DSC File Resource

Applies To: Windows PowerShell 4.0, Windows PowerShell 5.x

The File resource in Windows PowerShell Desired State Configuration (DSC) provides a mechanism to manage files and folders on the target node. DestinationPath and SourcePath must both be accessible by the target Node.


This documentation of this DSC resource covers the version that's included with PowerShell prior to version 7.2. The PSDscResources module contains new and updated DSC Resources that are officially supported by Microsoft. The PSDscResources module is available from the PowerShell Gallery.

For more information and updated documentation, see the PSDscResources reference documentation.


File [string] #ResourceName
    DestinationPath = [string]
    [ Attributes = [string[]] { Archive | Hidden | ReadOnly | System }]
    [ Checksum = [string] { CreatedDate | ModifiedDate | SHA-1 | SHA-256 | SHA-512 } ]
    [ Contents = [string] ]
    [ Credential = [PSCredential] ]
    [ Force = [bool] ]
    [ Recurse = [bool] ]
    [ SourcePath = [string] ]
    [ Type = [string] { Directory | File } ]
    [ MatchSource = [bool] ]
    [ DependsOn = [string[]] ]
    [ Ensure = [string] { Absent | Present } ]
    [ PsDscRunAsCredential = [PSCredential] ]


Property Description
DestinationPath The location, on the target node, you want to ensure is Present or Absent with Ensure.
Attributes The desired state of the attributes for the targeted file or directory. Valid values are Archive, Hidden, ReadOnly, and System.
Checksum The checksum type to use when determining whether two files are the same. Valid values include: SHA-1, SHA-256, SHA-512, createdDate, modifiedDate.
Contents Only valid when used with Type File. Indicates the contents to Ensure are Present or Absent from the targeted file.
Credential The credentials that are required to access resources, such as source files.
Force Overrides access operations that would result in an error (such as overwriting a file or deleting a directory that is not empty). Default value is $false.
Recurse Only valid when used with Type Directory. Performs the state operation recursively to all directory content, subdirectories, and subdirectory content. Default value is $false.
SourcePath The path from which to copy the file or folder resource.
Type The type of resource being configured. Valid values are Directory and File. Default value is File.
MatchSource Determines if the resource should monitor for new files added to the source directory after the initial copy. A value of $true indicates that, after the initial copy, any new source files should be copied to the destination. If set to $false, the resource caches the contents of the source directory and ignores any files added after the initial copy. Default value is $false.


If you do not specify a value for Credential or PSRunAsCredential, the resource will use the computer account of the target node to access the SourcePath. When the SourcePath is a UNC share, this could result in an "Access Denied" error. Please ensure your permissions are set accordingly, or use the Credential or PSRunAsCredential properties to specify the account that should be used.

Common properties

Property Description
DependsOn Indicates that the configuration of another resource must run before this resource is configured. For example, if the ID of the resource configuration script block that you want to run first is ResourceName and its type is ResourceType, the syntax for using this property is DependsOn = "[ResourceType]ResourceName".
Ensure Determines whether the file and Contents at the Destination should exist or not. Set this property to Present to ensure the file exists. Set it to Absent to ensure they do not exist. The default value is Present.
PsDscRunAsCredential Sets the credential for running the entire resource as.


The PsDscRunAsCredential common property was added in WMF 5.0 to allow running any DSC resource in the context of other credentials. For more information, see Use Credentials with DSC Resources.

Additional information

  • When you only specify a DestinationPath, the resource ensures that the path exists if Present or does not exist if Absent.
  • When you specify a SourcePath and a DestinationPath with a Type value of Directory, the resource copies source directory to the destination path. The properties Recurse, Force, and MatchSource change the type of copy operation performed, while Credential determines which account to use to access the source directory.
  • If you do not set the Recurse property to $true when copying a directory, none of the contents of the existing directory will be copied. Only the directory specified will be copied.
  • If you specified a value of ReadOnly for the Attributes property alongside a DestinationPath, Ensure Present would create the path specified, while Contents would set the contents of the file. An Ensure Absent setting would ignore the Attributes property entirely, and remove any file at the specified path.


The following example copies a directory and its subdirectories from a pull server to a target node using the File Resource. If the operation succeeds, the Log resource writes a confirmation message to the event log.

The source directory is a UNC path (\\PullServer\DemoSource) shared from the Pull Server. The Recurse property ensures that all subdirectories are copied as well.


The LCM on the target Node executes in the context of the local system account by default. To grant access to the SourcePath, give the target Node's computer account appropriate permissions. The Credential and PSDSCRunAsCredential both change the context the LCM uses to access the SourcePath. You still need to grant access to the account that will be used to access the SourcePath.

Configuration FileResourceDemo
    Node "localhost"
        File DirectoryCopy
            Ensure = "Present" # Ensure the directory is Present on the target node.
            Type = "Directory" # The default is File.
            Recurse = $true # Recursively copy all subdirectories.
            SourcePath = "\\PullServer\DemoSource"
            DestinationPath = "C:\Users\Public\Documents\DSCDemo\DemoDestination"

        Log AfterDirectoryCopy
            # The message below gets written to the Microsoft-Windows-Desired State Configuration/Analytic log
            Message = "Finished running the file resource with ID DirectoryCopy"
            DependsOn = "[File]DirectoryCopy" # Depends on successful execution of the File resource.

For more on using Credentials in DSC see Run As User or Config Data Credentials.