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Published: April 17, 2012

Updated: April 17, 2012

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista

Selects and executes a command on a file or set of files. This command is useful for batch processing.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.

forfiles [/p <Path>] [/m <SearchMask>] [/s] [/c "<Command>"] [/d [{+|-}][{<Date>|<Days>}]]


Parameter Description

/p <Path>

Specifies the path from which to start the search. By default, searching starts in the current working directory.

/m <SearchMask>

Searches files according to the specified search mask. The default search mask is *.*.


Instructs the forfiles command to search into subdirectories recursively.

/c "<Command>"

Runs the specified command on each file. Command strings should be enclosed in quotation marks. The default command is "cmd /c echo @file".

/d [{+|-}][{<Date>|<Days>}]

Selects files with a last modified date within the specified time frame.

  • Selects files with a last modified date later than or equal to (+) or earlier than or equal to (-) the specified date, where Date is in the format MM/DD/YYYY.

  • Selects files with a last modified date later than or equal to (+) the current date plus the number of days specified, or earlier than or equal to (-) the current date minus the number of days specified.

  • Valid values for Days include any number in the range 0–32,768. If no sign is specified, + is used by default.


Displays help at the command prompt.

  • Forfiles is most commonly used in batch files.

  • Forfiles /s is similar to dir /s.

  • You can use the following variables in the command string as specified by the /c command-line option.


    Variable Description


    File name.


    File name without extension.


    File name extension.


    Full path of the file.


    Relative path of the file.


    Evaluates to TRUE if a file type is a directory. Otherwise, this variable evaluates to FALSE.


    File size, in bytes.


    Last modified date stamp on the file.


    Last modified time stamp on the file.

  • With forfiles, you can run a command on or pass arguments to multiple files. For example, you could run the type command on all files in a tree with the .txt file name extension. Or you could execute every batch file (*.bat) on drive C, with the file name "Myinput.txt" as the first argument.

  • With forfiles, you can do any of the following:

    • Select files by an absolute date or a relative date by using the /d parameter.

    • Build an archive tree of files by using variables such as @FSIZEand @FDATE.

    • Differentiate files from directories by using the @ISDIRvariable.

    • Include special characters in the command line by using the hexadecimal code for the character, in 0xHH format (for example, 0x09 for a tab).

  • Forfiles works by implementing the recurse subdirectories flag on tools that are designed to process only a single file.

To list all of the batch files on drive C, type:

forfiles /p c:\ /s /m *.bat /c "cmd /c echo @file is a batch file"

To list all of the directories on drive C, type:

forfiles /p c:\ /s /m *.* /c "cmd /c if @isdir==true echo @file is a directory"

To list all of the files in the current directory that are at least one year old, type:

forfiles /s /m *.* /d -365 /c "cmd /c echo @file is at least one year old."

To display the text "File is outdated" for each of the files in the current directory that are older than January 1, 2007, type:

forfiles /s /m *.* /d -01/01/2007 /c "cmd /c echo @file is outdated." 

To list the file name extensions of all the files in the current directory in column format, and add a tab before the extension, type:

forfiles /s /m *.* /c "cmd /c echo The extension of @file is 0x09@ext" 

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