Prof. Powershell

Add a Progress Bar to a Graphical Status Box in PowerShell

Jeffrey Hicks shows you how to build on the code from a previous lesson to add a progress bar to your status box.

Over the last several lessons we've been exploring different techniques for display status and progress in your PowerShell scripts and functions. Today we'll wrap up our series by adding a progress bar to the graphical status box we created a few lessons ago.

Here's the first part of the code again creating the form and the label.

#requires -version 3.0

#demo winform status box with a progress bar control

#path to report on
$path = "C:\Scripts"

#this line may not be necessary
#[reflection.assembly]::loadwithpartialname("System.Windows.Forms") | Out-Null
Add-Type -assembly System.Windows.Forms

#title for the winform
$Title = "Directory Usage Analysis: $Path"
#winform dimensions
#winform background color
$color = "White"

#create the form
$form1 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.Form
$form1.Text = $title
$form1.Height = $height
$form1.Width = $width
$form1.BackColor = $color

$form1.FormBorderStyle = [System.Windows.Forms.FormBorderStyle]::FixedSingle
#display center screen
$form1.StartPosition = [System.Windows.Forms.FormStartPosition]::CenterScreen

# create label
$label1 = New-Object system.Windows.Forms.Label
$label1.Text = "not started"
$label1.Top= 10
$label1.Width= $width - 20
#adjusted height to accommodate progress bar
$label1.Font= "Verdana"
#optional to show border

#add the label to the form

One change I made from my earlier example was to adjust the height of the label control. Now to create and add the ProgressBar control.

$progressBar1 = New-Object System.Windows.Forms.ProgressBar
$progressBar1.Name = 'progressBar1'
$progressBar1.Value = 0

Setting the style to "Continuous" will give us a nice looking and smooth progress bar. Next, I need to create a drawing object and use that to give the progress bar its size.

$System_Drawing_Size = New-Object System.Drawing.Size
$System_Drawing_Size.Width = $width - 40
$System_Drawing_Size.Height = 20
$progressBar1.Size = $System_Drawing_Size

Using the values for the label and some trial and error, I specify where the progress bar should start on the form.

$progressBar1.Left = 5
$progressBar1.Top = 40
Finally, like the other controls, the progress bar needs to be added to the form.
Now I can show the form and start the main part of my PowerShell script.
$form1.Show()| out-null

#give the form focus
$form1.Focus() | out-null

#update the form
$label1.text="Preparing to analyze $path"

start-sleep -Seconds 1

#run code and update the status form

#get top level folders
$top = Get-ChildItem -Path $path -Directory

#initialize a counter


As I've been doing all along, I'll use ForEach to process each item, calculate my percentage complete and use that value for the progress bar.

foreach ($folder in $top) {

#calculate percentage
[int]$pct = ($i/$top.count)*100
#update the progress bar
$progressbar1.Value = $pct

$label1.text="Measuring size: $($folder.Name)"

start-sleep -Milliseconds 100
$stats = Get-ChildItem -path $folder -Recurse -File |
Measure-Object -Property Length -Sum -Average
Files = $stats.count
SizeKB = [math]::Round($stats.sum/1KB,2)
Avg = [math]::Round($stats.average,2)
} #foreach

At the end of the script I clean up after myself and close the form.


Here's a clip of the form in action.

You can get the same result using Write-Progress, which is frankly a little easier to use. If you use Write-Progress in the ISE you even get a pretty, graphical progress bar. But if you would like something different or perhaps you like taking matters into your own hands, then feel free to build a simple Windows form and use a progress bar control.

To learn more about PowerShell toolmaking, grab a copy of Learn PowerShell Toolmaking in a Month of Lunches and head to the forums at when you need some help.

About the Author

Jeffery Hicks is an IT veteran with over 25 years of experience, much of it spent as an IT infrastructure consultant specializing in Microsoft server technologies with an emphasis in automation and efficiency. He is a multi-year recipient of the Microsoft MVP Award in Windows PowerShell. He works today as an independent author, trainer and consultant. Jeff has written for numerous online sites and print publications, is a contributing editor at, and a frequent speaker at technology conferences and user groups.

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