Get the items and child items in a folder or registry key. If the item is a container, it gets the items inside the container, known as child items. You can use the Recurse parameter to get items in all child containers. Aliases: dir / ls / gci

      Get-ChildItem [ [-path] string[] | [-literalPath] string[] ] 
         [-Attributes FileAttributes] [[-filter] string] [-include string[]] [-exclude string[]]
            [-FollowSymlink] [-Depth UInt32] [-Name] [-Directory] [-File] [-Hidden]
               [-ReadOnly] [-recurse] [-force] [-System] [-UseTransaction] [CommonParameters]

   -path string
       The paths to the items from which content is to be retrieved.
       Wildcards are permitted. Default is the current directory (.)

   -literalPath string
       Like Path above, only the value is used exactly as typed. [bug: ignores filters]
       No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes any escape characters then
       enclose the path in single quotation marks.
       One or more locations can be specified as a string array.

   -Attributes {ReadOnly | Hidden | System | Directory | Archive | Device |  Normal | Temporary | SparseFile | 
                ReparsePoint | Compressed | Offline | NotContentIndexed | Encrypted |  IntegrityStream | NoScrubData}

       Get files and folders with the specified attributes.
       This parameter supports all attributes and complex combinations of attributes.

       For example, to get non-system files (not directories) that are encrypted or compressed, type:
            Get-ChildItem -Attributes !Directory+!System+Encrypted, !Directory+!System+Compressed

       To find files and folders with commonly used attributes, you can use the Attributes parameter, or the 
        -Directory, -File, -Hidden, -ReadOnly, and -System switch parameters.

       A 'Normal' file is a standard file that has no special attributes. This attribute is valid only if it is used alone.

       Use the following operators to combine attributes.
           !    NOT
           +    AND
           ,    OR
       No spaces are permitted between an operator and its attribute. However, spaces are permitted before commas.

       Abbreviations for commonly used attributes:
           D    Directory
           H    Hidden
           R    Read-only
           S    System

   -Depth UInt32
       use with –Recurse to limit the recursion to UInt32 levels.

       Get directories (folders).  
       To get only directories, use -Directory and omit -File.
       To exclude directories, use -File and omit -Directory, or use the -Attributes parameter.      
       alias: ad

       Get files. 
       To get only files, use -File and omit -Directory.
       To exclude files, use -Directory and omit -File, or use the -Attributes parameter.

   -FollowSymlink  (PowerShell 6.0+)
       Search any directories that are the target of symbolic links in the search path.
       By default, Get-ChildItem displays symbolic links to directories found during recursion, but
       doesn't recurse into them. This is a dynamic parameter and is supported only in the FileSystem provider.

       Get only hidden files and directories (folders).
       By default, Get-ChildItem gets only non-hidden items, use the -Force parameter to include
       both hidden and non-hidden items in the results.

   -include string
       Include only the specified items from the Path. e.g. 'May*'
       This parameter is only effective when the command includes -Recurse to match files
       or if the string matches the contents of a directory.
       So to match  C:\demo\sample.txt you could use:  GCI -include *sample.txt
       For most providers particularly the filesystem, the -filter parameter is a better/faster way
       to filter results. e.g.  GCI -filter sample.txt

   -exclude string
       Omit the specified items from the Path e.g. '*SS64*'

       Get all items including hidden or system files, but will not override
       security/file permissions. You can also get hidden files and folders with -Hidden or
       with the Hidden value of the -Attributes parameter.

   -filter string
       A filter in the provider's format or language. 
       The exact syntax of the filter (wildcard support etc) depends on the provider.

       A filesystem -filter will use the old Win32/DOS syntax - see the wildcards page for details.
       Filters are slightly more efficient than -include/-exclude, because the provider
       applies the filter when retrieving the objects, rather than having 
       PowerShell filter the objects after they are retrieved.

       Retrieve only the names of the items.
       This is useful when piping the names of the child items to another command.

       Get only read-only files and directories (folders).  
       To exclude read-only items, use the -Attributes parameter.
       Alias: ar

       Get the items plus all child items of the location(s).
       Only for paths that point to a container such as C:\Windows or C:\Windows\*
       A path such as *.txt will not have any child items.

   -Depth UInt32

       Get only system files and directories (folders).
       To exclude system files and folders, use the -Attributes parameter.
       Alias: as 

       Include the command in the active transaction. This option was removed in PowerShell 6.0.

