Out-File

Sends output to a file.

Syntax

Out-File
   [-FilePath] <string>
   [[-Encoding] <string>]
   [-Append]
   [-Force]
   [-NoClobber]
   [-Width <int>][-NoNewline]
   [-InputObject <psobject>]
   [-WhatIf]
   [-Confirm]
   [<CommonParameters>]
Out-File
   [[-Encoding] <string>]
   -LiteralPath <string>
   [-Append]
   [-Force]
   [-NoClobber]
   [-Width <int>][-NoNewline]
   [-InputObject <psobject>]
   [-WhatIf]
   [-Confirm]
   [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Out-File cmdlet sends output to a file. When you need to specify parameters for the output use Out-File rather than the redirection operator (>).

Examples

Example 1: Send output and create a file

This example shows how to send a list of the local computer's processes to a file. If the file does not exist, Out-File creates the file in the specified path.

Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath .\Process.txt
Get-Content -Path .\Process.txt

NPM(K)    PM(M)      WS(M)     CPU(s)      Id  SI ProcessName
 ------    -----      -----     ------      --  -- -----------
     29    22.39      35.40      10.98   42764   9 Application
     53    99.04     113.96       0.00   32664   0 CcmExec
     27    96.62     112.43     113.00   17720   9 Code

The Get-Process cmdlet gets the list of processes running on the local computer. The Process objects are sent down the pipeline to the Out-File cmdlet. Out-File uses the FilePath parameter and creates a file in the current directory named Process.txt. The Get-Content command gets content from the file and displays it in the PowerShell console.

Example 2: Prevent an existing file from being overwritten

This example prevents an existing file from being overwritten. By default, Out-File overwrites existing files.

Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath .\Process.txt -NoClobber

Out-File : The file 'C:\Test\Process.txt' already exists.
At line:1 char:15
+ Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath .\Process.txt -NoClobber
+               ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The Get-Process cmdlet gets the list of processes running on the local computer. The Process objects are sent down the pipeline to the Out-File cmdlet. Out-File uses the FilePath parameter and attempts to write to a file in the current directory named Process.txt. The NoClobber parameter prevents the file from being overwritten and displays a message that the file already exists.

Example 3: Send output to a file in ASCII format

This example shows how to encode output with a specific encoding type.

$Procs = Get-Process
Out-File -FilePath .\Process.txt -InputObject $Procs -Encoding ASCII -Width 50

The Get-Process cmdlet gets the list of processes running on the local computer. The Process objects are stored in the variable, $Procs. Out-File uses the FilePath parameter and creates a file in the current directory named Process.txt. The InputObject parameter passes the process objects in $Procs to the file Process.txt. The Encoding parameter converts the output to ASCII format. The Width parameter limits each line in the file to 50 characters so some data might be truncated.

Example 4: Use a provider and send output to a file

This example shows how to use the Out-File cmdlet when you are not in a FileSystem provider drive. Use the Get-PSProvider cmdlet to view the providers on your local computer. For more information, see about_Providers.

PS> Set-Location -Path Alias:

PS> Get-Location

Path
----
Alias:\

PS> Get-ChildItem | Out-File -FilePath C:\TestDir\AliasNames.txt

PS> Get-Content -Path C:\TestDir\AliasNames.txt

CommandType     Name
-----------     ----
Alias           % -> ForEach-Object
Alias           ? -> Where-Object
Alias           ac -> Add-Content
Alias           cat -> Get-Content

The Set-Location command uses the Path parameter to set the current location to the registry provider Alias:. The Get-Location cmdlet displays the complete path for Alias:. Get-ChildItem sends objects down the pipeline to the Out-File cmdlet. Out-File uses the FilePath parameter to specify the complete path and filename for the output, C:\TestDir\AliasNames.txt. The Get-Content cmdlet uses the Path parameter and displays the file's content in the PowerShell console.

Parameters

-Append

Adds the output to the end of an existing file. If no Encoding is specified, the cmdlet uses the default encoding. That encoding may not match the encoding of the target file. This is the same behavior as the redirection operator (>>).

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:None
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
-Encoding

Specifies the type of encoding for the target file. The default value is Unicode.

The acceptable values for this parameter are as follows:

  • ASCII Uses ASCII (7-bit) character set.
  • BigEndianUnicode Uses UTF-16 with the big-endian byte order.
  • Default Uses the encoding that corresponds to the system's active code page (usually ANSI).
  • OEM Uses the encoding that corresponds to the system's current OEM code page.
  • String Same as Unicode.
  • Unicode Uses UTF-16 with the little-endian byte order.
  • Unknown Same as Unicode.
  • UTF7 Uses UTF-7.
  • UTF8 Uses UTF-8.
  • UTF32 Uses UTF-32 with the little-endian byte order.
Type:String
Accepted values:ASCII, BigEndianUnicode, Default, OEM, String, Unicode, Unknown, UTF7, UTF8, UTF32
Position:1
Default value:Unicode
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-FilePath

Specifies the path to the output file.

Type:String
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Force

Overrides the read-only attribute and overwrites an existing read-only file. The Force parameter does not override security restrictions.

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

Specifies the objects to be written to the file. Enter a variable that contains the objects or type a command or expression that gets the objects.

Type:PSObject
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True (ByValue)
Accept wildcard characters:False
-LiteralPath

Specifies the path to the output file. The LiteralPath parameter is used exactly as it is typed. Wildcard characters are not accepted. 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. For more information, see about_Quoting_Rules.

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

NoClobber prevents an existing file from being overwritten and displays a message that the file already exists. By default, if a file exists in the specified path, Out-File overwrites the file without warning.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:NoOverwrite
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-NoNewline

Specifies that the content written to the file does not end with a newline character. 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
-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
-Width

Specifies the number of characters in each line of output. Any additional characters are truncated, not wrapped. If this parameter is not used, the width is determined by the characteristics of the host. The default for the PowerShell console is 80 characters.

Type:Int
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

System.Management.Automation.PSObject

You can pipe any object to Out-File.

Outputs

None

Out-File does not generate any output.

Notes

The Out cmdlets do not format objects; they just render them and send them to the specified display destination. If you send an unformatted object to an Out cmdlet, the cmdlet sends it to a formatting cmdlet before rendering it.

To send a PowerShell command's output to the Out-File cmdlet, use the pipeline. You can store data in a variable and use the InputObject parameter to pass data to the Out-File cmdlet.

Out-File sends data but it does not produce any output objects. If you pipe the output of Out-File to Get-Member, the Get-Member cmdlet reports that no objects were specified.