DSC File Resource

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 4.0, Windows PowerShell 5.0

The File resource in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) provides a mechanism to manage files and folders on the target node. The DestinationPath and SourcePath must both be accessible by the target Node.


File [string] #ResourceName
    DestinationPath = [string]
    [ Attributes = [string[]] { Archive | Hidden | ReadOnly | System }]
    [ Checksum = [string] { CreatedDate | ModifiedDate | SHA-1 | SHA-256 | SHA-512 } ]
    [ Contents = [string] ]
    [ Credential = [PSCredential] ]
    [ Ensure = [string] { Absent | Present } ]
    [ Force = [bool] ]
    [ Recurse = [bool] ]
    [ DependsOn = [string[]] ]
    [ SourcePath = [string] ]
    [ Type = [string] { Directory | File } ]
    [ MatchSource = [bool] ]


Property Description Required Default
DestinationPath The location, on the target node, you want to ensure is Present or Absent. Yes No
Attributes The desired state of the attributes for the targeted file or directory. Valid values are Archive, Hidden, ReadOnly, and System. No None
Checksum The checksum type to use when determining whether two files are the same. Valid values include: SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, createdDate, modifiedDate. No Only the file or directory name is compared.
Contents Only valid when used with File type. Indicates the contents to Ensure are Present or Absent from the targeted file. No None
Credential The credentials that are required to access resources, such as source files. No The target node's Computer Account. (see note)
Ensure The desired state of the target file or directory. No Present
Force Overrides access operations that would result in an error (such as overwriting a file or deleting a directory that is not empty). No $false
Recurse Only valid when used with Directory type. Performs the state operation recursively to all subdirectories. No $false
DependsOn Sets a dependency on specified resource(s). This resource will only execute after successful execution of any dependent resources. You can specify dependent resources using the syntax "[ResourceType]ResourceName". See about_DependsOn No None
SourcePath The path from which to copy the file or folder resource. No None
Type The type of resource being configured. Valid values are Directory and File. No File
MatchSource Determines if the resource should monitor for new files added to the source directory after the initial copy. A value of $true indicates that, after the initial copy, any new source files should be copied to the destination. If set to $False, the resource caches the contents of the source directory and ignores any files added after the initial copy. No $false


If you do not specify a value for Credential or PSRunAsCredential (PS V.5), the resource will use the computer account of the target node to access the SourcePath. When the SourcePath is a UNC share, this could result in an "Access Denied" error. Please ensure your permissions are set accordingly, or use the Credential or PSRunAsCredential properties to specify the account that should be used.

Present vs. Absent

Each DSC resource performs different operations based on the value you specify for the Ensure property. The values you specify for the above properties determines the state operation performed.


When you only specify a DestinationPath, the resource ensures that the path exists (Present) or does not exist (Absent).

Copy Operations

When you specify a SourcePath and a DestinationPath with a Type value of Directory, the resource copies source directory to the destination path. The properties Recurse, Force, and MatchSource change the type of copy operation performed, while Credential determines which account to use to access the source directory.


If you specified a value of ReadOnly for the Attributes property alongside a DestinationPath, Ensure = "Present" would create the path specified, while Contents would set the contents of the file. An Absent state operation would ignore the Attributes property entirely, and remove any file at the specified path.


The following example copies a directory and its subdirectories from a pull server to a target node using the File Resource. If the operation succeeds, the Log resource writes a confirmation message to the event log.

The source directory is a UNC path (\\PullServer\DemoSource) shared from the Pull Server. The Recurse property ensures that all subdirectories are copied as well.


The LCM on the target Node executes in the context of the local system account by default. To grant access to the SourcePath, give the target Node's computer account appropriate permissions. The Credential and PSDSCRunAsCredential (v5) both change the context the LCM uses to access the SourcePath. You still need to grant access to the account that will be used to access the SourcePath.

Configuration FileResourceDemo
    Node "localhost"
        File DirectoryCopy
            Ensure = "Present" # Ensure the directory is Present on the target node.
            Type = "Directory" # The default is File.
            Recurse = $true # Recursively copy all subdirectories.
            SourcePath = "\\PullServer\DemoSource"
            DestinationPath = "C:\Users\Public\Documents\DSCDemo\DemoDestination"

        Log AfterDirectoryCopy
            # The message below gets written to the Microsoft-Windows-Desired State Configuration/Analytic log
            Message = "Finished running the file resource with ID DirectoryCopy"
            DependsOn = "[File]DirectoryCopy" # Depends on successful execution of the File resource.

For more on using Credentials in DSC see Run As User or Config Data Credentials.