PowerShell: How to Get Most Recently Modified File in Directory


You can use the following syntax in PowerShell to get the most recently modified file in a directory:

ls | Sort-Object -Descending -Property LastWriteTime | Select -First 1

This particular example will list the most recently modified file in the current directory.

Note: If you would instead like to get the file that was modified the longest time ago, you can uses the -Last operator instead of the -First operator.

The following example shows how to use this syntax in practice.

Example: How to Get Most Recently Modified File in Directory Using PowerShell

Suppose that our current directory has the following path:

  • C:\Users\bobbi\OneDrive\Documents\test_data

We can type Dir to list out all files in this current directory:

Suppose that we we would like to get the file in the directory that was modified most recently.

We can use the following syntax to do so:

ls | Sort-Object -Descending -Property LastWriteTime | Select -First 1

The following screenshot shows how to use this syntax in practice:

PowerShell get most recently modified file

We can see that the file named new_data.txt was modified most recently in this directory.

We can see that it has a LastWriteTime property of 2/23/2024 10:40 AM.

If we would instead like to get the file that was modified least recently, then we can use the following syntax:

ls | Sort-Object -Descending -Property LastWriteTime | Select -Last 1

The following screenshot shows how to use this syntax in practice:

PowerShell get file modified least recently in directory

We can see that the file named my_data.txt was modified least recently in this directory.

We can see that it has a LastWriteTime property of 9/9/2022 9:03 AM.

Related Tutorials

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in PowerShell:

PowerShell: How to List Files in Directory by Date
PowerShell: How to List All Files in Directory to Text File
PowerShell: How to Delete All Files with Specific Extension
PowerShell: How to Rename File Extension of Multiple Files

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