In many cases a cmdlet or some internal functionality requires access to the values of username and password. Often the mistake is made to promote username and password as parameters for a cmdlet instead of working with the PSCredential object. PSCredential stores the password as SecureString and hides its value when working with the console. Therefore the PSCredential is a good container to store credentials while maintaining the ability to safely demo and share your scripts.

If a $credential was created by Get-Credential then extract the username and password like this


With this ability you simply let the $credential object flow from scripts to cmdlets. When necessary the required values are extracted and put into use.

A slight problem is that Get-Credential will always prompt for at least a password. This is not a problem for sharing scripts but it is a problem in demos and for automation. What I do is to wrap the credential in cmdlet that is loaded from my profile script. This cmdlet needs access to my password in SecureString format.

So I first create the file

$securePath=Join-Path $env:USERPROFILE "MySecurePassword.$env:COMPUTERNAME.txt"
(Get-Credential -Message "Generate MySecurePassword.txt" -UserName $env:USERNAME).Password | ConvertFrom-SecureString | Out-File $securePath

Now that the file is available I use this cmdlet

function New-MyCredential
    $securePath=Join-Path $env:USERPROFILE "MySecurePassword.$env:COMPUTERNAME.txt"
    $secureString=Get-Content $securePath | ConvertTo-SecureString
    return New-Object System.Management.Automation.PSCredential("$env:USERDOMAIN\$env:USERNAME",$secureString)

Finally, I add the cmdlet to my PowerShell and PowerShell ISE profile by importing the file

. "$PSScriptRoot\New-MyCredential.ps1"
Write-Host "New-MyCredential"

With my profile configured I can always execute $credential=New-MyCredential in my console or from a script.

Some interesting remarks to keep in mind:

  • New-MyCredential works for my active directory domain user.
  • I add Write-Host "New-MyCredential" in the end of New-MyCredential.ps1 to notify myself about this cmdlet.
  • The MySecurePassword.txt can be used only from the computer that last saved it. I’ve not looked yet in how to centralize this.
  • With some small adaptations you can create multiple cmdlets for other commonly used users. e.g. New-AdminCredential

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