Developer(s)Microsoft, IBM, DR, Datalight, Novell, Jim Hall, ReactOS Contributors
Initial releaseMarch 1983; 40 years ago (1983-03)
Written inMS-DOS: x86 assembly language
FreeDOS, ReactOS: C
Operating systemMS-DOS, PC DOS, FlexOS, SISNE plus, DR DOS, ROM-DOS, FreeDOS, 4690 OS, Windows, OS/2, eComStation, ArcaOS, ReactOS
LicenseMS-DOS: MIT
FreeDOS, ReactOS: GPLv2+

In computing, find is a command in the command-line interpreters (shells) of a number of operating systems. It is used to search for a specific text string in a file or files. The command sends the specified lines to the standard output device.[1][2]


The find command is a filter to find lines in the input data stream that contain or don't contain a specified string and send these to the output data stream. It does not support wildcard characters.[3]

The command is available in DOS,[4] Digital Research FlexOS,[5] IBM/Toshiba 4690 OS,[6] IBM OS/2,[7] Microsoft Windows,[8] and ReactOS.[9] On MS-DOS, the command is available in versions 2 and later.[10] DR DOS 6.0[11] and Datalight ROM-DOS[12] include an implementation of the find command. The FreeDOS version was developed by Jim Hall and is licensed under the GPL.[13]

The Unix command find performs an entirely different function, analogous to forfiles on Windows. The rough equivalent to the Windows find is the Unix grep.[14]


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



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


C:\>find "keyword" < inputfilename > outputfilename
C:\>find /V "any string" FileName

See also


  1. ^ Paterson, Tim (2013-12-19) [1983]. "Microsoft DOS V1.1 and V2.0: /msdos/v20source/FIND.ASM". Computer History Museum, Microsoft. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  2. ^ Shustek, Len (2014-03-24). "Microsoft MS-DOS early source code". Software Gems: The Computer History Museum Historical Source Code Series. Retrieved 2015-10-01.
  3. ^ "Find - Search for text - Windows CMD -".
  4. ^ Jamsa, Kris A. (1993), DOS: The Complete Reference, Osborne McGraw-Hill, p. 206, ISBN 0078819040.
  5. ^ "FlexOS User's Guide" (PDF). 1986. Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  6. ^ "Users guide". Retrieved 2020-09-14.
  7. ^ "JaTomes Help - OS/2 Commands". Archived from the original on 2019-04-14. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
  8. ^ "Find". Archived from the original on 2017-08-26. Retrieved 2017-08-26.
  9. ^ "reactos/reactos". GitHub. 3 January 2022.
  10. ^ Wolverton, Van (2003). Running MS-DOS Version 6.22 (20th Anniversary Edition), 6th Revised edition. Microsoft Press. ISBN 0-7356-1812-7.
  11. ^ DR DOS 6.0 User Guide Optimisation and Configuration Tips
  12. ^ "Datalight ROM-DOS User's Guide" (PDF).
  13. ^ " FreeDOS Package -- find (FreeDOS Base)".
  14. ^ "Equivalent of UNIX Grep command in Dos/Windows". January 26, 2009.

Further reading