How to find strings with PowerShell

An article to explain how easy it is to answer some working needs using Microsoft Powershell.

In my job, I happen to have the need to search some data written inside files.

Three classic requests:

1) I need to remember some info about a meeting (I take always notes during meetings)

2) I need to get a statistic about how many customers asked a particular feature

3) I need to search for some errors in application logs

In this short article, I show you how to answer.

In my example, I need to find  a string with the content “find me” in my Documents folder

The PowerShell command is:

Get-ChildItem -Recurse -Path “C:\Users\VBR\Documents\” | Select-String Pattern “find me”

it is composed of two parts separated by a vertical bar (|)

In the first part, the command will search all files into the path C:\Users\VBR\Documents\ (Recurse)

In the second will search the type (string) and the object (pattern)

I like the idea of saving the results of the command in a file and also having just the path of the string I searched.

The command is changed as you can see below:

Get-ChildItem -Recurse -Path “C:\Users\VBR\Documents\Test-Find” | Select-String -Pattern “find me” | select path | Out-File C:\Scripts\Results\search_script_out.txt

To remember:
All PowerShell commands support wild card (*, ?, [ ]), which means you can search any string in your environment.