Check If a Folder is Empty in PowerShell

Requirement: Check If a Folder is Empty using PowerShell

PowerShell is a powerful tool that allows users to automate tasks and manage systems efficiently. One common task that administrators need to perform is checking if a folder is empty. Whether trying to free up space on your hard drive or need to organize your files, knowing how to check if a folder is empty using PowerShell can save you time and effort. In this article, we will explore how to check if a folder is empty and provide a script to automate the process using PowerShell.

Understanding empty folders and why they matter

Empty folders are directories that do not contain any files or subfolders. They can take up valuable disk space and make it difficult to find and manage files. By checking for empty folders regularly, you can ensure your file system is organized and free of unnecessary files. This can help improve system performance and make it easier to manage your files.

How to check if a Folder is Empty in PowerShell?

Empty folders can clutter your file system and make it difficult to locate the data you need! PowerShell offers several methods for checking if a folder is empty, let’s see some of them!

Option 1: Using Get-ChildItem cmdlet to Check if a Folder is Empty

The easiest way to check if a folder is empty using PowerShell is by using the Get-ChildItem cmdlet. This cmdlet lists the files and folders in a specified directory. If there are no files or folders in the directory, it means the folder is empty. Here’s a simple way to check if a folder is empty:

$FolderPath = "C:\Temp\Logs"
#Check if the Folder is empty
If ((Get-ChildItem -Path $FolderPath -Force | Measure-Object).Count -eq 0) {
    Write-host -f Green "The folder is empty."
} Else {
    Write-host -f Yellow "The folder is not empty."

In this script:

  • Get-ChildItem -Path 'C:\Temp\Logs' -Force retrieves all the items in the specified folder path. The -Force parameter is used to include hidden files and folders in the search because the GCI cmdlet doesn’t display hidden files by default.
  • Measure-Object calculates the number of items returned by Get-ChildItem.
  • Count -eq 0 checks if the number of items is equal to 0 (which means the folder is empty).
  • The if statement outputs whether the folder is empty or not. The Get-ChildItem returns Null (or empty string) if there are no files and Sub-folders in it.

Replace 'C:\Temp\Logs' with the path parameter to the folder you want to check.

PowerShell check folder is empty

Option 2: Using the Test-Path Cmdlet to Test if a Directory is Empty

Another way to check if a folder is empty is by using PowerShell’s Test-Path cmdlet. This cmdlet checks if a file or folder exists in a specified directory. If the folder exists but has no files or folders, it means the folder is empty. Here’s the PowerShell command to do this:

Test-Path -Path "C:\Temp\Logs\Docs\*"

This command will check if there are any files or folders in the “C:\Temp\Logs\Docs” directory by using the wildcard character (*). If the folder is empty, the command will return “False”; otherwise, it will “True”. We can wrap the script inside a function to make it reusable:

Function Test-DirectoryIsEmpty {
    param (
    Return(-Not(Test-Path -Path "$Path\*"))

Test-DirectoryIsEmpty -Path "C:\Temp\Logs\Docs"

How to check if a Folder doesn’t have any Files (But contains Folders)? Use the -PathType switch in the PowerShell Test-Path cmdlet. E.g., “Test-Path -Path C:\Folder\* -PathType Leaf”.

Option 3: Using GetFileSystemInfos()

A third method for checking if a folder is empty is to use the GetFileSystemInfos() method. This method is a .NET Framework method that can be invoked on a folder object (Here, we are using the Get-Item cmdlet to obtain the folder) and returns an array of FileSystemInfo objects that represent the files and subfolders in the folder. You can then check the length of the array to see if there are any items in the folder.

To use GetFileSystemInfos(), open PowerShell with administrative privileges and execute the following command:

$FolderPath = "C:\Temp"

#Get the Folder
$Folder = Get-Item -Path $FolderPath

#Check if Folder is empty
if( ($folder.GetFileSystemInfos() | Measure-Object).Count -eq 0) { 
   Write-host "Folder is empty"} 
else { 
   Write-host "Folder is not empty" 

This script checks the “C:\temp” folder and its subfolders and returns “Folder is empty” if it contains no files or subfolders. If the folder is not empty, it returns “Folder is not empty”.

