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Clear-Content

Updated: April 21, 2010

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0

Deletes the contents of an item, such as deleting the text from a file, but does not delete the item.

Syntax

Clear-Content [-LiteralPath] <string[]> [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-Exclude <string[]>] [-Filter <string>] [-Force] [-Include <string[]>] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [<CommonParameters>]

Clear-Content [-Path] <string[]> [-Credential <PSCredential>] [-Exclude <string[]>] [-Filter <string>] [-Force] [-Include <string[]>] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Clear-Content cmdlet deletes the contents of an item, such as deleting the text from a file, but it does not delete the item. As a result, the item exists, but it is empty. Clear-Content is similar to Clear-Item, but it works on files instead of on aliases and variables.

Parameters

-Credential <PSCredential>

Specifies a user account that has permission to perform this action. The default is the current user.

Type a user name, such as "User01" or "Domain01\User01", or enter a PSCredential object, such as one generated by the Get-Credential cmdlet. If you type a user name, you will be prompted for a password.

This parameter is not supported by any providers installed with Windows PowerShell.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Exclude <string[]>

Omits the specified items. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as "*.txt". Wildcards are permitted.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Filter <string>

Specifies a filter in the provider's format or language. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. The syntax of the filter, including the use of wildcards, depends on the provider. Filters are more efficient than other parameters, because the provider applies them when retrieving the objects, rather than having Windows PowerShell filter the objects after they are retrieved.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Force

Allows the cmdlet to clear the file contents even if the file is read-only. Implementation varies from provider to provider. For more information, see about_Providers. Even using the Force parameter, the cmdlet cannot override security restrictions.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Include <string[]>

Clears only the specified items. The value of this parameter qualifies the Path parameter. Enter a path element or pattern, such as "*.txt". Wildcards are permitted.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-LiteralPath <string[]>

Specifies the paths to the items from which content is deleted. Unlike Path, the value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it is typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell Windows PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.

 

Required?

true

Position?

1

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Path <string[]>

Specifies the paths to the items from which content is deleted. Wildcards are permitted. The paths must be paths to items, not to containers. For example, you must specify a path to one or more files, not a path to a directory. Wildcards are permitted. This parameter is required, but the parameter name ("Path") is optional.

 

Required?

true

Position?

1

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before executing the command.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-WhatIf

Describes what would happen if you executed the command without actually executing the command.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-UseTransaction

Includes the command in the active transaction. This parameter is valid only when a transaction is in progress. For more information, see about_Transactions.

 

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

<CommonParameters>

This command supports the common parameters: Verbose, Debug, ErrorAction, ErrorVariable, OutBuffer, OutVariable, WarningAction, and WarningVariable. For more information, see about_CommonParameters.

Inputs and Outputs

The input type is the type of the objects that you can pipe to the cmdlet. The return type is the type of the objects that the cmdlet returns.

 

Inputs

None

You cannot pipe objects to Clear-Content.

Outputs

None

This cmdlet does not return any objects.

Notes

You can also refer to Clear-Content by its built-in alias, "clc". For more information, see about_Aliases.

If you omit the -Path parameter name, the value of Path must be the first parameter in the command. For example, "clear-content c:\mydir\*.txt". If you include the parameter name, you can list the parameters in any order.

You can use Clear-Content with the Windows PowerShell File System provider and with other providers that manipulate content. To clear items that are not considered to be content, such as items managed by the Windows PowerShell Certificate or Registry providers, use Clear-Item.

The Clear-Content cmdlet is designed to work with the data exposed by any provider. To list the providers available in your session, type "Get-PsProvider". For more information, see about_Providers.

Example 1

C:\PS>clear-content ..\SmpUsers\*\init.txt

Description

-----------

This command deletes all of the content from the "init.txt" files in all subdirectories of the SmpUsers directory. The files are not deleted, but they are empty.

Example 2

C:\PS>clear-content -path * -filter *.log -force

Description

-----------

This command deletes the contents of all files in the current directory with the ".log" file name extension, including files with the read-only attribute. The asterisk (*) in the path represents all items in the current directory. The Force parameter makes the command effective on read-only files. Using a filter to restrict the command to files with the ".log" file name extension instead of specifying "*.log" in the path makes the operation faster.

Example 3

C:\PS>clear-content c:\Temp\* -Include Smp* -Exclude *2* -whatif

Description

-----------

This command requests a prediction of what would happen if you submitted the command: "clear-content c:\temp\* -include smp* -exclude *2*". The result lists the files that would be cleared; in this case, files in the Temp directory whose names begin with "Smp", unless the file names include a "2". To execute the command, run it again without the Whatif parameter.

See Also

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