Update: The PowerShell Application Deployment Toolkit provides this functionality and a lot more, including the ability to prevent users from launching applications while an installation is in progress and optionally allow the user to defer the installation X number of times, X number of days or until a deadline. It also provides a nice UI which you can customize with your own text and logo/banner. Check it out here: http://psappdeploytoolkit.codeplex.com

Recently I needed to write a PowerShell script that required that certain processes were not running. The script needed to be run on workstations, so I had to provide some user interaction to prompt the user to close the running applications.

Below is the snippet of code I used. The script checks to see if certain processes are running and prompts the user to close the applications. A simple message box with and exclamation mark and OK button is used.


Update: 28/09/2011 – I have updated the script to display a balloon tip notification that the application(s) can be used again, instead of using a second message box prompt that the user would need to acknowledge. Thanks to Robert Robelo for this function: http://robertrobelo.wordpress.com/2010/03/19/balloon-tip-notifications/

Once the script has finished processing, a balloon tip notification is displayed notifying the user that the applications that were closed can now be used again.


The message box can be customized using the parameters documented here:


For example, to display a message box with the Information Mark icon (64) and OK & Cancel Buttons (1), the “PromptType” parameter should be the sum of these values, i.e. 65. Note that a Cancel button won’t have any effect in the script below, since the user response is not evaluated, only the running processes are evaluated.

# Function to create a MessageBox prompt.
# Arguments: PromptText,PromptWaitTime(Seconds to Wait),PromptTitle,PromptType - See here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/x83z1d9f(v=vs.85).aspx
Function New-Prompt {
	Param (

	# Create a shell object and invoke a popup prompt
	$promptShell = New-Object -ComObject WScript.Shell		
	$promptAnswer = $promptShell.popup($promptText,$promptWaitTime,$promptTitle,$promptType)

# Function to create a balloon tip notification
Function Show-BalloonTip {
	[Parameter(Mandatory = $true, Position = 0)]
	[Parameter(Position = 1)]
	$BalloonTipTitle = 'PowerShell Event Notificaton',
	[Parameter(Position = 2)]
	[ValidateSet('Error', 'Info', 'None', 'Warning')]
	$BalloonTipIcon = 'Info',
	[Parameter(Position = 3)]
	$BalloonTipTime = 1000
	end {
		Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Windows.Forms
		Add-Type -AssemblyName System.Drawing
		[Windows.Forms.ToolTipIcon]$BalloonTipIcon = $BalloonTipIcon
		$NotifyIcon = New-Object Windows.Forms.NotifyIcon -Property @{
			BalloonTipIcon = $BalloonTipIcon
			BalloonTipText = $BalloonTipText
			BalloonTipTitle = $BalloonTipTitle
			Icon = [Drawing.Icon]::ExtractAssociatedIcon((Get-Command powershell).Path)
			Text = -join $BalloonTipText[0..62]
			Visible = $true
		switch ($BalloonTipIcon) {
			Error {[Media.SystemSounds]::Hand.Play()}
			Info {[Media.SystemSounds]::Asterisk.Play()}
			None {[Media.SystemSounds]::Beep.Play()}
			Warning {[Media.SystemSounds]::Exclamation.Play()}
		switch ($Host.Runspace.ApartmentState) {
			STA {
				$null = Register-ObjectEvent -InputObject $NotifyIcon -EventName BalloonTipClosed -Action { 					
					Unregister-Event $EventSubscriber.SourceIdentifier
					Remove-Job $EventSubscriber.Action
			default {

# Function to check for running applications and prompt user to close them. 
Function Stop-RunningApplications {
	[parameter(Mandatory = $true)]
	[string]$ProcessName # Specify process names separated by commas 
	# Split multiple processes on a comma and join with the regex operator '|' to perform "or" match against multiple applications
	$processName = $processName -split(",") -join ("|")	
	# Prompt the user as long as one of the matching processes are found running and store the processes description
	While (Get-Process | Where { $_.ProcessName -match $processName } -ErrorAction SilentlyContinue | Select Description -ExpandProperty Description | Select -Unique -OutVariable runningProcess) {	 
		$promptText = "The following application(s) must be closed before the script can proceed:`n`n" + ($runningProcess -join ",") + "`n`nPlease close the application and press OK to continue with the script."
		New-Prompt -PromptText $promptText -PromptWaitTime 0 -PromptTitle "Message from PowerShell Script" -PromptType 48		
		# Maintain one array of all the unique processes matched from every iteration of the while loop
		[array]$matchedProcess = (([array]$matchedProcess + [array]$runningProcess) | Select -Unique)
		# Make the matched processes available outside the scope of the function, so that the user can be notified later that applications can be used again
		If ($matchedProcess -ne $null) { 
			Set-Variable -Name matchedProcess -Value $MatchedProcess -Scope Script

Stop-RunningApplications -ProcessName "iexplore,word,excel,powerpnt" 

# Do processing here ...

# Notify user that the application(s) can be used again
If ($matchedProcess -ne $null) {
	$balloonText = "You may use " + ($matchedProcess -join ",") + " again."	
	Show-BalloonTip -BalloonTipIcon "Info" -BalloonTipText $balloonText -BalloonTipTitle "Windows PowerShell" -BalloonTipTime 1000