Find All Empty Folders from a Root Folder Recursively

Here is a simple script that recursively checks for empty directories starting from a specified path and returns a list of empty folders:

$FolderPath = "C:\Temp"
#Get all empty Folders from the given path recursively
Get-ChildItem $FolderPath -Recurse -Directory | Where-Object { 
    @(Get-ChildItem $_.FullName -Recurse -Force).Count -eq 0 } | 
        Select-Object FullName | Format-Table -AutoSize

Here, the Get-ChildItem cmdlet retrieves all items in the specified location. The -Path parameter specifies the path to the directory, -Recurse parameter ensures the cmdlet looks into all the subdirectories within the specified directory, and the -Directory parameter (Equivalent to: if( $_.psiscontainer -eq $true)) filters the output only to include directories and not files.

This script retrieves all directories in the specified path and checks if they are empty. If a directory is empty, the script outputs the full path to the directory.

check if a folder is empty in powershell

Find and Delete Empty Folders using PowerShell

Manually checking and removing empty folders can be time-consuming and tedious, especially if you have a large number of folders to check. To automate the process, you can create a PowerShell script that checks for empty folders and removes them.

For example, the following script scans the parent folder “C:\temp” and its subfolders for empty subfolders, and removes any that it finds:

Get-ChildItem "C:\Temp" -Recurse -Directory | Where-Object { @(Get-ChildItem $_.FullName).Length -eq 0} | Remove-Item

This script uses the Get-ChildItem cmdlet to retrieve all child items in the C:\temp folder and its subfolders. It then filters the results to show only folders (PSIsContainer) that have no child items (Length -eq 0) and removes them (Remove-Item).

Wrapping up

Checking for and removing empty folders is an important part of keeping your file system organized and efficient. PowerShell offers several methods for checking if a folder is empty, from simple one-liners to more complex scripts. In this article, we explored different ways to check if a folder is empty using PowerShell. Whether you prefer using the Get-ChildItem or the Test-Path cmdlet, PowerShell provides a fast and efficient way to automate administrative tasks.

Remember to handle the permissions and path accessibility properly to avoid errors. If PowerShell does not have permission to access the folder or the folder does not exist, the script may throw an error.

How do you check if a folder exists and create it in PowerShell?

You can check if a folder exists and create it if it doesn’t exist by using the Test-Path and New-Item cmdlets in PowerShell. Here’s an example:
$folderPath = "C:\MyFolder"
if (!(Test-Path $folderPath)) {
New-Item -ItemType Directory -Path $folderPath
Write-Host "Folder created successfully."
} else {
Write-Host "Folder already exists."

How do I find empty files in PowerShell?

To find empty files in PowerShell, you can use the Get-ChildItem cmdlet along with the Where-Object cmdlet. Here is an example command:
Get-ChildItem "C:\Temp" -File -Recurse | Where-Object {$_.Length -eq 0}

How do I check if a folder or file exists in PowerShell?

In PowerShell, you can use the Test-Path cmdlet to check if a file or folder exists. Here’s an example:
$Path = "C:\Path\To\DirectoryOrFile"
if (Test-Path $Path) {
Write-Output "The path $Path exists."
} else {
Write-Output "The path $Path does not exist."

How to check file size in the PowerShell command?

To check the file size using PowerShell, you can use the Get-Item cmdlet followed by the file path. For example, to check the size of a file named “example.txt” located in the C:\ directory, you would use the command:
Get-Item C:\example.txt | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Length
This will display the file size in bytes.

How to get the size of a directory in PowerShell in MB?

To get the size of a directory in PowerShell in MB, you can use the following command:
Get-ChildItem -Path "C:\Temp" -Recurse | Measure-Object -Property Length -Sum | Select-Object -ExpandProperty Sum | %{ "{0:N2}" -f ($_/1MB) }

How do you check whether the file is empty or not?

In PowerShell, you can check if a file is empty by using the Get-ItemProperty cmdlet and checking if the Length property of the content is equal to 0. Here’s an example:
$File = "C:\Logs\AppLog.log"
if ((Get-ItemProperty -Path $File).Length -eq 0) {
Write-Output "$File is empty."
} else {
Write-Output "$File is not empty."

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *