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Directory.GetParent Method

Retrieves the parent directory of the specified path, including both absolute and relative paths.

Namespace:  System.IO
Assembly:  mscorlib (in mscorlib.dll)
public static DirectoryInfo GetParent(
	string path
)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The path for which to retrieve the parent directory.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.DirectoryInfo
The parent directory, or null if path is the root directory, including the root of a UNC server or share name.
ExceptionCondition
IOException

The directory specified by path is read-only.

UnauthorizedAccessException

The caller does not have the required permission.

ArgumentException

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

ArgumentNullException

path is null.

PathTooLongException

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.

DirectoryNotFoundException

The specified path was not found.

The path parameter is permitted to 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.

Trailing spaces are removed from the end of the path parameter before getting the directory.

The string returned by this method consists of all characters in the path up to, but not including, the last DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar. For example, passing the path "C:\Directory\SubDirectory\test.txt" to GetParent returns "C:\Directory\SubDirectory". Passing "C:\Directory\SubDirectory" returns "C:\Directory". However, passing "C:\Directory\SubDirectory\" returns "C:\Directory\SubDirectory", because the ending directory separator is after "SubDirectory".

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 GetParent method to retrieve the parent directory of a user-specified location, "path". The value returned by the GetParent method is then printed to the console. The example is configured to catch all errors common to this method.

using System;

namespace GetFileSystemEntries
{
    class Class1 
    {
        static void Main(string[] args) 
        {
            Class1 snippets = new Class1();

            string path = System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory();
            string filter = "*.exe";

            snippets.PrintFileSystemEntries(path);
            snippets.PrintFileSystemEntries(path, filter);		
            snippets.GetLogicalDrives();
            snippets.GetParent(path);
            snippets.Move("C:\\proof", "C:\\Temp");
        }

		
        void PrintFileSystemEntries(string path) 
        {
			
            try 
            {
                // Obtain the file system entries in the directory path. 
                string[] directoryEntries =
                    System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries(path); 

                foreach (string str in directoryEntries) 
                {
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str);
                }
            }
            catch (ArgumentNullException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.");
            }
            catch (System.Security.SecurityException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " +
                    "required permission.");
            }
            catch (ArgumentException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " +
                    "contains only white spaces, " + 
                    "or contains invalid characters.");
            }
            catch (System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The path encapsulated in the " + 
                    "Directory object does not exist.");
            }
        }
        void PrintFileSystemEntries(string path, string pattern) 
        {
            try 
            {
                // Obtain the file system entries in the directory 
                // path that match the pattern. 
                string[] directoryEntries =
                    System.IO.Directory.GetFileSystemEntries(path, pattern); 

                foreach (string str in directoryEntries) 
                {
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str);
                }
            }
            catch (ArgumentNullException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.");
            }
            catch (System.Security.SecurityException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " +
                    "required permission.");
            }
            catch (ArgumentException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " +
                    "contains only white spaces, " + 
                    "or contains invalid characters.");
            }
            catch (System.IO.DirectoryNotFoundException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The path encapsulated in the " + 
                    "Directory object does not exist.");
            }
        }

        // Print out all logical drives on the system. 
        void GetLogicalDrives() 
        {
            try 
            {
                string[] drives = System.IO.Directory.GetLogicalDrives();

                foreach (string str in drives) 
                {
                    System.Console.WriteLine(str);
                }
            }
            catch (System.IO.IOException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("An I/O error occurs.");
            }
            catch (System.Security.SecurityException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " +
                    "required permission.");
            }
        }
        void GetParent(string path) 
        {
            try 
            {
                System.IO.DirectoryInfo directoryInfo =
                    System.IO.Directory.GetParent(path);

                System.Console.WriteLine(directoryInfo.FullName);
            }
            catch (ArgumentNullException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.");
            }
            catch (ArgumentException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " +
                    "contains only white spaces, or " +
                    "contains invalid characters.");
            }
        }
        void Move(string sourcePath, string destinationPath) 
        {
            try 
            {
                System.IO.Directory.Move(sourcePath, destinationPath);
                System.Console.WriteLine("The directory move is complete.");
            }
            catch (ArgumentNullException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is a null reference.");
            }
            catch (System.Security.SecurityException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("The caller does not have the " +
                    "required permission.");
            }
            catch (ArgumentException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("Path is an empty string, " +
                    "contains only white spaces, " + 
                    "or contains invalid characters.");	
            }
            catch (System.IO.IOException) 
            {
                System.Console.WriteLine("An attempt was made to move a " +
                    "directory to a different " +
                    "volume, or destDirName " +
                    "already exists."); 
            }
        }
    }
}

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.5.1, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

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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