IT admins can do a lot with PowerShell and the command line; working with Windows networking is one of those ways. In this tutorial, you’re going to learn how to use PowerShell to get IP addresses from network adapters on a Windows computer with the
Get-NetIPAddress cmdlet and WMI.
Table of Contents
This tutorial will assume you’re on a Windows 10 or greater computer with Windows PowerShell v5.1 installed. It is also assumed that you’re in an Active Directory environment. If not, be sure to learn about the
Credential property on the
PowerShell has various cmdlets to work with network connections such as
Get-NetAdapterBinding, and even one specifically to find IP addresses called
Get-NetIPAddress. If you want to use PowerShell to get the IP address in a simple script, by all means, use these cmdlets.
Keep it simple. If PowerShell offers a simpler way to do something, do it!
For example, to find the IPv4 address on all network adapters on a local computer, run a single line.
Get-NetIPAddress -AddressFamily IPV4
The output above references a specific network adapter such as the Ethernet adapter and returns only the IP address.
You’re done! Simply using PowerShell to get an IP address is a straightforward process, at least much more so than using other means.
If you’re not a fan of PowerShell, you can also use the ipconfig command to get an IP address. Look more on ipconfig at The Ipconfig Commands You Need to Know.
Why Use CIM/WMI?
When you run the
Get-NetIPAddress cmdlet, PowerShell is actually querying WMI to retrieve that information. Why is it important to know this? Because you can query WMI directly yourself. But why use WMI when you can use a single command?
One of the most common reasons to use WMI over a single command like
Get-NetIPAddress is when you’re already querying WMI. WMI contains lots of system information that comes in handy when building scripts for inventory purposes.
When communicating with WMI with PowerShell, you can create a CIM session much like a PSRemoting session. Using a session is an efficient way to authenticate to a computer once and reuse that connection repeatedly.
Use CIM to get an IP address when you’re building this task as part of a larger script.
Querying CIM Without a Session
When you’re building a PowerShell script using CIM to query various pieces of information, you should use a reusable CIM session. Reusing a single session not only speeds up your script but also reduces code duplication.
For example, perhaps you’d like to find what operating system a remote Windows computer is running. CIM holds the OS name in a property called Caption inside of the Win32_OperatingSystem class. To get this information, you’d use the
Get-CimInstance cmdlet below, specifying the computer name (
REMOTECOMPUTER), the CIM class (
Win32_OperatingSystem), and referencing only the
Caption property on the object.
(Get-CimInstance -ComputerName REMOTECOMPUTER -ClassName Win32_OperatingSystem).Caption
When you run
Get-CimInstance, PowerShell must find the remote computer, pass the logged-in credentials to it and finally query CIM for the information you need. There’s a lot of overhead that comes with running
Get-CimInstance without a session.
What if you’re building a server inventory script and also want to find information about storage, memory, networking, and so on? In that case, you’d have a lot of
Get-CimInstance commands like below.
Get-CimInstance -ComputerName REMOTECOMPUTER -ClassName Win32_LogicalDisk Get-CimInstance -ComputerName REMOTECOMPUTER -ClassName Win32_OperatingSystem Get-CimInstance -ComputerName REMOTECOMPUTER -ClassName Win32_PhysicalMemory Get-CimInstance -ComputerName REMOTECOMPUTER -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapter
Your script will connect to
REMOTECOMPUTER four times in the above code snippet, and what if the computer name changes? You’re going to have to find/replace that computer name, which is never a good sign while coding.
Creating a CIM Session
Instead of using
Get-CimInstance with a session, you should create a single CIM session with the
New-CimSession cmdlet and reuse that session repeatedly.
Instead of authenticating to a remote computer over and over, create a single CIM session with
New-CimSession and pass that session to
Get-CimInstance like below.
$remoteComputer = 'REMOTECOMPUTER' $cimSession = New-CimSession -ComputerName $remoteComputer Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_LogicalDisk Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_OperatingSystem Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_PhysicalMemory Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapter
Once you’re done with the session, disconnect and remove it from memory.
