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Clear-Item

Published: February 29, 2012

Updated: August 15, 2012

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0

Clear-Item

Deletes the contents of an item, but does not delete the item.

Aliases

The following abbreviations are aliases for this cmdlet:

  • cli

Syntax

Parameter Set: Path
Clear-Item [-Path] <String[]> [-Credential <PSCredential> ] [-Exclude <String[]> ] [-Filter <String> ] [-Force] [-Include <String[]> ] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [ <CommonParameters>]

Parameter Set: LiteralPath
Clear-Item -LiteralPath <String[]> [-Credential <PSCredential> ] [-Exclude <String[]> ] [-Filter <String> ] [-Force] [-Include <String[]> ] [-Confirm] [-WhatIf] [-UseTransaction] [ <CommonParameters>]




Detailed Description

The Clear-Item cmdlet deletes the value of an item, but it does not delete the item. For example, Clear-Item can delete the value of a variable, but it does not delete the variable. The value that used to represent a cleared item is defined by each Windows PowerShell provider. Clear-Item is similar to Clear-Content, but it works on aliases and variables, instead of files.

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.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

Current user

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.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

true

-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.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

true

-Force

Allows the cmdlet to clear items that cannot otherwise be changed, such as read- only aliases. The cmdlet cannot clear constants. Implementation varies from provider to provider. For more information, see about_Providers. Even using the Force parameter, the cmdlet cannot override security restrictions.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

False

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.


Aliases

none

Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

true

-LiteralPath<String[]>

Specifies the path to the items being cleared. 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.


Aliases

PSPath

Required?

true

Position?

named

Default Value

None

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByValue, ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-Path<String[]>

Specifies the path to the items being cleared. Wildcards are permitted. This parameter is required, but the parameter name ("Path") is optional.


Aliases

none

Required?

true

Position?

1

Default Value

none

Accept Pipeline Input?

true (ByValue, ByPropertyName)

Accept Wildcard Characters?

true

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet.


Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

false

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

-WhatIf

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet is not run.


Required?

false

Position?

named

Default Value

false

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

false

Accept Pipeline Input?

false

Accept Wildcard Characters?

false

<CommonParameters>

This cmdlet supports the common parameters: -Verbose, -Debug, -ErrorAction, -ErrorVariable, -OutBuffer, and -OutVariable. For more information, see  about_CommonParameters (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkID=113216).

Inputs

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

  • System.String

    You can pipe a path string to Clear-Item.


Outputs

The output type is the type of the objects that the cmdlet emits.

  • None

    This cmdlet does not return any objects.


Notes

  • The Clear-Item cmdlet is supported only by several Windows PowerShell providers, including the Alias, Environment, Function, Registry, and Variable providers. As such, you can use Clear-Item to delete the content of items in the provider namespaces.

    You cannot use Clear-Item to delete the contents of a file, because the Windows PowerShell FileSystem provider does not support this cmdlet. To clear files, use Clear-Content.

    You can also refer to Clear-Item by its built-in alias, "cli". For more information, type "get-help about_Aliases".

    The Clear-Item 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.

Examples

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 1 --------------------------

This command deletes the value of the variable, Testvar1. The variable remains and is valid, but its value is set to null. The variable name is prefixed with "Variable:" to indicate the Windows PowerShell Variable provider.

The alternate commands show that, to get the same result, you can switch to the Windows PowerShell Variable: drive and then run the Clear-Item command.


PS C:\> Clear-Item Variable:TestVar1
-or-
PS C:>Set-location Variable:PS Variable:\> Clear-Item Testvar1

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 2 --------------------------

This command asks Windows PowerShell what would happen if you executed the command, "clear-item alias:log* -include *1* -exclude *3". In response, Windows PowerShell explains that it would delete the value of the log1 alias, but the command would not have any effect on the log, log2, or log13 aliases. Because the Alias provider does not permit an alias without a value, when you clear an alias, you also delete the alias.


PS C:\> Clear-Item Alias:log* -Include *1* -Exclude *3* -Whatif
What if: Performing operation "Clear Item" on Target "Item: log1".

-------------------------- EXAMPLE 3 --------------------------

This command deletes all registry entries in the MyKey subkey, but only after prompting you to confirm your intent. It does not delete the MyKey subkey or affect any other registry keys or entries. You can use the Include and Exclude parameters to identify particular registry keys, but you cannot use them to identify registry entries. To delete particular registry entries, use the Remove-ItemProperty cmdlet. To delete the value of a registry entry, use the Clear-ItemPropertycmdlet.


PS C:\> Clear-Item HKLM:\Software\MyCompany\MyKey -Confirm

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