Microsoft DOS find command

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About find

About find

Allows you to search for text within a file. Although MS-DOS itself is not case sensitive, when typing in the string that you are looking for with the find command, it is case sensitive.

Additionally, this command is used to find text within a file, not the actual file itself. If you are wanting to search or find a file with a particular name, use the dir command.

Users who are running Microsoft Windows 2000 or Windows XP should also consider using the improved findstr command.


The find command is an external command that is available in the below Microsoft operating systems.

All Versions of MS-DOS
Windows 95
Windows 98
Windows ME
Windows NT
Windows 2000
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Windows 7


Searches for a text string in a file or files.

FIND [/V] [/C] [/N] [/I] "string" [[drive:][path]filename[ ...]]

/V Displays all lines NOT containing the specified string.
/C Displays only the count of lines containing the string.
/N Displays line numbers with the displayed lines.
/I Ignores the case of characters when searching for the string.
"string" Specifies the text string to find.
[drive:][path]filename Specifies a file or files to search.

If a pathname is not specified, FIND searches the text typed at the prompt or piped from another command.


find /c "REM" c:\autoexec.bat

The above example would find any "REM" statement in the autoexec.bat.

find /v /c "&*fake&*" programs.txt

List each line not containing "&*fake&*", because it's very unlikely any file would contain this string of text this would give you an accurate line count of the file.

find "hope" *.txt

Next this example searches for any text file (.txt) that contains the text hope in the current directory. Below is an example of the output you may see. As can be seen from the example below the only file that contains hope is the CH.TXT file.


---------- CH.TXT
computer hope

---------- MODEMDET.TXT

---------- OEWABLOG.TXT

---------- SCHEDLGU.TXT

---------- SETUPLOG.TXT

Additional information

  • See our find definition for further information and related links on this term.