Set-Content

Writes or replaces the content in an item with new content.

Syntax

Set-Content
   [-Value] <Object[]>
   [-PassThru]
   [-Path] <String[]>
   [-Filter <String>]
   [-Include <String[]>]
   [-Exclude <String[]>]
   [-Force]
   [-Credential <PSCredential>]
   [-WhatIf]
   [-Confirm]
   [-UseTransaction]
   [-NoNewline]
   [-Encoding <FileSystemCmdletProviderEncoding>]
   [-Stream <String>]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Set-Content
   [-Value] <Object[]>
   [-PassThru]
   -LiteralPath <String[]>
   [-Filter <String>]
   [-Include <String[]>]
   [-Exclude <String[]>]
   [-Force]
   [-Credential <PSCredential>]
   [-WhatIf]
   [-Confirm]
   [-UseTransaction]
   [-NoNewline]
   [-Encoding <FileSystemCmdletProviderEncoding>]
   [-Stream <String>]
   [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Set-Content cmdlet is a string-processing cmdlet that writes or replaces the content in the specified item, such as a file. Whereas the Add-Content cmdlet appends content to a file, Set-Content replaces the existing content. You can type the content in the command or send content through the pipeline to Set-Content.

Examples

Example 1: Replace the contents of multiple files in a folder

PS C:\> Set-Content -Path "C:\Test1\test*.txt" -Value "Hello, World"

This command replaces the contents of all files in the Test1 folder that have names that start with "test" with "Hello, World". This example shows how to specify content by typing it in the command.

Example 2: Send content to a file

PS C:\> Get-Date | Set-Content -Path "C:\Test1\date.csv"

This command creates a comma-separated variable-length (csv) file that contains only the current date and time. It uses the Get-Date cmdlet to get the current system date and time. The pipeline operator passes the result to Set-Content, which creates the file and writes the content.

If the Test1 directory does not exist, the command fails, but if the file does not exist, the command creates it.

Example 3: Replace text in a file

PS C:\> (Get-Content -Path "Notice.txt") | ForEach-Object {$_ -Replace "Warning", "Caution"} | Set-Content -Path "Notice.txt"

This command replaces all instances of "Warning" with "Caution" in the Notice.txt file.

It uses Get-Content cmdlet to get the content of Notice.txt. The pipeline operator sends the results to the ForEach-Object cmdlet, which applies the expression to each line of content in Get-Content. The expression uses the "$_" symbol to refer to the current item and the Replace parameter to specify the text to be replaced.

Another pipeline operator sends the changed content to Set-Content which replaces the text in Notice.txt with the new content.

The parentheses around the Get-Content command ensure that the Get operation is complete before the Set operation begins. Without them, the command will fail because the two functions will be trying to access the same file.

Required Parameters

-LiteralPath

Specifies the path of the item that receives the content. Unlike Path, the value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it is typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.

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

Specifies the path of the item that receives the content. Wildcard characters are permitted.

Type:String[]
Position:1
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Value

Specifies the new content for the item.

Type:Object[]
Position:2
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName, ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False

Optional Parameters

-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
-Credential

Specifies a user account that has permission to perform this action. The default is the current user.

Type a user name, such as "User01" or "Domain01\User01", or enter a PSCredential object, such as one generated by the Get-Credential cmdlet. If you type a user name, you will be prompted for a password.

This parameter is not supported by any providers installed with PowerShell.

Type:PSCredential
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByPropertyName)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Encoding

Specifies the file encoding. The acceptable values for this parameter are:

  • ASCII Uses the encoding for the ASCII (7-bit) character set.
  • BigEndianUnicode Encodes in UTF-16 format using the big-endian byte order.
  • BigEndianUTF32 Encodes in UTF-32 format using the big-endian byte order.
  • Default Encodes using the default value: ASCII.
  • Byte Encodes a set of characters into a sequence of bytes.
  • String Uses the encoding type for a string.
  • Unicode Encodes in UTF-16 format using the little-endian byte order.
  • UTF7 Encodes in UTF-7 format.
  • UTF8 Encodes in UTF-8 format.
  • Unknown The encoding type is unknown or invalid; the data can be treated as binary.

The default value is ASCII.

Encoding is a dynamic parameter that the FileSystem provider adds to Set-Content. This parameter works only in file system drives.

Type:FileSystemCmdletProviderEncoding
Parameter Sets:Unknown, String, Unicode, Byte, BigEndianUnicode, UTF8, UTF7, UTF32, Ascii, Default, Oem, BigEndianUTF32
Position:Named
Default value:ASCII
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Exclude

Omits the specified items. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as "*.txt". Wildcards are permitted.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Filter

Specifies a filter in the format or language of the provider. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. The syntax of the filter, including the use of wildcard characters, depends on the provider. Filters are more efficient than other parameters, because the provider applies them when it is retrieving the objects, instead of having PowerShell filter the objects after they are retrieved.

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

Forces the cmdlet to set the contents of a file, even if the file is read-only. Implementation varies from provider to provider. For more information, see about_Providers. Using the Force parameter does not override security restrictions.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Include

Changes only the specified items. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as "*.txt". Wildcards are permitted.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-NoNewline

The string representations of the input objects are concatenated to form the output. No spaces or newlines are inserted between the output strings. No newline is added after the last output string.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-PassThru

Returns an object that represents the content. By default, this cmdlet does not generate any output.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Stream

Specifies an alternative data stream for content. If the stream does not exist, this cmdlet creates it. Wildcard characters are not supported.

Stream is a dynamic parameter that the FileSystem provider adds to Set-Content. This parameter works only in file system drives.

You can use the Set-Content cmdlet to change the content of the Zone.Identifier alternate data stream. However, we do not recommend this as a way to eliminate security checks that block files that are downloaded from the Internet. If you verify that a downloaded file is safe, use the Unblock-File cmdlet.

This parameter was introduced in PowerShell 3.0.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-UseTransaction

Includes the command in the active transaction. This parameter is valid only when a transaction is in progress. For more information, see about_Transactions.

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

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet is not run.

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

Inputs

System.Object

You can pipe an object that contains the new value for the item to Set-Content.

Outputs

None or System.String

When you use the Passthru parameter, Set-Content generates a System.String object representing the content. Otherwise, this cmdlet does not generate any output.

Notes

You can also refer to Set-Content by its built-in alias, "sc". For more information, see about_Aliases.

Set-Content is designed for string processing. If you pipe non-string objects to Set-Content, it converts the object to a string before writing it. To write objects to files, use Out-File.

The Set-Content cmdlet is designed to work with the data exposed by any provider. To list the providers available in your session, type Get-PsProvider. For more information, see about_Providers.