How Do You Want To Open This File Powershell


As a tech enthusiast and PowerShell aficionado, I often find myself delving into the world of file management and automation. One common task that I encounter is the need to open a file using PowerShell. Whether it’s for editing, viewing, or performing operations on the file’s content, PowerShell offers a plethora of options for handling file interactions. In this article, I’ll walk you through various methods and commands to open a file using PowerShell, sharing insights from my own experiences along the way.

Using Start-Process Command

One of the simplest and most effective ways to open a file in PowerShell is by leveraging the Start-Process command. This versatile cmdlet allows us to launch files with their associated default applications. For example, to open a text file named “example.txt,” I’d execute the following command:

Start-Process -FilePath "C:\path\to\example.txt"

This straightforward approach automatically opens the file in its default application, providing a seamless experience without the need to specify the application explicitly.

Using Invoke-Item Command

Alternatively, the Invoke-Item command serves as another convenient option for opening files. Similar to Start-Process, it can initiate the default application associated with the file. Utilizing this command is as simple as executing:

Invoke-Item "C:\path\to\example.txt"

The file will promptly open in its default application, streamlining the process of accessing and working with file content.

Customizing File Opening

While default application launching is beneficial in many scenarios, there are instances where I prefer to explicitly specify the application for opening a file. In such cases, I often utilize the Start-Process command while providing the application’s executable path as a parameter.

Additionally, for scenarios necessitating file manipulation and content viewing within the PowerShell environment itself, I delve into the realm of .NET and utilize the System.IO.File class to read and process file content programmatically.


Embracing PowerShell for file management tasks has been an enlightening journey for me. The flexibility and efficiency it offers in opening and interacting with files have undoubtedly amplified my productivity. Whether it’s effortlessly launching files with default applications using Start-Process and Invoke-Item, or customizing file opening to suit specific needs, PowerShell continues to be an indispensable tool in my technical arsenal.