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Path.GetDirectoryName Method

Updated: January 2010

Returns the directory information for the specified path string.

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

'Declaration
Public Shared Function GetDirectoryName ( _
	path As String _
) As String
'Usage
Dim path As String 
Dim returnValue As String 

returnValue = Path.GetDirectoryName(path)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String

The path of a file or directory.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A String containing directory information for path, or Nothing if path denotes a root directory or is Nothing. Returns String.Empty if path does not contain directory information.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentException

The path parameter contains invalid characters, is empty, or contains only white spaces.

PathTooLongException

The path parameter is longer than the system-defined maximum length.

In most cases, the string returned by this method consists of all characters in the path up to but not including the last DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar. If the path consists of a root directory, such as "c:\", null is returned. Note that this method does not support paths using "file:". Because the returned path does not include the DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar, passing the returned path back into the GetDirectoryName method will result in the truncation of one folder level per subsequent call on the result string. For example, passing the path "C:\Directory\SubDirectory\test.txt" into the GetDirectoryName method will return "C:\Directory\SubDirectory". Passing that string, "C:\Directory\SubDirectory", into GetDirectoryName will result in "C:\Directory".

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

The following code example demonstrates using the GetDirectoryName method on a Windows-based desktop platform.

Dim filepath As String = "C:\MyDir\MySubDir\myfile.ext" 
Dim directoryName As String 
Dim i As Integer = 0

While filepath <> Nothing
    directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(filepath)
    Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", _
        filepath, directoryName)
    filepath = directoryName
    If i = 1
       filepath = directoryName + "\"  ' this will preserve the previous path
    End If
    i = i + 1
End While 

'This code produces the following output: 

' GetDirectoryName('C:\MyDir\MySubDir\myfile.ext') returns 'C:\MyDir\MySubDir' 
' GetDirectoryName('C:\MyDir\MySubDir') returns 'C:\MyDir' 
' GetDirectoryName('C:\MyDir\') returns 'C:\MyDir' 
' GetDirectoryName('C:\MyDir') returns 'C:\' 
' GetDirectoryName('C:\') returns ''

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Date

History

Reason

January 2010

Corrected return value.

Customer feedback.

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