Compress-Archive

Creates a compressed archive, or zipped file, from specified files and directories.

Syntax

Compress-Archive
        [-Path] <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]
Compress-Archive
        [-Path] <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        -Update
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]
Compress-Archive
        [-Path] <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        -Force
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]
Compress-Archive
        -LiteralPath <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        -Update
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]
Compress-Archive
        -LiteralPath <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        -Force
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]
Compress-Archive
        -LiteralPath <String[]>
        [-DestinationPath] <String>
        [-CompressionLevel <String>]
        [-PassThru]
        [-WhatIf]
        [-Confirm]
        [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Compress-Archive cmdlet creates a compressed, or zipped, archive file from one or more specified files or directories. An archive packages multiple files, with optional compression, into a single zipped file for easier distribution and storage. An archive file can be compressed by using the compression algorithm specified by the CompressionLevel parameter.

The Compress-Archive cmdlet uses the Microsoft .NET API System.IO.Compression.ZipArchive to compress files. The maximum file size is 2 GB because there's a limitation of the underlying API.

Some examples use splatting to reduce the line length of the code samples. For more information, see about_Splatting.

Examples

Example 1: Compress files to create an archive file

This example compresses files from different directories and creates an archive file. A wildcard is used to get all files with a particular file extension. There's no directory structure in the archive file because the Path only specifies file names.

$compress = @{
Path= "C:\Reference\Draftdoc.docx", "C:\Reference\Images\*.vsd"
CompressionLevel = "Fastest"
DestinationPath = "C:\Archives\Draft.Zip"
}
Compress-Archive @compress

The Path parameter accepts specific file names and file names with wildcards, *.vsd. The Path uses a comma-separated list to get files from different directories. The compression level is Fastest to reduce processing time. The DestinationPath parameter specifies the location for the Draft.zip file. The Draft.zip file contains Draftdoc.docx and all the files with a .vsd extension.

Example 2: Compress files using a LiteralPath

This example compresses specific named files and creates a new archive file. There's no directory structure in the archive file because the Path only specifies file names.

$compress = @{
LiteralPath= "C:\Reference\Draft Doc.docx", "C:\Reference\Images\diagram2.vsd"
CompressionLevel = "Fastest"
DestinationPath = "C:\Archives\Draft.Zip"
}
Compress-Archive @compress

Absolute path and file names are used because the LiteralPath parameter doesn't accept wildcards. The Path uses a comma-separated list to get files from different directories. The compression level is Fastest to reduce processing time. The DestinationPath parameter specifies the location for the Draft.zip file. The Draft.zip file only contains Draftdoc.docx and diagram2.vsd.

Example 3: Compress a directory that includes the root directory

This example compresses a directory and creates an archive file that includes the root directory, and all its files and subdirectories. The archive file has a directory structure because the Path specifies a root directory.

Compress-Archive -Path C:\Reference -DestinationPath C:\Archives\Draft.zip

Compress-Archive uses the Path parameter to specify the root directory, C:\Reference. The DestinationPath parameter specifies the location for the archive file. The Draft.zip archive includes the Reference root directory, and all its files and subdirectories.

Example 4: Compress a directory that excludes the root directory

This example compresses a directory and creates an archive file that excludes the root directory because the Path uses an asterisk (*) wildcard. The archive contains a directory structure that contains the root directory's files and subdirectories.

Compress-Archive -Path C:\Reference\* -DestinationPath C:\Archives\Draft.zip

Compress-Archive uses the Path parameter to specify the root directory, C:\Reference with an asterisk (*) wildcard. The DestinationPath parameter specifies the location for the archive file. The Draft.zip archive contains the root directory's files and subdirectories. The Reference root directory is excluded from the archive.

Example 5: Compress only the files in a root directory

This example compresses only the files in a root directory and creates an archive file. There's no directory structure in the archive because only files are compressed.

Compress-Archive -Path C:\Reference\*.* -DestinationPath C:\Archives\Draft.zip

Compress-Archive uses the Path parameter to specify the root directory, C:\Reference with a star-dot-star (*.*) wildcard. The DestinationPath parameter specifies the location for the archive file. The Draft.zip archive only contains the Reference root directory's files and the root directory is excluded.

Example 6: Use the pipeline to archive files

This example sends files down the pipeline to create an archive. There's no directory structure in the archive file because the Path only specifies file names.

Get-ChildItem -Path C:\Reference\Afile.txt, C:\Reference\Images\Bfile.txt |
  Compress-Archive -DestinationPath C:\Archives\PipelineFiles.zip

Get-ChildItem uses the Path parameter to specify two files from different directories. Each file is represented by a FileInfo object and is sent down the pipeline to Compress-Archive. The two specified files are archived in PipelineFiles.zip.

Example 7: Use the pipeline to archive a directory

This example sends a directory down the pipeline to create an archive. Files are sent as FileInfo objects and directories as DirectoryInfo objects. The archive's directory structure doesn't include the root directory, but its files and subdirectories are included in the archive.

