How can I tell what processes are started by a Start-Job command?


I have (inherited) a PowerShell script that calls other PowerShell scripts by invoking them with a Start-Job cmdlet and the -FilePath parameter. For example, I have a script that does nothing:

Which I can invoke via a job:

Is there any easy & reliable way to find out what process is associated with this job (which I believe will be an additional powershell.exe)? Obviously this is easy in testing with just one job, but on a server I may have many of these running concurrently.

Why do I want to do/know this?

I’m in a new role, working on a server which has multiple scheduled tasks running a variety of scripts. Some of these call other scripts which my predecessor chose to invoke using Start-Job, possibly because they can be long running (multiple hours) and wanted them to work in parallel. Occasionally they seem to get stuck and I’d like to kill them, but don’t want to risk stopping something that is still healthy.

Having started down this path, it is probably more plain curiosity as to how to match up jobs and processes, since I’ll most likely start rewriting some of these scripts in the near future.


As far as I can tell, the answer to “can I tell which process matches up with each job” is no.

However, it seems that there are some clues as to which processes are the ones that match up with the job(s).

  1. They have a command line such as:

    "C:\Windows\System32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe" -Version 4.0 -s -NoLogo -NoProfile

  2. They are child processes of either another powershell.exe or powershell_ise.exe process, depending on how they are invoked. If the parent process is called by task manager or other scheduling agent, then the odds are that there will be a script name in the process command line, which may help. In my case this wasn’t too much of a help as each scheduled task was spawning ~4 powershell.exe background processes.
  3. If you have details of when each job was started (easy if you can run the Get-Job cmdlet to return the job details), you might be able to match up jobs to processes based on timestamps, but even in simple tests there wasn’t an exact match; the job and process were 1-2 seconds apart in starting.

Other than that, I couldn’t find any useful way to identify the actual processes linked to each job.


How can I tell what processes are started by a Start-Job command? by licensed under CC BY-SA | With most appropriate answer!

Leave a Reply