Out File - PowerShell


The Out-File cmdlet in PowerShell exports the specified objects to a file. It is commonly used to save the output of commands or scripts to a text file for later use or analysis.


Out-File [-FilePath] <String> [-Append] [-Encoding <Encoding>] [-Force] [-NoClobber] [-Stream <FileMode>] [-Width <Int32>] [-Delimiter <String>] [-InputObject <PSObject>]


  • -FilePath: Specifies the path to the file where the objects will be exported. If the file does not exist, it will be created. If the file already exists, its contents will be overwritten unless the -Append parameter is used.
  • -Append: Appends the specified objects to the end of an existing file. If the -Append parameter is not used, the existing file will be overwritten.
  • -Encoding: Specifies the encoding used to save the file. The default encoding is UTF8.
  • -Force: Overwrites the existing file without prompting for confirmation.
  • -NoClobber: Prevents overwriting an existing file.
  • -Stream: Specifies the file stream used to write the objects. The default value is “Write”.
  • -Width: Specifies the maximum width of each line in the output file. The default value is 0, which indicates no line wrapping.
  • -Delimiter: Specifies the delimiter used to separate the objects in the output file. The default delimiter is a comma.
  • -InputObject: Specifies the objects to be exported to the file.


Simple File Output:

Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath "processes.txt"

Append to an Existing File:

Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath "processes.txt" -Append

Specify Output Width and Delimiter:

Get-Process | Out-File -FilePath "processes.txt" -Width 80 -Delimiter ";"

Common Issues

  • Overwriting Existing Files: The -Force parameter must be used to overwrite an existing file without prompting for confirmation.
  • Malformed Output: If the specified delimiter is not valid, the output file may be malformed or unreadable.
  • Permission Denied: If the specified file path is not writable, the Out-File cmdlet will fail with a permission denied error.


The Out-File cmdlet can be combined with other PowerShell commands to create powerful scripts. For example, the following script uses the Get-ChildItem and Out-File cmdlets to export a list of files in a directory to a text file:

Get-ChildItem C:\path\to\directory | Out-File -FilePath "file_list.txt"
  • Get-Content: Reads the contents of a file into a variable.
  • Set-Content: Writes the specified text to a file.
  • Remove-Item: Deletes a file.