When using the sfdx force:data:tree:export command, the Salesforce Developer Documentation states you can specify a file path in place of an in-line typed query (either option would follow the -q flag). I ran a simple query using the in-line version first :

sfdx:force:data:tree:export -q "SELECT Id FROM Account LIMIT 5" -d queries/accounts/ -u DevHub

And it created the json and path files without issue.

However, when I tried to swap out the in-line query for a file path directed at accountsquery.file which contains the exact same query string, I keep getting the following error:

➜  testProject sfdx force:data:tree:export -q queries/accountsquery -d queries/accounts/ -u DevHub

ERROR:  Invalid SOQL query: "select id from account".

Does the file need to be of a certain extension type? Is the syntax somehow different when you specify a file path? I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, and I can't find an example of using the file path over an in-line string anywhere.

2 Answers 2


I just tried executing by create a simple file in a folder as shown in the below screenshot and below command worked fine

sfdx force:data:tree:export -q data/accounts/queryFile -d data/accounts/

My folder structure is as below and you can see i have a file shown in the editor

enter image description here

And you can see I have a file queryFile which does not have any extension .

The command line results are fine .

Looks like the file does not need to enclose query in double quotes and thats your issue .


I just encountered this same issue and figured it out. Thought I would post here in case it helps someone in the future. In my case, the .soql file should not have anything other than the query text. All I needed to do was remove the comments in the file and everything worked fine. So, for example, with the default account.soql file that comes with a new sfdx project you just need to make the following changes.

Change this

// Use .soql files to store SOQL queries.
// You can execute queries in VS Code by selecting the
//     query text and running the command:
//     SFDX: Execute SOQL Query with Currently Selected Text

SELECT Id, Name FROM Account

To this

SELECT Id, Name FROM Account

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