Written on 5. January 2024

Enhancing PowerShell Security with the Activation of Constrained Language Mode

In addition to the PowerShell signing method discussed in my previous post, I’d like to introduce another crucial aspect of PowerShell security: the “Constrained Language Mode”. This mode is a powerful security feature in PowerShell that limits the language elements available to scripts, reducing the surface area for attacks.

What is Constrained Language Mode?

Constrained Language Mode restricts PowerShell to a subset of its language features, disabling potentially dangerous operations. This mode is especially useful in environments where security is paramount and the risk of script-based attacks is high.

Activating Constrained Language Mode

To enable Constrained Language Mode, you need to set the __PSLockDownPolicy environment variable. This can be done by adding the following line to your PowerShell profile script or deploying it through a Group Policy for broader application:

$env:__PSLockDownPolicy = 4

This setting ensures that PowerShell operates in Constrained Language Mode, significantly reducing the potential for malicious scripts to perform harmful actions.

Considerations for Constrained Language Mode

While Constrained Language Mode enhances security, it’s important to note that it might impact the functionality of existing scripts. Scripts requiring full language features might not work as expected under this mode. Therefore, thorough testing is recommended before widespread implementation.


The activation of Constrained Language Mode is a strategic step in boostering your environment’s defense against PowerShell-related threats. Combined with script signing, it forms a robust framework for ensuring script integrity and execution safety in PowerShell.

Remember, while these measures significantly enhance security, they should be part of a comprehensive security strategy, including regular updates, least privilege policies, and user education.

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