File Class

Provides static methods for the creation, copying, deletion, moving, and opening of files, and aids in the creation of FileStream objects.

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

[ComVisibleAttribute(true)]
public static class File

Use the File class for typical operations such as copying, moving, renaming, creating, opening, deleting, and appending to files. You can also use the File class to get and set file attributes or DateTime information related to the creation, access, and writing of a file.

Many of the File methods return other I/O types when you create or open files. You can use these other types to further manipulate a file. For more information, see specific File members such as OpenText, CreateText, or Create.

Because all File methods are static, it might be more efficient to use a File method rather than a corresponding FileInfo instance method if you want to perform only one action. All File methods require the path to the file that you are manipulating.

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

By default, full read/write access to new files is granted to all users.

The following table describes the enumerations that are used to customize the behavior of various File methods.

Enumeration

Description

FileAccess

Specifies read and write access to a file.

FileShare

Specifies the level of access permitted for a file that is already in use.

FileMode

Specifies whether the contents of an existing file are preserved or overwritten, and whether requests to create an existing file cause an exception.

NoteNote:

In members that accept a path as an input string, that path must be well-formed or an exception is raised. For example, if a path is fully qualified but begins with a space, the path is not trimmed in methods of the class. Therefore, the path is malformed and an exception is raised. Similarly, a path or a combination of paths cannot be fully qualified twice. For example, "c:\temp c:\windows" also raises an exception in most cases. Ensure that your paths are well-formed when using methods that accept a path string.

In members that accept a path, the path can refer to a file or just a directory. The specified path can also refer to 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\\MyFile.txt" in C#, or "c:\MyDir\MyFile.txt" in Visual Basic.

  • "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.

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

The following example demonstrates some of the main members of the File class.

using System;
using System.IO;

class Test
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        string path = @"c:\temp\MyTest.txt";
        if (!File.Exists(path))
        {
            // Create a file to write to. 
            using (StreamWriter sw = File.CreateText(path))
            {
                sw.WriteLine("Hello");
                sw.WriteLine("And");
                sw.WriteLine("Welcome");
            }
        }

        // Open the file to read from. 
        using (StreamReader sr = File.OpenText(path))
        {
            string s = "";
            while ((s = sr.ReadLine()) != null)
            {
                Console.WriteLine(s);
            }
        }
    }
}

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

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
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