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DirectoryInfo.GetFiles Method (String, SearchOption)

Returns a file list from the current directory matching the given search pattern and using a value to determine whether to search subdirectories.

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

public FileInfo[] GetFiles(
	string searchPattern,
	SearchOption searchOption
)

Parameters

searchPattern
Type: System.String
The search string. For example, "System*" can be used to search for all directories that begin with the word "System".
searchOption
Type: System.IO.SearchOption
One of the enumeration values that specifies whether the search operation should include only the current directory or all subdirectories.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.FileInfo[]
An array of type FileInfo.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentException

searchPattern contains one or more invalid characters defined by the GetInvalidPathChars method.

ArgumentNullException

searchPattern is null.

ArgumentOutOfRangeException

searchOption is not a valid SearchOption value.

DirectoryNotFoundException

The path is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).

SecurityException

The caller does not have the required permission.

If there are no files in the DirectoryInfo, this method returns an empty array.

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard character

Description

*

Zero or more characters.

?

Exactly one character.

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

Wildcards are permitted. For example, the searchPattern string "*.txt" searches for all file names having an extension of "txt". The searchPattern string "s*" searches for all file names beginning with the letter "s". If there are no files, or no files that match the searchPattern string in the DirectoryInfo, this method returns an empty array.

NoteNote

When using the asterisk wildcard character in a searchPattern (for example, "*.txt"), the matching behavior varies depending on the length of the specified file extension. A searchPattern with a file extension of exactly three characters returns files with an extension of three or more characters, where the first three characters match the file extension specified in the searchPattern. A searchPattern with a file extension of one, two, or more than three characters returns only files with extensions of exactly that length that match the file extension specified in the searchPattern. When using the question mark wildcard character, this method returns only files that match the specified file extension. For example, given two files in a directory, "file1.txt" and "file1.txtother", a search pattern of "file?.txt" returns only the first file, while a search pattern of "file*.txt" returns both files.

The following list shows the behavior of different lengths for the searchPattern parameter:

  • "*.abc" returns files having an extension of.abc,.abcd,.abcde,.abcdef, and so on.

  • "*.abcd" returns only files having an extension of.abcd.

  • "*.abcde" returns only files having an extension of.abcde.

  • "*.abcdef" returns only files having an extension of.abcdef.

NoteNote

Because this method checks against file names with both the 8.3 file name format and the long file name format, a search pattern similar to "*1*.txt" may return unexpected file names. For example, using a search pattern of "*1*.txt" will return "longfilename.txt" because the equivalent 8.3 file name format would be "longf~1.txt".

This method pre-populates the values of the following FileInfo properties:

  1. Attributes

  2. CreationTime

  3. CreationTimeUtc

  4. LastAccessTime

  5. LastAccessTimeUtc

  6. LastWriteTime

  7. LastWriteTimeUtc

  8. Length

The following example lists all of the directories and files that begin with the letter "c" in "c:\".


using System;
using System.IO;

class App
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        // Specify the directory you want to manipulate.
        string path = @"c:\";
        string searchPattern = "c*";

        DirectoryInfo di = new DirectoryInfo(path);
        DirectoryInfo[] directories = 
            di.GetDirectories(searchPattern, SearchOption.TopDirectoryOnly);

        FileInfo[] files = 
            di.GetFiles(searchPattern, SearchOption.TopDirectoryOnly);

        Console.WriteLine(
            "Directories that begin with the letter \"c\" in {0}", path);
        foreach (DirectoryInfo dir in directories)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(
                "{0,-25} {1,25}", dir.FullName, dir.LastWriteTime);
        }

        Console.WriteLine();
        Console.WriteLine(
            "Files that begin with the letter \"c\" in {0}", path);
        foreach (FileInfo file in files)
        {
            Console.WriteLine(
                "{0,-25} {1,25}", file.Name, file.LastWriteTime);
        }
    } // Main()
} // App()


.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

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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