PowerShell 3.0 Get-Help -Online Parameter Generates an Error When Default Browser is Google Chrome

I’m a big fan of the online version of PowerShell help. I also use Google Chrome as my default web browser. Since I’ve moved to Windows 8 and PowerShell 3.0, using the Get-Help PowerShell cmdlet with the Online parameter generates an error.

There’s actually two different errors that I’ve seen a lot of, the first one is because the online help doesn’t appear to exist and this error occurs regardless of what web browser you’re using:

Get-Help : The online version of this Help topic cannot be displayed because the
Internet address (URI) of the Help topic is not specified in the command code or in the
help file for the command.
At line:55 char:7
+ Get-Help @PSBoundParameters | more
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [Get-Help], PSInvalidOperationExcept
ion
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvalidOperation,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetHelpComm
and

Based on the about_windows_powershell_3.0 help topic, there’s a help URI link that has to exist:

You can see that a value exists for the HelpUri property for the Get-WindowsEdition cmdlet, but not the Get-KdsConfiguration cmdlet. Based on searching for help on the TechNet website, my guess is the online help for that particular cmdlet doesn’t exist yet.

Based on these results, the online help should work for the Get-WindowsEdition cmdlet, but it generates this error:

Get-Help : Launching a program to show online help failed. No program is associated to
launch URI http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=215281.
At line:55 char:7
+ Get-Help @PSBoundParameters | more
+ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
+ CategoryInfo : InvalidOperation: (:) [Get-Help], PSInvalidOperationExcept
ion
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : InvalidOperation,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.GetHelpComm
and

The online help for the Get-WindowsFeature cmdlet works without issue after changing my default web browser to Mozilla Firefox:

It also works without issue after changing it to Internet Explorer:

µ

3 Comments

  1. Nick M

    Sorry to be a little ignorant, but do you know what the underlying problem is, and if there’s a way for us to fix it other than forgoing chrome to use IE or Firefox?

    Reply
    • Mike F Robbins

      I haven’t figured out a way to resolve this problem. The workarounds I’ve figured out are to either set your default browser to something other than Chrome or do a run as on PowerShell and specify a user account that has a default browser other than Chrome. That way your user account can still use Chrome as it’s default browser.

      Reply
  2. _Emin_

    Hi
    Concerning the second message about the program associated to URI, you can troubleshoot it
    and fix it.
    See http://p0w3rsh3ll.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/get-help-online-error/

    Reply

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