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Directory.GetFiles Method (String)

Returns the names of files (including their paths) in the specified directory.

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

Public Shared Function GetFiles ( _
	path As String _
) As String()


Type: System.String

The relative or absolute path to the directory to search. This string is not case-sensitive.

Return Value

Type: System.String()
An array of the full names (including paths) for the files in the specified directory, or an empty array if no files are found.


path is a file name.


A network error has occurred.


The caller does not have the required permission.


path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters. You can query for invalid characters by using the GetInvalidPathChars method.


path is Nothing.


The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters and file names must be less than 260 characters.


The specified path is not found or is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).

The EnumerateFiles and GetFiles methods differ as follows: When you use EnumerateFiles, you can start enumerating the collection of names before the whole collection is returned; when you use GetFiles, you must wait for the whole array of names to be returned before you can access the array. Therefore, when you are working with many files and directories, EnumerateFiles can be more efficient.

The returned file names are appended to the supplied path parameter.

This method is identical to GetFiles(String, String) with the asterisk (*) specified as the search pattern.

The path parameter can specify relative or absolute path information. Relative path information is interpreted as relative to the current working directory. To obtain the current working directory, see GetCurrentDirectory.

The order of the returned file names is not guaranteed; use the Sort method if a specific sort order is required.

The path parameter is not case-sensitive.

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

The following example demonstrates how to use the GetFiles method to return file names from a user-specified location. The example is configured to catch all errors common to this method.

' For Directory.GetFiles and Directory.GetDirectories 
' For File.Exists, Directory.Exists  

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Collections

Public Class RecursiveFileProcessor

    Public Overloads Shared Sub Main(ByVal args() As String)
        Dim path As String 
        For Each path In args
            If File.Exists(path) Then 
                ' This path is a file.
                If Directory.Exists(path) Then 
                    ' This path is a directory.
                    Console.WriteLine("{0} is not a valid file or directory.", path)
                End If 
            End If 
        Next path
    End Sub 'Main

    ' Process all files in the directory passed in, recurse on any directories  
    ' that are found, and process the files they contain. 
    Public Shared Sub ProcessDirectory(ByVal targetDirectory As String)
        Dim fileEntries As String() = Directory.GetFiles(targetDirectory)
        ' Process the list of files found in the directory. 
        Dim fileName As String 
        For Each fileName In fileEntries

        Next fileName
        Dim subdirectoryEntries As String() = Directory.GetDirectories(targetDirectory)
        ' Recurse into subdirectories of this directory. 
        Dim subdirectory As String 
        For Each subdirectory In subdirectoryEntries
        Next subdirectory

    End Sub 'ProcessDirectory

    ' Insert logic for processing found files here. 
    Public Shared Sub ProcessFile(ByVal path As String)
        Console.WriteLine("Processed file '{0}'.", path)
    End Sub 'ProcessFile
End Class 'RecursiveFileProcessor

.NET Framework

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

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

.NET for Windows Phone apps

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1, Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1, 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.

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