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Imports a CLIXML file and creates corresponding objects in Windows PowerShell.
Import-Clixml [-First <UInt64>] [-IncludeTotalCount] -LiteralPath* <String[]> [-Skip <UInt64>] [<CommonParameters>]
Import-Clixml [-Path*] <String[]> [-First <UInt64>] [-IncludeTotalCount] [-Skip <UInt64>] [<CommonParameters>]

The Import-CliXml cmdlet imports a CLIXML file with data that represents Microsoft .NET Framework objects and creates the objects in Windows PowerShell.

A valuable use of Import-CliXml is to import credentials and secure strings that have been exported as secure XML by running the Export-Clixml cmdlet. For an example of how to do this, see Example 2.


-First <UInt64>

  • Default value is False
  • Accepts pipeline input False

Gets only the specified number of objects. Enter the number of objects to get.

-IncludeTotalCount [<SwitchParameter>]

  • Default value is False
  • Accepts pipeline input False

Reports the total number of objects in the data set (an integer) followed by the selected objects. If the cmdlet cannot determine the total count, it displays "Unknown total count." The integer has an Accuracy property that indicates the reliability of the total count value. The value of Accuracy ranges from 0.0 to 1.0 where 0.0 means that the cmdlet could not count the objects, 1.0 means that the count is exact, and a value between 0.0 and 1.0 indicates an increasingly reliable estimate.

-LiteralPath <String[]>

  • This value is required
  • Default value is None
  • Accepts pipeline input ByPropertyName

Specifies the XML files. Unlike Path , the value of the LiteralPath parameter is used exactly as it is typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell Windows PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.

-Path <String[]>

  • This value is required
  • Default value is None
  • Accepts pipeline input ByPropertyName

Specifies the XML files.

-Skip <UInt64>

  • Default value is False
  • Accepts pipeline input False

Ignores the specified number of objects and then gets the remaining objects. Enter the number of objects to skip.


This cmdlet supports the common parameters: Verbose, Debug,ErrorAction, ErrorVariable, WarningAction, WarningVariable,OutBuffer, PipelineVariable, and OutVariable.

You can pipe a string that contains a path to Import-Clixml .
Import-Clixml returns objects that have been deserialized from the stored XML files.
  1. Import a serialized file and recreate an object:
    PS C:\> Get-Process | Export-Clixml pi.xml
    PS C:\> $Processes = Import-Clixml pi.xml

    This command uses the Export-Clixml cmdlet to save a serialized copy of the process information returned by Get-Process. It then uses Import-Clixml to retrieve the contents of the serialized file and re-create an object that is stored in the $Processes variable.

  2. Import a secure credential object:
    PS C:\> $Credxmlpath = Join-Path (Split-Path $Profile) TestScript.ps1.credential
    PS C:\> $Credential | Export-CliXml $Credxmlpath
    PS C:\> $Credxmlpath = Join-Path (Split-Path $Profile) TestScript.ps1.credential
    PS C:\> $Credential = Import-CliXml $Credxmlpath
       The Export-CliXml cmdlet encrypts credential objects by using the Windows Data Protection 
       APIhttp://msdn.microsoft.com/library/windows/apps/xaml/hh464970.aspx. This ensures that only your user account can 
       decrypt the contents of the credential object.
       In this example, given a credential that you've stored in the $Credential variable by running the Get-Credential 
       cmdlet, you can run the Export-CliXml cmdlet to save the credential to disk.
       In the example, the file in which the credential is stored is represented by TestScript.ps1.credential. Replace 
       TestScript with the name of the script with which you are loading the credential.
       In the second command, you pipe the credential object to Export-CliXml , and save it to the path, $Credxmlpath, 
       that you specified in the first command.
       To import the credential automatically into your script, run the final two commands. This time, you are running 
       Import-Clixml to import the secured credential object into your script. This eliminates the risk of exposing 
       plain-text passwords in your script.
Additional Notes
 * When specifying multiple values for a parameter, use commas to separate the values. For example, 
 " , ".

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