Can Powershell Pipe Output

Shell Programming

PowerShell is an incredibly versatile tool, offering a wide range of functionality for automating tasks and managing systems. One of its most powerful features is the ability to pipe output from one command to another, enabling seamless data manipulation and processing. As someone who has used PowerShell extensively in my career, I can attest to the immense value of this capability.

Piping Output in PowerShell

When working in PowerShell, the pipe symbol (|) is used to pass the output of one command as input to another command. This allows for the seamless chaining of commands, enabling complex operations to be performed with ease. For example, I often use this feature when I need to filter, format, or sort the output of a command without the need for temporary variables or intermediate steps.

Example: Filtering Files by Extension

Let’s say I have a directory with a mix of various file types, and I want to filter only the text files. I can achieve this by using the Get-ChildItem command to list all the files in the directory, and then piping the output to the Where-Object command to filter by file extension.

Get-ChildItem | Where-Object { $_.Extension -eq ".txt" }

Example: Sorting Processes by Memory Usage

Another common scenario is when I need to view the running processes on a system, sorted by memory usage. Using the Get-Process command to retrieve the list of processes and then piping the output to the Sort-Object command allows me to achieve this effortlessly.

Get-Process | Sort-Object -Property WS

The Power of Composition

By allowing commands to be strung together in this way, PowerShell makes it easy to compose complex operations from simple building blocks. This composability is a fundamental aspect of the PowerShell philosophy and greatly enhances its usability and flexibility. Whether I’m performing system administration tasks or data manipulation, the ability to pipe output between commands is a game-changer.


As a seasoned user of PowerShell, I’ve come to rely heavily on the ability to pipe output between commands. It enables me to streamline my workflow, write more concise and readable code, and tackle complex tasks with confidence. If you’re looking to harness the full power of PowerShell, mastering the art of piping output is a must.