Use PowerShell to Find Installed Software

In the following example, I use the Get-ItemProperty cmdlet to return values from the Uninstall Registry Key within the HKEY LOCAL MACHINE (HKLM) Registry Provider, selecting specific properties and then formatting output.

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* |  Select-Object DisplayName, DisplayVersion, Publisher, InstallDate |
Format-Table –AutoSize

The Get-ItemProperty cmdlet is a great tool because it’s designed to work with data that is exposed by any provider. To get a better idea of the various providers that are available in your session, simply execute the Get-PSProvider cmdlet.  

And of course, depending on my needs, I could have also used alternative output methods like Out-GridView or Export-Csv. Either way, we’ve now reduced the process to a one-liner that can be used in 64-bit and 32-bit environments:

Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | Select-Object DisplayName, DisplayVersion, Publisher, InstallDate |
Format-Table –AutoSize

Problem #3: Can we make it even more useful?

Absolutely! We are talking Windows PowerShell after all…

One way that comes to mind (and again, visible within the comments from the previous post), is addressing the issue of how to query multiple remote devices. My solution (or a number of reasons) is to rely on using the Invoke-Commandcmdlet. In the following example, I query both of my SharePoint Web Front End (WFE) servers by using Invoke-Commandto execute the same Get-ItemProperty on the remote system’s HKLM PS Registry Provider:

Invoke-Command -cn wfe0, wfe1 -ScriptBlock {Get-ItemProperty HKLM:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\* | select DisplayName, Publisher, InstallDate }

The output now includes the PSComputerName column, which will help when I want to sort results down the road. And there we have it…an easy method to report installed software!

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