PowerShell – Display files and folders list

PowerShell provides commands, to display the list of files & folders in the file system. Below are the cmdlets, commonly we use to get these details;

Display files and folders list

Get-Item is one of the cmdlet used to get the item (for example: directory, file, registry entry etc.,) details at the specified location. By defaultm it gets only one item, unless you specify wildcard (*). When you specify wildcard (*) it gets the child items at the specified location.

We can use Get-Item cmdlet, to get the details of the file or the folder. For example: if you want to see the details of the folder “C:\WINDOWS”, we can use this cmdlet, like below;

PS C:\> Get-Item "C:\WINDOWS"

    Directory: C:\

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         8/14/2018   3:15 PM            WINDOWS

PS C:\>

Observe that, Get-Item by default displays only one entry; not all the files in the folder. If you want to get the details of multiple file(s) or the folder(s); we can give the names in double quotes (“) – which is optional and separated by comma (,). For example: below command displays the details of the folder & the file at a time. Observe that, the folder ( Dot (.) – means, current directory) and the file name; are separated by comma (,).

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-Item "." , "regedit.exe"

    Directory: C:\

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
d----         8/14/2018   3:15 PM            WINDOWS

    Directory: C:\WINDOWS

Mode                LastWriteTime     Length Name
----                -------------     ------ ----
-a---         7/14/2009   7:09 AM     427008 regedit.exe

PS C:\WINDOWS>

As mentioned above, Get-Item can display the content of the Item if you use the wildcard (*). Does content mean file content.? No. For example: if the item is the Directory, if we use wildcard (*) with Get-Item; it will display files which are in the Directory.

Below command will display files which are in the current directly. Observe that, PS prompt shows that the directory is C:\WINDOWS. That means, below command display files which are in the C:\WINDOWS directory. Also observe that, we used wildcard (*) to display multiple items;

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-Item .\*

If we use below command, it displays the files which are having the file extension “.exe”.

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-Item *.exe

 

Get-ChildItem is another cmdlet, PowerShell provides to display the content of the Item. By default Get-ChildItem will display all the items at the specified location; where Get-Item will display only one item.

Below command will display the files which are in the current directory.

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-ChildItem

Both these cmdlets, are used for the same purpose. But we have to pass more parameters to Get-Item command to produce the same result; what we get through Get-ChildItem command.

Display, only Files

We can restrict to display, only the files, by specifying “-File” parameter to this command. Below command displays, only the Files from the current directory.

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-ChildItem -File

Display, only Directories

We can also restrict to display, only the directories, by specifying “-Directory” parameter. Below command displays, only the Directories from the current directory.

PS C:\WINDOWS> Get-ChildItem -Directory

But, when we use Get-Item cmdlet; we need to write script or pass more parameters to get the same result.

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(Raju)

PowerShell – Display files and folders list

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