orad orad - 3 months ago 25
PowerShell Question

A better way to check if a path exists or not in PowerShell

I just don't like the syntax of:

if (Test-Path $path) { ... }


and

if (-not (Test-Path $path)) { ... }
if (!(Test-Path $path)) { ... }


especially there is too many parenthesis and not very readable when checking for "not exist" for such a common use. What is a better way to do this?

Update: My current solution is to use aliases for
exist
and
not-exist
as explained here.

Answer

If you just want an alternative to the cmdlet syntax, specifically for files, use the File.Exists() .NET method:

if(![System.IO.File]::Exists($path)){
    # file with path $path doesn't exist
}

If, on the other hand, you want a general purpose negated alias for Test-Path, here is how you should do it:

# Gather command meta data from the original Cmdlet (in this case, Test-Path)
$TestPathCmd = Get-Command Test-Path
$TestPathCmdMetaData = New-Object System.Management.Automation.CommandMetadata $TestPathCmd

# Use the static ProxyCommand.GetParamBlock method to copy 
# Test-Path's param block and CmdletBinding attribute
$Binding = [System.Management.Automation.ProxyCommand]::GetCmdletBindingAttribute($TestPathCmdMetaData)
$Params  = [System.Management.Automation.ProxyCommand]::GetParamBlock($TestPathCmdMetaData)

# Create wrapper for the command that proxies the parameters to Test-Path 
# using @PSBoundParameters, and negates any output with -not
$WrappedCommand = { 
    try { -not (Test-Path @PSBoundParameters) } catch { throw $_ }
}

# define your new function using the details above
$Function:notexists = '{0}param({1}) {2}' -f $Binding,$Params,$WrappedCommand

notexists will now behave exactly like Test-Path, but always return the opposite result:

PS C:\> Test-Path -Path "C:\Windows"
True
PS C:\> notexists -Path "C:\Windows"
False
PS C:\> notexists "C:\Windows" # positional parameter binding exactly like Test-Path
False

As you've already shown yourself, the opposite is quite easy, just alias exists to Test-Path:

PS C:\> New-Alias exists Test-Path
PS C:\> exists -Path "C:\Windows"
True