Obtaining the Current Working Directory using PowerShell

This blog post proposes a consistent method of obtaining the current working directory using PowerShell, whether your scripts are embedded inside an executable or not.

Obtaining the Current Working Directory using PowerShell

I tend to use a great tool called PS2EXE to compile my PowerShell scripts into executables.  And sometimes I need to put some dependency DLLs in the same folder as my compiled exe, and reference them using code such as:

Add-Type -Path [PathToDll]

To add the reference to the DLLs that reside in my executable folder, I need to somehow deduce the current ‘working’ directory.

This is easy to do when just running a PS1 script directly – I won’t bore you with that.  But the trouble with wrapping your PowerShell scripts inside an executable is that the ‘typical’ methods of obtaining the working/script directory don’t work.  They either return the wrong path (“c:\windows\system32”, “c:\windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\”, “c:\windows\temp” etc) or return no path at all!

There are a few reasons for this.  One could be the context you are running it from (i.e, you’re not double-clicking it but instead running it from the ‘Run’ key in the registry with no context). And also because perhaps the compiled executable runs your ‘wrapped’ PowerShell script in-memory, or it puts a copy in the %temp% location and runs it from there (hence it doesn’t matter where the executable physically exists on disk).

Coupled with this, some methods of obtaining the script/exe directory wouldn’t work in either the PowerShell console, the PowerShell ISE, or the compiled executable!  And I wanted one approach that worked for all.

The only method that worked for me (and I stole this code from here) was:

$currentDirectory = [System.AppDomain]::CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory.TrimEnd('\') 
if ($currentDirectory -eq $PSHOME.TrimEnd('\')) 
	$currentDirectory = $PSScriptRoot