Best Examples of Join-Path in PowerShell

Below I have put together some of my favorite examples of how to use Join-Path.

One of the primary features it to be able to combine a folder and a filename, without caring if the folder ends with a trailing slash or not. That is the first thing illustrated below (Path1/Path2).

Path3 shows how to incorporate environment variables to get at various system paths, and shows that when you use -Resolve Join-Path can return an array, but in the first examples it returns only a string. The point being that you need to know what is being returned to know how to process it. In Example 4, I show how to loop through the array. The other cool thing about Example 4 is that it can find files in multiple directories (e.g. both “Program Files” and “Program Files X(86)” by using the * mask in the folder’s name.

Example 6 shows that Join-Path works on the Registry as well, i.e. it’s not just limited to disk paths.

Jeffrey Snover, the architect behind PowerShell, also gives a few more Join-Path examples.  Some of his examples involve reading a list of files or folders from a file, and prefixing and suffixing them with other folders or filenames.

Code Sample

$folder1 = "\\server01\folder01"
$folder2 = "\\server01\folder02\"
$file = "abc.txt"
$path1 = Join-Path $folder1 $file
$path2 = Join-Path $folder2 $file
Write "path1=$path1"
Write "path2=$path2"

$path3a  = Join-Path -path (get-item env:\windir).value -ChildPath system32
#short way of doing same
$path3b = Join-Path -path $env:windir -ChildPath system32
#get "My Documents" of current user 
$path3c = Join-Path $env:USERPROFILE -ChildPath "My Documents" 
$path3d = Join-Path $env:USERPROFILE "*" -Resolve
Write "path3a=$path3a"
Write "path3b=$path3b"
Write "path3c=$path3c"
Write "path3c.GetType=$($path3c.getType())"  #Note it is a string and not an array 
Write "path3d=$path3d"
Write "path3d.GetType=$($path3d.getType())"  #Note it is an array of strings 

# this one is more obtuse = search both Program Files and Program Files x(86) 
# (and other other c:\Program files* directory)
# for any files/folders starting with A. 
# It returns an array of folders 
$path4 = join-path -path "c:\Program Files*" A* -resolve
Write "`nExample 4"
Write "path4=$path4 "
Write "path4.GetType=$($path4.getType())"

loopCounter = 0 
foreach ($folder in $path4) 
      Write-Host "$loopCounter $folder"

Write "`nExample 5 - Find Windows Log Files"
$path5 = join-path c:\win* *.log -resolve
Write "path5=$path5"

Write "`nExample 6 - Registry Path"
set-location HKLM:
$path6 = join-path System *ControlSet* -resolve
Write "path6=$path6"

Write "`nExample 7 - xml files in a directory"
$path7 = join-path "c:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++"  *.xml -resolve 
$loopCounter = 0 
foreach ($file in $path7) 
      Write-Host "$loopCounter $file"


path3c=C:\Users\NWalters\My Documents
path3d=C:\Users\NWalters\.oracle C:\Users\NWalters\.VirtualBox C:\Users\NWalters\Contact
s C:\Users\NWalters\Desktop C:\Users\NWalters\Documents C:\Users\NWalters\Downloads C:\U
sers\NWalters\EurekaLog C:\Users\NWalters\Favorites C:\Users\NWalters\Links C:\Users\nea
l.walters\Music C:\Users\NWalters\Oracle C:\Users\NWalters\Pictures C:\Users\NWalters\Ro
aming C:\Users\NWalters\Saved Games C:\Users\NWalters\Searches C:\Users\NWalters\Videos 
C:\Users\NWalters\VirtualBox VMs

Example 4
path4=C:\Program Files\Application Verifier C:\Program Files\AuthenTec C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe 
C:\Program Files (x86)\AppInsights C:\Program Files (x86)\Application Verifier 
1 C:\Program Files\Application Verifier
2 C:\Program Files\AuthenTec
3 C:\Program Files (x86)\Adobe
4 C:\Program Files (x86)\AppInsights
5 C:\Program Files (x86)\Application Verifier

Example 5 - Find Windows Log Files
path5=C:\Windows\DirectX.log C:\Windows\DPINST.LOG C:\Windows\DtcInstall.log C:\Windows\ENU-ie90.log
 C:\Windows\IE11_main.log C:\Windows\IE90-ENU.log C:\Windows\iis7.log C:\Windows\msxml4-KB954430-enu
.LOG C:\Windows\msxml4-KB973688-enu.LOG C:\Windows\PFRO.log C:\Windows\setup.log C:\Windows\setupact
.log C:\Windows\setuperr.log C:\Windows\TSSysprep.log C:\Windows\WindowsUpdate.log

Example 6 - Registry Path
path6=HKLM:\System\ControlSet001 HKLM:\System\ControlSet002 HKLM:\System\CurrentControlSet

Example 7 - xml files in a directory
1 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\config.model.xml
2 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\contextMenu.xml
3 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\functionList.xml
4 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\langs.model.xml
5 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\shortcuts.xml
6 C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++\stylers.model.xml


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