PowerShell: How to Merge CSV Files?

Do you have multiple CSV files that you need to merge into one file? This can be a tedious and time-consuming task if you don’t know the right way to go about it. Fortunately, with PowerShell, it becomes much simpler. In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to use PowerShell to quickly merge the contents of multiple CSV files into one single file. We will walk you through step-by-step instructions and provide you with practical examples to help you do this task. By following our step-by-step instructions, merging CSV files will seem like a breeze! Let’s get started!

Introduction to merging CSV files with PowerShell

Before we delve into the process of merging CSV files, let’s take a moment to understand why we need PowerShell to merge CSV files. CSV files are commonly used for storing and exchanging data. A row represents each line of the file, and a comma or another designated delimiter separates each value within a row. We can open them in Excel and manually copy-paste the data. However, managing multiple CSV files can be a tedious and time-consuming task. You can use PowerShell, a powerful scripting language, to automate tasks including merging CSV files. PowerShell provides a robust set of features for working with CSV files, making it an ideal tool for managing large datasets.

Benefits of using PowerShell for merging CSV files

By merging CSV files, you can consolidate data from various sources and gain a comprehensive view of your information. Whether you need to merge sales data from different regions, employee records from multiple departments, or log files from various servers, PowerShell provides a powerful solution to streamline this process. The ability to combine multiple CSV files into a single file is invaluable in many scenarios, such as data analysis, reporting, and data integration.

PowerShell offers several benefits when it comes to merging CSV files. First, PowerShell is a powerful scripting language that provides a wide range of features for working with CSV files. This includes the ability to read and write CSV files, as well as the ability to manipulate data within CSV files.

How to merge CSV files with PowerShell?

Let’s walk through the process of merging CSV files. Merging CSV files in PowerShell can be done easily using the Import-Csv and Export-Csv cmdlets. Assuming two CSV files share the same structure, here’s a simple example demonstrating how to merge them into one:

# Import the CSV files
$csv1 = Import-Csv -Path "C:\Scripts\Users\Users-1.csv"
$csv2 = Import-Csv -Path "C:\Scripts\Users\Users-2.csv"

# Merge the CSV files and export to a new CSV file
$csv1 + $csv2 | Export-Csv -Path "C:\Scripts\Users\MergedFile.csv" -NoTypeInformation

In this script, Import-Csv is used to read the contents of File1.csv and File2.csv into the $csv1 and $csv2 variables, respectively. The + operator is then used to concatenate the two arrays of CSV records. Finally, Export-Csv is used to write the combined data to MergedFile.csv. By combining the Import-Csv and Export-Csv cmdlets, we can merge multiple CSV files while retaining the structure and integrity of the data.

PowerShell to Merge All CSV Files in a Folder

Imagine you have a directory containing a large number of CSV files, each representing data for a specific time period or category. To perform comprehensive analysis, it is essential to merge these files into a single file, ensuring that the header row is preserved.

Let’s merge all CSV files in a folder with the help of a PowerShell script, this time! Use the following script:

$SourceFolder = "C:\Scripts\Users"
$Output = "C:\Scripts\Users\AllUsers.csv"

# Get a list of the CSV files in a directory
$CSVFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path $SourceFolder  -Filter "*.csv"

# Loop over each CSV file
ForEach ($CSVFile in $CSVFiles) {
    # Import the CSV file and Append to another
   Import-Csv $CSVFile.FullName | Export-Csv -Path $output -Append -NoTypeInformation

This code will merge all the CSV files in the specified folder and save the output to a new file called “output.csv”. Please note, all the CSV files must have the same columns. If not, you’ll face an error:

Export-Csv : Cannot append CSV content to the following file: C:\Scripts\Users\AllUsers.csv. The appended object does not have a property that corresponds to the following column: Mail. To continue with mismatched properties, add the -Force parameter, and then retry the command.

Using PowerShell to combine CSV files

PowerShell provides several features for manipulating and combining CSV files. For example, you can use the “Select-Object” cmdlet to select specific columns from a CSV file. You can also use the “Sort-Object” cmdlet to sort the data within a CSV file. Additionally, PowerShell provides several other cmdlets for working with CSV files, such as “Import-Csv”, “Export-Csv”, and “ConvertTo-Csv”. Here is the PowerShell script to merge common columns from multiple CSV files:

# Get a list of the CSV files in a directory
$CSVFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Scripts\Users" -Filter "*.csv"

# Initialize an array to hold the data from the CSV files
$CSVData = @()

# Loop over each CSV file
ForEach ($CSVFile in $CSVFiles) {
    # Import the CSV file
    $CSVContent = Import-Csv -Path $CSVFile.FullName

    # Add the data from the CSV file to the array
    $CSVData += $CSVContent

# Now, $csvData contains the combined data from all the CSV files
$CSVData | Export-Csv -Path "C:\Scripts\Users.csv" -NoTypeInformation

Appending CSV Files with Additional Column Information

In some cases, you may want to add additional column information to the merged CSV file. This could include the filename of the source file, a timestamp, or any other relevant information that provides context to the data.

To append CSV files with additional column information, you can utilize the Add-Member cmdlet in PowerShell. This cmdlet allows you to add custom properties to objects, enabling you to modify the data before exporting it to the merged file.

Here’s an example script that demonstrates appending CSV files with additional column information:

$sourceFolder = "C:\Scripts\Users"
$sourceFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path $sourceFolder -Filter *.csv
$outputFile = "C:\Scripts\Users\merged.csv"

$combinedOutput = foreach ($file in $sourceFiles) {
    $content = Import-Csv -Path $file.FullName
    $content | Add-Member -MemberType NoteProperty -Name 'Filename' -Value $file.Name -PassThru

$combinedOutput | Export-Csv -Path $outputFile -NoTypeInformation

In this script, we use the Add-Member cmdlet to add an additional property called ‘Filename’ to each row of the CSV files. The value of this property is set to the name of the source file using the $file.Name variable. By adding this property, we can easily identify the source file for each row in the merged CSV file.

By applying these advanced CSV merging techniques, you can handle diverse scenarios and ensure that the merged CSV file meets your specific requirements. Whether you need to merge files with different headers, process large datasets efficiently, or append additional column information, PowerShell provides the flexibility and power to accomplish these tasks.

Filtering Merged CSV Files Data

To filter the merged CSV file based on specific criteria, you can use the Where-Object cmdlet:

$mergedData = Import-Csv -Path "merged.csv"
$filteredData = $mergedData | Where-Object { $_.Sales > 1000 }
$filteredData | Export-Csv -Path "filtered_data.csv" -NoTypeInformation

In this example, we import the merged CSV file using Import-Csv. We then filter the data based on a specific condition (in this case, sales greater than 1000) using the Where-Object cmdlet. Finally, we export the filtered data to a new CSV file named “filtered_data.csv” using Export-Csv.

Using Get-Content and Add-Content to Merge Files

One of the simplest ways to merge CSV files in PowerShell is by using the Get-Content and Add-Content cmdlets. This method involves reading the content of each CSV file using Get-Content and appending it to a new combined file using Add-Content. Let’s see how this can be achieved:

Get-Content "C:\Scripts\Users\*.csv" | Add-Content "C:\Scripts\Users\Merged.csv"

In the above script, we specify the path to the CSV files using the wildcard *.csv to select all files with a .csv extension. The Get-Content cmdlet reads the content of each file, and the Add-Content cmdlet appends it to the combined file. This method is straightforward and efficient for merging CSV files with the same structure. However, it doesn’t handle scenarios where headers need to be preserved or when dealing with CSV files with different structures.

Retaining the Header and Skipping Duplicate Headers

While the previous method successfully merges the CSV files, it may result in duplicate header rows, which can pose challenges during data analysis. To overcome this, we can modify the script to retain the header row from the first file and skip the header rows in subsequent files. Here’s an updated script that achieves this:

$sourceFolder = "C:\Scripts\Users"
$outputFile = "C:\Scripts\Merged.csv"

$SourceFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path $sourceFolder -Filter *.csv

$FirstFile = $true
ForEach ($File in $SourceFiles) {
    $Content = Get-Content $File.FullName

    if ($firstFile) {
        $content[0] | Add-Content $outputFile
        $firstFile = $false
    $content | Select-Object -Skip 1 | Add-Content $outputFile

In this modified script, we use the Get-Content cmdlet to read the content of each file. We then check if it is the first file using a Boolean variable $firstFile. If it is the first file, we append the header row to the output file. For subsequent files, we use the Select-Object cmdlet with the -Skip 1 parameter to exclude the header row and append the remaining rows to the output file. This ensures that the merged file has only one header row.

Handling Large CSV Files

If you’re dealing with large CSV files or a large number of files, it’s important to optimize the merging process for efficiency. One way to achieve this is by using the StreamReader and StreamWriter classes from the System.IO namespace. This approach allows us to process the files in a streaming fashion, minimizing memory usage. Let’s see how this can be implemented:

$sourceFolder = "C:\Scripts\Users"
$sourceFiles = Get-ChildItem -Path $sourceFolder -Filter *.csv
$outputFile = "C:\Scripts\merged.csv"

$streamWriter = [System.IO.StreamWriter]::new($outputFile)

ForEach ($File in $SourceFiles) {
    $streamReader = [System.IO.StreamReader]::new($file.FullName)

    # Skip the header row for subsequent files
    if ($streamReader.Peek() -ne -1) {
        $streamReader.ReadLine() | Out-Null

    while ($line = $streamReader.ReadLine()) {



In this optimized approach, we create instances of the StreamReader and StreamWriter classes. The StreamReader reads the content of each file line by line, skipping the header row for subsequent files. The StreamWriter writes the lines directly to the output file. By processing the files in a streaming manner, we can efficiently handle large CSV files or a large number of files without consuming excessive memory.

Advanced techniques for merging CSV files with PowerShell

PowerShell provides several advanced techniques for merging CSV files. For example, you can use the “Join-Object” cmdlet to merge data from multiple CSV files based on a common column. This can be useful when you need to combine data from multiple sources into a single dataset. Additionally, PowerShell provides several other advanced techniques for manipulating and transforming data within CSV files.

Common errors and how to troubleshoot them

When working with CSV files, it’s important to be aware of common errors that can occur. One common error is mismatched column names between CSV files. To avoid this error, make sure that the column names in all CSV files match. Another common error is missing or invalid data within a CSV file. To troubleshoot this error, you can use the “Where-Object” cmdlet to filter out invalid data.

Best practices for merging CSV files with PowerShell

To ensure that your data is merged accurately and efficiently, it’s important to follow best practices when using PowerShell to merge CSV files. First, make sure that all CSV files have the same structure and format. This will help to avoid compatibility issues when merging files from different sources. Second, use descriptive file names to make it easy to identify the contents of each file. Finally, make sure to backup your data before merging CSV files to avoid data loss.

Wrapping up

In this comprehensive guide, we have explored different methods and techniques for merging CSV files using PowerShell. Whether you’re working with a small number of files or dealing with large datasets, PowerShell provides flexible and efficient solutions to automate the merging process. We researched various methods and techniques for merging CSV files using PowerShell, including combining files using Get-Content and Add-Content, preserving headers, merging files with multiple columns, handling files with different headers, and efficiently merging large files. By choosing the appropriate method based on your specific requirements, you can ensure that your data is merged accurately and efficiently. So, go ahead and leverage the power of PowerShell to merge your CSV files seamlessly, saving time and effort in your data analysis workflows.

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - Information Technology Expert with Two decades of hands-on experience, specializing in SharePoint, PowerShell, Microsoft 365, and related products. Passionate about sharing the deep technical knowledge and experience to help others, through the real-world articles!

One thought on “PowerShell: How to Merge CSV Files?

  • Thank you and well done!


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