Runs a specified command for each file in a set of files.
FOR %variable IN (set) DO command [command-parameters]
%variable Specifies a single letter replaceable parameter.
(set) Specifies a set of one or more files. Wildcards may be
command Specifies the command to carry out for each file.
Specifies parameters or switches for the specified command.
To use the FOR command in a batch program, specify
of %variable. Variable names are case sensitive, so %i is
If Command Extensions are enabled, the following additional
forms of the FOR command are supported:
FOR /D %variable IN (set) DO command [command-parameters]
If set contains wildcards, then specifies to match against
names instead of file names.
FOR /R [[drive:]path] %variable IN (set) DO command
Walks the directory tree rooted at [drive:]path, executing
statement in each directory of the tree. If no directory
specification is specified after /R then the current
assumed. If set is just a single period (.) character then
will just enumerate the directory tree.
FOR /L %variable IN (start,step,end) DO command
The set is a sequence of numbers from start to end, by step
So (1,1,5) would generate the sequence 1 2 3 4 5 and
generate the sequence (5 4 3 2 1)
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN (file-set) DO command
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN ("string") DO command
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN ('command') DO command
or, if usebackq option present:
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN (file-set) DO command
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN ('string') DO command
FOR /F ["options"] %variable IN (`command`) DO command
filenameset is one or more file names. Each file is opened,
and processed before going on to the next file in
Processing consists of reading in the file, breaking it up
individual lines of text and then parsing each line into
more tokens. The body of the for loop is then called with
variable value(s) set to the found token string(s). By
passes the first blank separated token from each line of
Blank lines are skipped. You can override the default
behavior by specifying the optional "options" parameter.
is a quoted string which contains one or more keywords to
different parsing options. The keywords are:
eol=c - specifies an end of line comment character
skip=n - specifies the number of lines to skip at the
beginning of the file.
delims=xxx - specifies a delimiter set. This replaces the
default delimiter set of space and tab.
tokens=x,y,m-n - specifies which tokens from each line are
be passed to the for body for each iteration.
This will cause additional variable names to
be allocated. The m-n form is a range,
specifying the mth through the nth tokens. If
the last character in the tokens= string is an
asterisk, then an additional variable is
allocated and receives the remaining text on
the line after the last token parsed.
usebackq - specifies that the new semantics are in force,
where a back quoted string is executed as a
command and a single quoted string is a
literal string command and allows the use of
double quotes to quote file names in
Some examples might help:
FOR /F "eol=; tokens=2,3* delims=, " %i in (myfile.txt) do
@echo %i %j %k
would parse each line in myfile.txt, ignoring lines that
a semicolon, passing the 2nd and 3rd token from each line to
body, with tokens delimited by commas and/or spaces. Notice
body statements reference %i to get the 2nd token, %j to get
3rd token, and %k to get all remaining tokens after the 3rd.
file names that contain spaces, you need to quote the
double quotes. In order to use double quotes in this manner,
need to use the usebackq option, otherwise the double quotes
interpreted as defining a literal string to parse.
%i is explicitly declared in the for statement and the %j
are implicitly declared via the tokens= option. You can
to 26 tokens via the tokens= line, provided it does not
attempt to declare a variable higher than the letter 'z' or
Remember, FOR variables are single-letter, case sensitive,
and you can't have more than 52 total active at any one
You can also use the FOR /F parsing logic on an immediate
making the filenameset between the parenthesis a quoted
using single quote characters. It will be treated as a
of input from a file and parsed.
Finally, you can use the FOR /F command to parse the output
command. You do this by making the filenameset between the
parenthesis a back quoted string. It will be treated as a
line, which is passed to a child CMD.EXE and the output is
into memory and parsed as if it was a file. So the following
FOR /F "usebackq delims==" %i IN (`set`) DO @echo %i
would enumerate the environment variable names in the
In addition, substitution of FOR variable references has
You can now use the following optional syntax:
%~I - expands %I removing any surrounding quotes (")
%~fI - expands %I to a fully qualified path name
%~dI - expands %I to a drive letter only
%~pI - expands %I to a path only
%~nI - expands %I to a file name only
%~xI - expands %I to a file extension only
%~sI - expanded path contains short names only
%~aI - expands %I to file attributes of file
%~tI - expands %I to date/time of file
%~zI - expands %I to size of file
%~$PATH:I - searches the directories listed in the PATH
environment variable and expands %I to the
fully qualified name of the first one found.
If the environment variable name is not
defined or the file is not found by the
search, then this modifier expands to the
The modifiers can be combined to get compound results:
%~dpI - expands %I to a drive letter and path only
%~nxI - expands %I to a file name and extension only
%~fsI - expands %I to a full path name with short names only
%~dp$PATH:I - searches the directories listed in the PATH
environment variable for %I and expands to the
drive letter and path of the first one found.
%~ftzaI - expands %I to a DIR like output line
In the above examples %I and PATH can be replaced by other
values. The %~ syntax is terminated by a valid FOR variable
Picking upper case variable names like %I makes it more
avoids confusion with the modifiers, which are not case