Get-ChildItem -Path C:\LogFiles | Compress-Archive -DestinationPath C:\Archives\PipelineDir.zip

Get-ChildItem uses the Path parameter to specify the C:\LogFiles root directory. Each FileInfo and DirectoryInfo object is sent down the pipeline.

Compress-Archive adds each object to the PipelineDir.zip archive. The Path parameter isn't specified because the pipeline objects are received into parameter position 0.

Example 8: How recursion can affect archives

This example shows how recursion can duplicate files in your archive. For example, if you use Get-ChildItem with the Recurse parameter. As recursion processes, each FileInfo and DirectoryInfo object is sent down the pipeline and added to the archive.

Get-ChildItem -Path C:\TestLog -Recurse |
  Compress-Archive -DestinationPath C:\Archives\PipelineRecurse.zip

The C:\TestLog directory doesn't contain any files. It does contain a subdirectory named testsub that contains the testlog.txt file.

Get-ChildItem uses the Path parameter to specify the root directory, C:\TestLog. The Recurse parameter processes the files and directories. A DirectoryInfo object is created for testsub and a FileInfo object testlog.txt.

Each object is sent down the pipeline to Compress-Archive. The DestinationPath specifies the location for the archive file. The Path parameter isn't specified because the pipeline objects are received into parameter position 0.

The following summary describes the PipelineRecurse.zip archive's contents that contains a duplicate file:

  • The DirectoryInfo object creates the testsub directory and contains the testlog.txt file, which reflects the original directory structure.
  • The FileInfo object creates a duplicate testlog.txt in the archive's root. The duplicate file is created because recursion sent a file object to Compress-Archive. This behavior is expected because each object sent down the pipeline is added to the archive.

Example 9: Update an existing archive file

This example updates an existing archive file, Draft.Zip, in the C:\Archives directory. In this example, the existing archive file contains the root directory, and its files and subdirectories.

Compress-Archive -Path C:\Reference -Update -DestinationPath C:\Archives\Draft.Zip

The command updates Draft.Zip with newer versions of existing files in the C:\Reference directory and its subdirectories. And, new files that were added to C:\Reference or its subdirectories are included in the updated Draft.Zip archive.

Parameters

-CompressionLevel

Specifies how much compression to apply when you're creating the archive file. Faster compression requires less time to create the file, but can result in larger file sizes.

If this parameter isn't specified, the command uses the default value, Optimal.

The following are the acceptable values for this parameter:

  • Fastest. Use the fastest compression method available to reduce processing time. Faster compression can result in larger file sizes.
  • NoCompression. Doesn't compress the source files.
  • Optimal. Processing time is dependent on file size.
Type:String
Accepted values:Optimal, NoCompression, Fastest
Position:Named
Default value:Optimal
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:cf
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-DestinationPath

This parameter is required and specifies the path to the archive output file. The DestinationPath should include the name of the zipped file, and either the absolute or relative path to the zipped file.

If the file name in DestinationPath doesn't have a .zip file name extension, the cmdlet adds the .zip file name extension.

Type:String
Position:1
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Force

Forces the command to run without asking for user confirmation.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-LiteralPath

Specifies the path or paths to the files that you want to add to the archive zipped file. Unlike the Path parameter, the value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it's typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, enclose each escape character in single quotation marks, to instruct PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences. To specify multiple paths, and include files in multiple locations in your output zipped file, use commas to separate the paths.

Type:String[]
Aliases:PSPath
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-PassThru

Causes the cmdlet to output a file object representing the archive file created.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 6.0.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Path

Specifies the path or paths to the files that you want to add to the archive zipped file. To specify multiple paths, and include files in multiple locations, use commas to separate the paths.

This parameter accepts wildcard characters. Wildcard characters allow you to add all files in a directory to your archive file.

Using wildcards with a root directory affects the archive's contents:

  • To create an archive that includes the root directory, and all its files and subdirectories, specify the root directory in the Path without wildcards. For example: -Path C:\Reference
  • To create an archive that excludes the root directory, but zips all its files and subdirectories, use the asterisk (*) wildcard. For example: -Path C:\Reference\*
  • To create an archive that only zips the files in the root directory, use the star-dot-star (*.*) wildcard. Subdirectories of the root aren't included in the archive. For example: -Path C:\Reference\*.*
Type:String[]
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Update

Updates the specified archive by replacing older file versions in the archive with newer file versions that have the same names. You can also add this parameter to add files to an existing archive.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-WhatIf

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet isn't run.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:wi
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

System.String

You can pipe a string that contains a path to one or more files.

Outputs

System.IO.FileInfo

The cmdlet only returns a FileInfo object when you use the PassThru parameter.

Notes

Using recursion and sending objects down the pipeline can duplicate files in your archive. For example, if you use Get-ChildItem with the Recurse parameter, each FileInfo and DirectoryInfo object that's sent down the pipeline is added to the archive.