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Directory Class

Exposes static methods for creating, moving, and enumerating through directories and subdirectories. This class cannot be inherited.

To browse the .NET Framework source code for this type, see the Reference Source.

Namespace:  System.IO
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)

[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public static class Directory

The Directory type exposes the following members.

  NameDescription
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkCreateDirectory(String)Creates all directories and subdirectories in the specified path unless they already exist.
Public methodStatic memberCreateDirectory(String, DirectorySecurity)Creates all the directories in the specified path, unless the already exist, applying the specified Windows security.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkDelete(String)Deletes an empty directory from a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkDelete(String, Boolean)Deletes the specified directory and, if indicated, any subdirectories and files in the directory.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateDirectories(String)Returns an enumerable collection of directory names in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateDirectories(String, String)Returns an enumerable collection of directory names that match a search pattern in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateDirectories(String, String, SearchOption)Returns an enumerable collection of directory names that match a search pattern in a specified path, and optionally searches subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFiles(String)Returns an enumerable collection of file names in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFiles(String, String)Returns an enumerable collection of file names that match a search pattern in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFiles(String, String, SearchOption)Returns an enumerable collection of file names that match a search pattern in a specified path, and optionally searches subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFileSystemEntries(String)Returns an enumerable collection of file names and directory names in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFileSystemEntries(String, String)Returns an enumerable collection of file names and directory names that match a search pattern in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberEnumerateFileSystemEntries(String, String, SearchOption)Returns an enumerable collection of file names and directory names that match a search pattern in a specified path, and optionally searches subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkExistsDetermines whether the given path refers to an existing directory on disk.
Public methodStatic memberGetAccessControl(String)Gets a DirectorySecurity object that encapsulates the access control list (ACL) entries for a specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberGetAccessControl(String, AccessControlSections)Gets a DirectorySecurity object that encapsulates the specified type of access control list (ACL) entries for a specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetCreationTimeGets the creation date and time of a directory.
Public methodStatic memberGetCreationTimeUtcGets the creation date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, of a directory.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetCurrentDirectoryGets the current working directory of the application.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetDirectories(String)Returns the names of subdirectories (including their paths) in the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetDirectories(String, String)Returns the names of subdirectories (including their paths) that match the specified search pattern in the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberGetDirectories(String, String, SearchOption)Returns the names of the subdirectories (including their paths) that match the specified search pattern in the specified directory, and optionally searches subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetDirectoryRootReturns the volume information, root information, or both for the specified path.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetFiles(String)Returns the names of files (including their paths) in the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetFiles(String, String)Returns the names of files (including their paths) that match the specified search pattern in the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberGetFiles(String, String, SearchOption)Returns the names of files (including their paths) that match the specified search pattern in the specified directory, using a value to determine whether to search subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetFileSystemEntries(String)Returns the names of all files and subdirectories in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetFileSystemEntries(String, String)Returns an array of file names and directory names that that match a search pattern in a specified path.
Public methodStatic memberGetFileSystemEntries(String, String, SearchOption)Returns an array of all the file names and directory names that match a search pattern in a specified path, and optionally searches subdirectories.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetLastAccessTimeReturns the date and time the specified file or directory was last accessed.
Public methodStatic memberGetLastAccessTimeUtcReturns the date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, that the specified file or directory was last accessed.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkGetLastWriteTimeReturns the date and time the specified file or directory was last written to.
Public methodStatic memberGetLastWriteTimeUtcReturns the date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, that the specified file or directory was last written to.
Public methodStatic memberGetLogicalDrivesRetrieves the names of the logical drives on this computer in the form "<drive letter>:\".
Public methodStatic memberGetParentRetrieves the parent directory of the specified path, including both absolute and relative paths.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkMoveMoves a file or a directory and its contents to a new location.
Public methodStatic memberSetAccessControlApplies access control list (ACL) entries described by a DirectorySecurity object to the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberSetCreationTimeSets the creation date and time for the specified file or directory.
Public methodStatic memberSetCreationTimeUtcSets the creation date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, for the specified file or directory.
Public methodStatic memberSupported by the XNA FrameworkSetCurrentDirectorySets the application's current working directory to the specified directory.
Public methodStatic memberSetLastAccessTimeSets the date and time the specified file or directory was last accessed.
Public methodStatic memberSetLastAccessTimeUtcSets the date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, that the specified file or directory was last accessed.
Public methodStatic memberSetLastWriteTimeSets the date and time a directory was last written to.
Public methodStatic memberSetLastWriteTimeUtcSets the date and time, in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format, that a directory was last written to.
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NoteNote

To view the .NET Framework source code for this type, see the Reference Source. You can browse through the source code online, download the reference for offline viewing, and step through the sources (including patches and updates) during debugging; see instructions.

