Describes how to access items from the working location in Windows
The current working location is the default location to which commands
point. In other words, this is the location that Windows PowerShell uses
if you do not supply an explicit path to the item or location that is
affected by the command. In most cases, the current working location is
a drive accessed through the Windows PowerShell FileSystem provider and,
in some cases, a directory on that drive. For example, you might set your
current working location to the following location:
C:\Program Files\Windows PowerShell
As a result, all commands are processed from this location unless
another path is explicitly provided.
Windows PowerShell maintains the current working location for each drive
even when the drive is not the current drive. This allows you to access
items from the current working location by referring only to the drive of
another location. For example, suppose that your current working location
is C:\Windows. Now, suppose you use the following command to change your
current working location to the HKLM: drive:
Although your current location is now the registry drive, you can still
access items in the C:\Windows directory simply by using the C: drive,
as shown in the following example:
Windows PowerShell remembers that your current working location for that
drive is the Windows directory, so it retrieves items from that directory.
The results would be the same if you ran the following command:
In Windows PowerShell, you can use the Get-Location command to determine
the current working location, and you can use the Set-Location command to
set the current working location. For example, the following command sets
the current working location to the Windows directory of the C: drive:
After you set the current working location, you can still access items
from other drives simply by including the drive name (followed by a
colon) in the command, as shown in the following example:
Get-ChildItem HKLM :\software
The example command retrieves a list of items in the Software container
of the HKEY Local Machine hive in the registry.
Windows PowerShell also allows you to use special characters to represent
the current working location and its parent location. To represent the
current working location, use a single period. To represent the parent of
the current working location, use two periods. For example, the following
specifies the System subdirectory in the current working location:
If the current working location is C:\Windows, this command
returns a list of all the items in C:\Windows\System. However, if you
use two periods, the parent directory of the current working
directory is used, as shown in the following example:
Get-ChildItem ..\"program files"
In this case, Windows PowerShell treats the two periods as the C: drive,
so the command retrieves all the items in the C:\Program Files directory.
A path beginning with a slash identifies a path from the root of the
current drive. For example, if your current working location is
C:\Program Files\Windows PowerShell, the root of your drive is C.
Therefore, the following command lists all items in the C:\Windows
If you do not specify a path beginning with a drive name, slash, or
period when supplying the name of a container or item, the
container or item is assumed to be located in the current working
location. For example, if your current working location is C:\Windows,
the following command returns all the items in the C:\Windows\System
If you specify a file name rather than a directory name, Windows
PowerShell returns details about that file (assuming that file is located
in the current working location).