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Many Windows PowerShell modules include nested modules. In fact, some of your favorite cmdlets might be in a nested module, but you wouldn’t typically know it. Nested modules are reusable, so you can repackage and use nested modules independently and in other modules, unless, of course, they require something in the parent module. For example, you can use a nested module in a custom session configuration when the user doesn’t need and shouldn’t have the entire module.

The ModuleInfo and ModuleInfoGrouping objects that the Get-Module cmdlet returns have a NestedModules property. So, to find modules with nested modules, use this command:

Get-Module –ListAvailable | where NestedModules

To find the nested modules in a particular module, use a command with this format:

(Get-Module –ListAvailable $ModuleName).NestedModules

For example, the NetAdapter module has 19 nested modules. (CIM modules typically have lots of nested modules.)

PS C:\> (Get-Module -ListAvailable NetAdapter).NestedModules

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapter.cmdletDefinition    {Get-NetAdapter, Enable-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterAdvancedProperty.... {Get-NetAdapterAdvancedPr
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterBinding.cmdletDef... {Get-NetAdapterBinding, S
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterChecksumOffload      {Get-NetAdapterChecksumOf
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterEncapsulatedPacke... {Get-NetAdapterEncapsulat
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterHardwareInfo.cmdl... Get-NetAdapterHardwareInf
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterIPsecOffload         {Get-NetAdapterIPsecOfflo
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterLso                  {Get-NetAdapterLso, Set-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterPowerManagement.c... {Get-NetAdapterPowerManag
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterQos                  {Get-NetAdapterQos, Set-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterRdma                 {Get-NetAdapterRdma, Set-
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterRsc                  {Get-NetAdapterRsc, Set-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterRss.cmdletDefinition {Get-NetAdapterRss, Set-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterSriov                {Get-NetAdapterSriov, Set
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterSriovVf.cmdletDef... Get-NetAdapterSriovVf
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterStatistics.cmdlet... Get-NetAdapterStatistics
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterVmq.cmdletDefinition {Get-NetAdapterVmq, Set-N
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterVmqQueue.cmdletDe... Get-NetAdapterVmqQueue
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterVPort.cmdletDefin... Get-NetAdapterVPort

Sadly, you can’t use Module parameter of Get-Command to get the commands in a nested module.

PS C:\> Get-Command -Module MSFT_NetAdapterQos
PS C:\>

But, it’s easy to get them. The NestedModules property contains a ReadOnlyCollection of PSModuleInfo objects. Each one has all of the Exported properties of any module, including ExportedCmdlets, ExportedFunctions, and ExportedCommands, which includes all exported command types.

(Get-Module NetAdapter -ListAvailable).NestedModules | 
    Format-Table –Property Name, ExportedCommands –Wrap

The ExportedCommands are in dictionaries (like a hash table), so, to get the commands in a given nested module, use a command like this one:

((Get-Module $ModuleName –ListAvailable).NestedModules | 
    where Name –eq $NestedModuleName).ExportedCommands.Keys

For example:

PS C:\> ((Get-Module -ListAvailable NetAdapter).NestedModules |
where Name -eq MSFT_NetAdapterQos).ExportedCommands.Keys


You can also find out which nested module exports a particular command:

PS C:\> (Get-Module –ListAvailable NetAdapter).NestedModules |
where {$_.ExportedCommands.Keys -eq "Enable-NetAdapterQos"} 

ModuleType Version    Name                 ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                 ----------------
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterQos   {Get-NetAdapterQos, Set-NetAdapterQos, Enable-NetAdapterQos

To get the source file for a nested module, look in the value of its Path property.

PS C:\> (Get-Module NetAdapter -ListAvailable).NestedModules | Format-List Name, Path

Name : MSFT_NetAdapter.cmdletDefinition
Path : C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\NetAdapter\MSFT_NetAdapter.cmdletDef

Name : MSFT_NetAdapterAdvancedProperty.cmdletDefinition
Path : C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\NetAdapter\MSFT_NetAdapterAdvancedPr

Name : MSFT_NetAdapterQos
Path : C:\WINDOWS\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\Modules\NetAdapter\MSFT_NetAdapterQos.cdxml

And, use the Path value to import the module.

PS C:\> Import-Module $pshome\Modules\NetAdapter\MSFT_NetAdapterQos.cdxml

PS C:\> Get-Module

ModuleType Version    Name                                ExportedCommands
---------- -------    ----                                ----------------
Manifest    Microsoft.PowerShell.Management     {Add-Computer, Add-Conte
Manifest    Microsoft.PowerShell.Utility        {Add-Member, Add-Type, C
Cim        1.0        MSFT_NetAdapterQos                  {Disable-NetAdapterQos,

Be sure to test, because many nested modules require other modules.

June Blender is a technology evangelist at SAPIEN Technologies, Inc. You can reach her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or follow her on Twitter at @juneb_get_help.

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