Navigating the File System
Published: May 20, 2009
Updated: August 9, 2012
Applies To: Windows PowerShell 2.0, Windows PowerShell 3.0
When you start Windows PowerShell®, you might be tempted to type the familiar cd, dir or ls. Do it! cd is an alias for the Set-Location cmdlet, the cmdlet that changes the current location to the specified path. dir and ls are aliases for the Get-Childitem cmdlet, the cmdlet that gets the child items in a location.
To navigate within the file system drive, use the Set-Location (cd) and Get-Childitem (dir, ls) cmdlets. In Windows PowerShell, drives are indicated by the drive name followed by a colon (:), such as C:, and parent items are separated from child item by backslashes (\) or forward slashes (/), such as C:\Windows\System32.
There are a few features that make it easier to navigate in Windows PowerShell:
There are symbols for the current directory (.) and the contents of a directory (*).
There are built-in variables for your home directory, $home, and the Windows PowerShell installation directory, $pshome.
As in other shells, you can change locations, create, delete, move, and copy directories and files, and change their properties. You can even use tab-completion for path names. For details, see Help for the Item cmdlets (Get-Item, Get-Childitem, New-Item, Remove-Item, Set-Item, Move-Item, and Copy-Item).