• Beitrags-Kategorie:Allgemein
  • Lesedauer:4 min Lesezeit

I read this question very often on different blogs and mostly is the answere a „Get-Childitem“ command. This achieves its goal, but with a large file system you soon reach its limits because the command takes a long time.

However, there is a simple and faster alternative that I have been using for several years.
I have already described this in my (german) article „Multitool Robocopy„, in this article I would like to go into more detail.

What ist robocopy?

First of all Robocopy is a copy tool that allows you to transfer data from A to B faster than the normal windows copy process. Robocopy also offers other features that are appreciated by administrators.

Examples are

  • mirror a dataset from folder A to folder B
  • ability to tolerate network interruptions
  • skip files already in the destination folder
  • copy paths exceeding 259 characters
  • and many more

So Robocopy is a fast copy program, but how does a copy tool help me now with an evaluation of files and folders?

How does it work?

Robocopy displays at the end of a operation a tabular overview of all copied files, folders and the number of copied bytes.
We can use this table to create our file/folder count evaluation.

robocopy tabular overview

In order not to have to copy files to get this table, we can specify the „/l“ parameter in our robocopy commad. This parameter specifies that the files should only be listed (and not copied, deleted or timestamped). This means that we do not perform a copy operation, but still get the desired output.

the command

With this command you get the addressed table without performing a copy operation.

$dir = "C:\Temp"
robocopy /l /nfl /ndl $dir \localhost\C$\nul /e /bytes

the function

To make the output usable with Powershell I created the following function.

function Get-DirItemCount {
    param (
    robocopy /l /nfl /ndl $path \\localhost\C$\nul /e /bytes | ?{ 
        $_ -match "^[ \t]+(Dirs|Files|Bytes) :[ ]+\d" 
    } | %{ 
            $line = $_.Trim() -replace '[ ]{2,}',',' -replace ' :',':'
            $value = $line.split(',')[1]
            if ($line -match "Dirs:" ){ 
                $dirCount = $value
            if ($line -match "Files:" ){ 
                $fileCount = $value
            if ($line -match "Bytes:" ){
                $value = $line.split(' ')[1]
                $Bytes = $value
Get-DirItemCount "C:\Temp"

Path    Directories Files Bytes     
----    ----------- ----- -----     
C:\Temp 21          153   6478742645

Info: If you don’t use english as operating system language you have to change the values „Dirs|Files|Bytes“ in line 7.
For german it is „Verzeich.|Dateien|Bytes“

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