$cimSession | Remove-CimSession
Using CIM sessions like above is a great way to work with CIM/WMI.
Finding the Right Network Adapter
Since a Windows computer can have different network adapters, you must first narrow down which network adapter you’d like to get the IP address from. When using WMI, use the Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration class. This class provides much of the information that the
First, create a PowerShell script with the remote computer’s name, create a new CIM session, and then add your CIM session removal line below it.
$remoteComputer = 'REMOTECOMPUTER' $cimSession = New-CimSession -ComputerName $remoteComputer $cimSession | Remove-CimSession
Once you’ve built out the CIM session code, insert the WMI query.
$remoteComputer = 'REMOTECOMPUTER' $cimSession = New-CimSession -ComputerName $remoteComputer Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration $cimSession | Remove-CimSession
You can see that the default output above doesn’t show the IP address. You’ll have to dig in a bit deeper. It also doesn’t return a single instance. How do you narrow down the one that has the IP address you’re looking for?
To do that, first display all of the properties using
Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration | Select-Object -Property *
Scroll through the output, and you’ll notice some network adapters without an IP address, some with one, and some with multiple IPs! You must limit that down. You must find some standard criterion to filter on so that it can apply to all servers.
On each adapter, you should see the
IPEnabled property. When this property is set to True, the TCP/IP protocol is bound to this NIC, which is a prerequisite to having an IP address. You must narrow down the NICs that have the
IPEnabled property set to True, and you’ll have the adapter you’re looking for.
When filtering WMI instances, it’s best to use the
Filter parameter on
Get-CimInstance. There’s a motto in the PowerShell community that says “filter left.” If you have the chance, this saying means always filter output as far to the left as possible.
Where-Object unless you have to. The performance will be much faster instead due to the lack of overhead of processing unnecessary objects across the pipeline.
Filter parameter on
Get-CimInstance uses Windows Query Language (WQL). WQL is a small subset of SQL. The
Filter parameter expects the same constraint WHERE clause syntax as SQL would.
To find all of the CIM instances of the Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration class with the IPEnabled property set to True, use the
SELECT * FROM Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration WHERE IPEnabled = 'True' WQL query.
Since we’re already specifying the class name for the
ClassName parameter argument in
Get-CimInstance, we need to specify
IPEnabled = 'True' for the
Filter. This will return only the network adapter with the IP address.
Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled = 'True'" | Select-Object -Property *
When you run the above code snippet, you should see that
Get-CimInstance returns only a single (or limited set) of instances.
Now that you have a single CIM instance and know the property you’re looking for (
IPAddress), let’s see what it looks like. You’ll see below that, in this instance, it returns a single CIM instance but with three strings for the
IPAddress property, including IPV6 addresses.
(Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled = 'True'").IPAddress 192.168.0.40 fe80::e4e1:c511:e38b:4f05 2607:fcc8:acd9:1f00:e4e1:c511:e38b:4f05
You’re going to have to filter some more elements out. Because WQL can’t filter deeper than the
IPAddress property value, you must now parse out the IPv4 address.
The IPV4 address is typically the first one defined in the array. Pick out that one using by referencing the 0 index as shown below. When you do, you’ll see that it returns only a single IPV4 IP address string.
(Get-CimInstance -CimSession $cimSession -ClassName Win32_NetworkAdapterConfiguration -Filter "IPEnabled = 'True'").IPAddress 192.168.0.40
The IPV4 address may not always be the first array element. In fact, the IPAddress property may not even be an array. IP configurations vary drastically over adapters and various configurations. You may have to get creative in filtering them.
If you need to use PowerShell to get an IP address from a computer, look at the
Get-NetIPAddress cmdlet first. If you’re building a larger script or cannot run this command for some reason, look into using
Get-CimInstance and CIM session to do the dirty work.
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