Using the Get-Item Cmdlet

Retrieving a Specific Item

The Get-Item cmdlet makes it easy to retrieve a specific item (such as a file, a folder, or a registry key). Why would you want to do that? Well, for one thing, it makes it very easy to retrieve the properties of those items. For example, suppose you’d like to know the last time someone accessed the C:\scripts folder. Here’s a command that will retrieve that information:

$(Get-Item c:\scripts).lastaccesstime

In essence, we’re using Get-Item to create an object reference to C:\Scripts. That’s the reason for the unusual syntax: the command itself - Get-Item c:\scripts - is enclosed in parentheses, with a $ pasted on front. The property we’re interested in is then tacked on using standard dot notation ( Want to know the number of subkeys found in HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software? Here you go:

$(Get-Item hkcu:\software).subkeycount

Good question: how did we know that SubkeyCount was a property of a registry key? Well, to tell you the truth, we didn’t. But that’s another good use for Get-Item: we simply used Get-Item to return an object representing HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software and then piped that object to the Get-Member cmdlet:

Get-Item hkcu:\software | Get-Member

We then left it up to Get-Member to figure out the properties of the registry key.

Get-Item Aliases
  • gu