Use the Directory class for typical operations such as copying, moving, renaming, creating, and deleting directories.

The static methods of the Directory class perform security checks on all methods. If you are going to reuse an object several times, consider using the corresponding instance method of DirectoryInfo instead, because the security check will not always be necessary.

If you are performing only one directory-related action, it might be more efficient to use a static Directory method rather than a corresponding DirectoryInfo instance method. Most Directory methods require the path to the directory that you are manipulating.

NoteNote

In members that accept a string path parameter, that path must be well-formed or an exception is raised. For example, if a path is fully qualified but begins with a space (" c:\temp"), the path string isn't trimmed, so the path is considered malformed and an exception is raised. In addition, a path or a combination of paths cannot be fully qualified twice. For example, "c:\temp c:\windows" also raises an exception. Ensure that your paths are well-formed when using methods that accept a path string. For more information see Path.

In members that accept a path, the path can refer to a file or a directory. You can use a full path, a relative path, or a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path for a server and share name. For example, all the following are acceptable paths:

  • "c:\\MyDir" in C#, or "c:\MyDir" in Visual Basic.

  • "MyDir\\MySubdir" in C#, or "MyDir\MySubDir" in Visual Basic.

  • "\\\\MyServer\\MyShare" in C#, or "\\MyServer\MyShare" in Visual Basic.

By default, full read/write access to new directories is granted to all users. However, the app must have the correct security to access existing directories.

To demand permissions for a directory and all its subdirectories, end the path string with the directory separator character. (For example, "C:\Temp\" grants access to C:\Temp\ and all its subdirectories.) To demand permissions only for a specific directory, end the path string with a period. (For example, "C:\Temp\." grants access only to C:\Temp\, not to its subdirectories.)

In members that accept a searchPattern parameter, the search string can be any combination of literal characters and two wildcard characters; * and ?. This parameter does not recognize regular expressions. For more information, see the EnumerateDirectories(String, String) method or any other method that uses the searchPattern parameter.

For a list of common I/O tasks, see Common I/O Tasks.

Directory and DirectoryInfo are not supported for use in Windows Store apps. For information about how to access files and folders in Windows Store apps, see Accessing data and files (Windows Store apps).

The following example shows how to retrieve all the text files from a directory and move them to a new directory. After the files are moved, they no longer exist in the original directory.

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace ConsoleApplication
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string sourceDirectory = @"C:\current";
            string archiveDirectory = @"C:\archive";

            try
            {
                var txtFiles = Directory.EnumerateFiles(sourceDirectory, "*.txt");

                foreach (string currentFile in txtFiles)
                {
                    string fileName = currentFile.Substring(sourceDirectory.Length + 1);
                    Directory.Move(currentFile, Path.Combine(archiveDirectory, fileName));
                }
            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(e.Message);
            }
        }
    }
}

The following example demonstrates how to use the EnumerateFiles method to retrieve a collection of text files from a directory, and then use that collection in a query to find all the lines that contain "Example".

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Linq;

namespace ConsoleApplication
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string archiveDirectory = @"C:\archive";

            var files = from retrievedFile in Directory.EnumerateFiles(archiveDirectory, "*.txt", SearchOption.AllDirectories)
                        from line in File.ReadLines(retrievedFile)
                        where line.Contains("Example")
                        select new
                        {
                            File = retrievedFile,
                            Line = line
                        };

            foreach (var f in files)
            {
                Console.WriteLine("{0} contains {1}", f.File, f.Line);
            }
            Console.WriteLine("{0} lines found.", files.Count().ToString());
        }
    }
}

The following example demonstrates how to move a directory and all its files to a new directory. The original directory no longer exists after it has been moved.

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace ConsoleApplication
{
    class Program
    {
        static void Main(string[] args)
        {
            string sourceDirectory = @"C:\source";
            string destinationDirectory = @"C:\destination";

            try
            {
                Directory.Move(sourceDirectory, destinationDirectory);  
            }
            catch (Exception e)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(e.Message);
            }
        }
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8

Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Windows 8, Windows Server 2012, Windows 7, Windows Vista SP2, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core Role not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core Role supported with SP1 or later; Itanium not supported)

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.
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