell buffer size.

  1. Open a PowerShell window.
  2. Right-click the title bar and select Properties from the context menu.
  3. Go to the Layout tab.
  4. In the ‘Screen Buffer Size’ section, set the Height to 3000.
  5. Click OK.

Note: to apply this setting for the PowerShell admin user, open PowerShell with admin rights and then follow the steps above.

2. Increase PowerShell history size

PowerShell can store a history of commands that have been run, and their output for the current session however, the history itself has limits. Increase the size of the history to the maximum and you’ll be able to scroll farther back.

The minimum value that can be set for the history is 1 and the maximum value is 32767. The default value is 4096.

  1. Open PowerShell.
  2. Run the following command to change the history size for PowerShell.
$MaximumHistoryCount = 10000

Note: Replace 10000 with the size you want to set for the history.

3. Log PowerShell command history

PowerShell only saves history for the current session. If you’re unable to scroll the PowerShell window, you can save the history to a log file and view it in a text editor like Notepad or Notepad++.

In order to log the history, you must run the following command at the start of the PowerShell session. All commands that you run, and their output, will be written continuously to this file.

Start-Transcript -Path “[Save-Location]PowershellSession.log

4. Use the More command

If you need to go through the output of a command, you can use the More command and go over it one line at a time.

Run the command using the following syntax

[command] | more

The output will be displayed in the visible part of the window with a ‘more’ break at the end. Tap the Enter key to go to the next line.

Conclusion

PowerShell normally doesn’t require any output to scroll forward; if you have a PowerShell window open and you haven’t executed any commands, you will still be able to scroll down. Scrolling back up is only disabled or blocked if the tool’s history feature isn’t enabled correctly or the buffer has been set to a small value.

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