‘find’ is a very powerful Linux command which provides various options for searching files based on different criteria. One of these options allows users to search for files based on the modification/access/creation time of the file. In Windows, we don’t have such powerful command. But we do have a command to search for files based on the file modification time. It can’t be used to find files based on file creation/access time. Still something is better than nothing. Below you can find how to use this command.
1. Find files modified in the last 7 days
First we need to get the the date for current day – 7 days and use it in the below command.
forfiles /P directory /S /D +(today'date - 30 days)
For example, if today’s date is Jan 11th 2015, if we need to get the files modified in the last 7 days, you can use the below command.
forfiles /P directory /S /D +01/04/2015
This command search for files created in the folder(specified with /P) in the last 7 days. Specifying /S makes it search for such files recursively in all subfolders.
Please note that /D +(number of days) is practically not useful. This option says to search for the files modified after n days from today’s date.
If there are no files meeting the condition, the command prints the following message.
D:\>forfiles /S /D -3 ERROR: No files found with the specified search criteria.
2. Find files that were last modified 1 month back
forfiles /P directory /S /D -30
3. Find files based on modification date
To find files modified after 1st August 2013, we can run the below command
forfiles /P directory /S /D +08/01/2013
To find files modified before 20th August 2013:
forfiles /P directory /S /D -08/20/2013
Execute commands on the files selected
forfiles has an equivalent functionality similar to -exec option with linux find command. This can be used to run commands on the files set returned by the command.
The syntax of the command is
forfiles /D date /C "cmd /c command @file"
4: Move files to another folder based on modification time
Let’s say we want to move the files which are not modified 3 days ago to another folder(D:\archiveDir). The command for this would be as below
forfiles /S /D -3 /C "cmd /c move @file D;\archiveDir"
This command looks processes files in subfolders also, ‘/S’ can be removed to perform this only for the files in the current folder.
5: Delete files in the current folder which were updated one month ago
forfiles /D -30 "cmd /C del @file"
Be cautious while running these commands, verify that you are deleting the right set of files, otherwise the data lost may not be recoverable. Use these commands at your own risk.
To remove files from subfolders also:
forfiles /S /D -30 "cmd /c del @file"