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Directory.GetFiles Method (String, String)

Returns the names of files (including their paths) that match the specified search pattern in the specified directory.

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

public static string[] GetFiles(
	string path,
	string searchPattern
)

Parameters

path
Type: System.String
The directory to search.
searchPattern
Type: System.String
The search string to match against the names of files in path. The parameter cannot end in two periods ("..") or contain two periods ("..") followed by DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar, nor can it contain any of the characters in InvalidPathChars.

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
A String array containing the names of files in the specified directory that match the specified search pattern. File names include the full path.

ExceptionCondition
IOException

path is a file name.

-or-

A network error has occurred.

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 as defined by InvalidPathChars.

-or-

searchPattern does not contain a valid pattern.

ArgumentNullException

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

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

If there are no files, or no files match the searchPattern parameter, this method returns an empty array.

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

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard character

Description

*

Zero or more characters.

?

Exactly zero or one character.

Characters other than the wildcard specifiers represent themselves. For example, the searchPattern string "*t" searches for all names in path ending with the letter "t". The searchPattern string "s*" searches for all names in path beginning with the letter "s".

NoteNote

When using the asterisk wildcard character in a searchPattern, such as "*.txt", the matching behavior when the extension is exactly three characters long is different than when the extension is more or less than three characters long. A searchPattern with a file extension of exactly three characters returns files having 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 having 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, "file1.txt" and "file1.txtother", in a directory, a search pattern of "file?.txt" returns just the first file, while a search pattern of "file*.txt" returns both files.

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" returns "longfilename.txt" because the equivalent 8.3 file name format is "LONGFI~1.TXT".

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.

The path parameter is not case-sensitive.

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

The following code example counts the number of files that begin with the specified letter.


using System;
using System.IO;

class Test 
{
    public static void Main() 
    {
        try 
        {
            // Only get files that begin with the letter "c."
            string[] dirs = Directory.GetFiles(@"c:\", "c*");
            Console.WriteLine("The number of files starting with c is {0}.", dirs.Length);
            foreach (string dir in dirs) 
            {
                Console.WriteLine(dir);
            }
        } 
        catch (Exception e) 
        {
            Console.WriteLine("The process failed: {0}", e.ToString());
        }
    }
}


.NET Framework

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

.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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