Standard Aliases for Get-ChildItem: dir, list, ls, gci

By default, Get-ChildItem gets only non-hidden items, but you can use the -Directory, -File, -Hidden, -ReadOnly, and -System parameters to get only items with these attributes.

When listing files and sub-directories, get-childitem will return the mode (attributes), last write time, file size (length), and the filename.
Valid modes (attributes) are: d (directory), a (archive), r (read-only), h (hidden), and s (system).

The default path is the current directory ' . '
To specify all the items in the current directory use '*'


When listing a single folder (without recursion), you can do get-childitem c:\music\*.mp3
Unlike the CMD shell, in PowerShell the path filter of c:\music\*.mp3 is applied only to files not folders (or other containers).

To apply a wildcard recursively to a whole tree of items in PowerShell add the -recurse parameter:
get-childitem c:\music\*.mp3 -recurse

or more explicitly:
get-childitem c:\music\ -filter *.mp3 -recurse


Get the child items in the current location:

PS C:\> get-childitem

Get a plain list of full filenames, like DIR /b without a header, Select just the FullName:

PS C:\> (gci "C:\some folder").FullName > fileListing.txt

If some of the filenames are very long they may be truncated, to avoid this add -expandProperty:

PS C:\> gci "C:\some folder" | select -expandProperty FullName | `
out-file -encoding utf8 'C:\demo\demo.txt'

List all subdirectory names, but only going one level below the given directory:

PS C:\> Get-ChildItem -Directory -Path "C:\some folder" -Recurse -Depth 1 -name

If listing files to the console, then you may need to use Write-Host -width 999 to ensure that nothing gets truncated.

PS C:\> $stuff = gci "C:\some folder" | select -expandProperty FullName
PS C:\> Write-Host -width 999 $stuff

An effect similar to the above can be had by piping the result to format-table –hidetableheaders however Format-Table will also pad the output with spaces.

Get all the .XLS files in a folder:

PS C:\> get-childitem \\Server64\Work\* -filter *.xls

Count all the .XLSX files in a folder and all sub-folders:

PS C:\> $a = get-childitem \\Server64\Work\ -filter *.xlsx -Recurse
PS C:\> $a.Count

Get all the empty directories under the path C:\demo, [ GetFiles().Count would return directories with no files but with sub-folders]:

PS C:\> (gci -Directory C:\demo -r | ?{$_.GetFileSystemInfos().Count -eq 0} | select FullName

Get all the files owned by BWithers:

PS C:\> C:\> get-childitem C:\Work\ -recurse | get-acl | where {$_.Owner -match "BWithers"}

Get all files, including hidden files, in the current directory, but exclude subdirectories,
The second command below uses aliases and abbreviations, but has the same effect as the first:

PS C:\> Get-ChildItem -Attributes !Directory,!Directory+Hidden
PS C:\> dir -att !d,!d+h

Get a list of sub-folder names and store in $folders:

PS C:\> $folders = gci 'C:\YourDir' | Where-Object{($_.PSIsContainer)} | foreach-object{$_.Name}

Measure the size of a folder:

PS C:\> Get-ChildItem C:\Work\ -Recurse -Force | Measure-Object -property length -sum

Measure the size of a folder and display in GB, (to also round the numbers use the -F operator):

PS C:\> (Get-ChildItem C:\Work\ -Recurse -Force | Measure-Object -property length -sum).sum / 1Gb

Get all the certificates in the certificate store, use the dynamic parameter -codesigningcert to get only certificates with code-signing authority. ( see "get-help certificate" for more):

PS C:\> get-childitem cert:\. -recurse -codesigningcert

List the certificates and their thumbprints for the current user:

PS C:\> CD cert:\currentuser\my
PS C:\> Get-ChildItem

“You [humans] think that you an insignificant, while there is a great universe contained in you” ~ Ali ibn Abi Talib

Related PowerShell Cmdlets:

Wildcards - Match multiple items.
Get-Item - Get a file object or get a registry (or other namespace) object.
Get-Location - Display the current location.
Measure-Object - Measure the properties of an object - use this to return the size of a file or folder.
Test-Path - Return true if the path exists, otherwise return false.
Join-Path -resolve - Combine a path and child-path.
Superuser - Find all empty directories.

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