How to Redirect Command Output to a File
One of the most useful tasks you can do with PowerShell is to redirect output to a file. This allows you to store data from commands in a text-based format that can easily be shared or manipulated further. Let’s take a look at how you can use this feature.
Using Redirection Operators
The most basic way to redirect output to a file is by using the redirection operator
> (greater than sign). This operator works by taking the output of one command and writing it into the specified file.
For example, if you want to write the output of all running process into a text file called
process.txt, then you would enter this command into PowerShell:
Get-Process > process.txt
> is what tells PowerShell to write the output of that command into the specified file instead of displaying it in your console window as usual.
Note that if you use this method on an existing file, it will overwrite whatever was previously in that file! If you want to append information onto an existing file, then use two greater than signs (
>>) instead of one (
>). This will add your new results onto the end of whatever is already in that file without deleting anything else that was there before.
Using Out-File Cmdlet
Another way to redirect output to a file is by using the
Out-File cmdlet. This cmdlet allows you to specify more details about how exactly your output should be written into your chosen file such as its encoding type or whether or not it should overwrite existing content or append information onto an existing text document.
Out-File, simply run your command and pipe its results directly into
Get-Process | out-file process.txt
You can also specify additional parameters as part of this command such as
-encoding utf8 -append which would tell PowerShell to save your results using UTF8 encoding and append any new results onto an existing text document rather than overwriting it completely (note that these two parameters must be separated by spaces).
Using Tee-Object Cmdlet
Finally, if you want both the results displayed onscreen and saved into a text document at once, then you can use
Tee-Object cmdlet like:
Get-Process | tee process.txt
This will show all your results onscreen while simultaneously saving them into your specified text document at once rather than having separate commands for each task as we did earlier when just writing our results straight away into our chosen document (which didn’t display anything onscreen).
Knowing how to redirect output to files in PowerShell comes in handy for many different tasks such as automating processes or troubleshooting problems quickly and efficiently without having manually copy all your results each time they change or update themselves over time.