How Can I Replace Every Occurrence of a String in a File With PowerShell

PowerShell is powerful enough to perform the File Explorer operations, such as copying, moving, renaming, or deleting a file. It can read and replace the content inside a text file, whether a string or a single word. Particularly, PowerShell has such commands that can be employed to read and replace every instance of a string.

This tutorial will demonstrate a couple of methods to resolve the mentioned query.

How to Replace Every Instance of a String in a File by Utilizing PowerShell?

These approaches can be employed to fix the stated query:

Method 1: Utilize the “Get-Content” and “Set-Content” Methods in Order to Replace Each Instance of a String in a Document File

This approach first uses the “Get-Content” cmdlet to retrieve the data inside the file and then uses the “Set-Content” cmdlet to replace or write the new occurrence or content. Particularly, the “-Replace” parameter is used to replace the instance of a string in a file.

Take a look at the given example to get a thorough understanding of it.


First of all, let’s check the file version before replacing every occurrence. For that reason, execute the “Get-Content” cmdlet alongside the file path:

> Get-Content C:\Doc\File.txt

Now, let’s replace the word “Cat” with the “Dog”:

> (Get-Content C:\Doc\File.txt) -Replace 'Cat', 'Dog' | Set-Content C:\Doc\File.txt

According to the above command:

  • Firstly, we used the “Get-Content” cmdlet alongside the file path within the inverted command.
  • Next, we added the “-Replace” parameter and specified two words separated by a comma, where the first word will be replaced with the second one.
  • Then, the pipeline “|” is utilized to transfer the output to the “Set-Content” cmdlet as an input.
  • Finally, this cmdlet is used alongside the file path to confirm the replacement of the string in a file:

For the verification, again, get the content of the selected file:

> Get-Content C:\Doc\File.txt

It can be observed that the word “Cat” has been replaced with “Dog” successfully.

Method 2: Use the “System.IO.File” Method to Replace Each Occurrence/Instance of a String in a File

Microsoft’s .Net class “File” is specifically used to manage the File Explorer. Particularly, it plays a vital role in replacing the instance of a string in a file.


Firstly, check out the content of the “php.txt”:

> Get-Content C:\Doc\php.txt

Then, run the following commands:

> $str = [System.IO.File]::ReadAllText("C:\Doc\php.txt").Replace("php","Python")
> [System.IO.File]::WriteAllText("C:\Doc\php.txt", $str)

According to the above code:

  • First of all, we created a variable and then specified the “IO.File” class.
  • The “ReadAllText()” method of the mentioned class reads the text in the file, while the “Replace()” method replaces the selected occurrences in the text file.
  • In the second line, we have used the “[System.IO.File]::WriteAllText()” method and added the file path and then variable to replace the specified occurrence in the file:

Let’s check whether the word has been replaced or not. For

> Get-Content C:\Doc\php.txt

The word “php” has been replaced with “Python” successfully.


With PowerShell, every occurrence/instance of a string in a file can be replaced using two methods, including “Get-Content” and “Set-Content” and “System.IO.File”. Both methods first retrieve the text file and then replace the specified word’s occurrence in that text file. This post has presented a thorough guide to resolve the stated problem.

About the author

Muhammad Farhan

I am a Computer Science graduate and now a technical writer who loves to provide the easiest solutions to the most difficult problems related to Windows, Linux, and Web designing. My love for Computer Science emerges every day because of its ease in our everyday life.