Select XML - PowerShell


Select-XML is a PowerShell command that enables users to search and extract XML data, elements, and attributes from XML documents and return the results as XML or text objects. It’s a powerful tool for parsing XML data for specific information and integrating XML content into PowerShell scripts.


Select-XML [-FilePath] <string[]> [-LiteralPath] <string[]> -Word <string>
[-StartPath] <string> [-Recurse] [-IgnoreCase] [-Encoding] <string>
[-Xmllanguage] <string> [-Fragment] [-NoNamespaceSchemaValidation]
[-NamespaceManager] <System.Xml.XmlNamespaceManager>
[-OutFile] <string> [-OutVariable] <string> [-Delimiter] <string>
[-Encoding] <string>


  • -FilePath: Specifies the path to the XML files to be searched.
  • -LiteralPath: Uses the exact provided paths, ensuring no pattern matching occurs.
  • -Word: The word or string to search for within the XML documents.
  • -StartPath: Sets the root directory from which to begin searching for XML files.
  • -Recurse: Includes subdirectories in the search when specifying a start path.
  • -IgnoreCase: Disregards case when searching for the specified word.
  • -Encoding: Specifies the character encoding of the XML files.
  • -Xmllanguage: Defines the XML language to be used when processing the XML data.
  • -Fragment: Parses the XML as text nodes and ignores element structure.
  • -NoNamespaceSchemaValidation: Skips Namespace schema validation during parsing.
  • -NamespaceManager: Utilizes a custom XML namespace manager for parsing.
  • -OutFile: Outputs the results to a specified file.
  • -OutVariable: Stores the results in a specified PowerShell variable.
  • -Delimiter: Defines the separator character for text output.
  • -Encoding: Specifies the encoding for the output file (default: UTF8).


Simple Search

Select-XML -FilePath "file.xml" -Word "keyword"

Recursive Search

Select-XML -StartPath "root-directory" -Recurse -Word "keyword"

Output to a File

Select-XML -FilePath "file.xml" -Word "keyword" -OutFile "result.txt"

Store Results in a Variable

$results = Select-XML -FilePath "file.xml" -Word "keyword"

Common Issues

  • Incorrect XML syntax: Ensure that the XML document is well-formed and syntactically correct.
  • Word not found: Verify that the specified word exists within the XML document.
  • Access denied: Ensure that you have sufficient permissions to access the XML files.


Select-XML can be combined with other PowerShell commands for advanced data processing. For instance, you can:

  • Use Where-Object to filter the search results.
  • Pipe the results to Export-CSV to export the data to a CSV file.
  • Leverage Invoke-WebRequest to retrieve XML data from web sources.
  • Get-Content: Reads the content of a text or XML file.
  • ConvertFrom-XML: Converts XML data into PowerShell objects.
  • ConvertTo-XML: Converts PowerShell objects into XML data.