How to Replace String in XML File using PowerShell?

There will be times when, as a developer, you may need to replace a string value in an XML file using PowerShell. In this PowerShell tutorial, I will show a complete example of how to replace a string in an XML file using PowerShell.

PowerShell Replace String in XML File

Let us try to understand this with a simple but complete example.

Consider the following XML file named config.xml, which contains some configuration settings for an application:

<Configuration>
  <Settings>
    <DatabaseConnectionString>Server=myServerAddress;Database=myDataBase;</DatabaseConnectionString>
    <FeatureFlag>Enabled</FeatureFlag>
  </Settings>
</Configuration>

We want to replace the database server address myServerAddress with newServerAddress.

We can do this easily using PowerShell.

Here’s a complete PowerShell script that will load the XML file, replace the string, and save the changes back to the XML file:

# Define the path to the XML file
$xmlFilePath = 'C:\config.xml'

# Load the XML file content into a variable
[xml]$xmlContent = Get-Content $xmlFilePath

# Define the old and new server addresses
$oldServerAddress = 'myServerAddress'
$newServerAddress = 'newServerAddress'

# Replace the old server address with the new one
$xmlContent.Configuration.Settings.DatabaseConnectionString = $xmlContent.Configuration.Settings.DatabaseConnectionString -replace $oldServerAddress, $newServerAddress

# Save the updated XML content to the same file
$xmlContent.Save($xmlFilePath)

Write-Host "The server address in the XML file has been updated."

Here is the complete explanation:

  1. We define the path to the XML file we want to modify.
  2. We load the XML file into a PowerShell variable $xmlContent.
  3. We specify the old server address that we want to replace and the new server address.
  4. We use the -replace operator to swap the old address with the new one within the DatabaseConnectionString element.
  5. We save the modified XML content back to the original file.
  6. We output a confirmation message to the console.
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After running this script, the config.xml file would be updated to look like this:

<Configuration>
  <Settings>
    <DatabaseConnectionString>Server=newServerAddress;Database=myDataBase;</DatabaseConnectionString>
    <FeatureFlag>Enabled</FeatureFlag>
  </Settings>
</Configuration>

Conclusion

This simple example demonstrates how to use PowerShell to replace a string in an XML file.

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