FileAttributes Enumeration

FileAttributes Enumeration


Provides attributes for files and directories.

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

public enum FileAttributes

Member nameDescription

The file is a candidate for backup or removal.


The file is compressed.


Reserved for future use.


The file is a directory.


The file or directory is encrypted. For a file, this means that all data in the file is encrypted. For a directory, this means that encryption is the default for newly created files and directories.


The file is hidden, and thus is not included in an ordinary directory listing.


The file or directory includes data integrity support. When this value is applied to a file, all data streams in the file have integrity support. When this value is applied to a directory, all new files and subdirectories within that directory, by default, include integrity support.


The file is a standard file that has no special attributes. This attribute is valid only if it is used alone.


The file or directory is excluded from the data integrity scan. When this value is applied to a directory, by default, all new files and subdirectories within that directory are excluded from data integrity.


The file will not be indexed by the operating system's content indexing service.


The file is offline. The data of the file is not immediately available.


The file is read-only.


The file contains a reparse point, which is a block of user-defined data associated with a file or a directory.


The file is a sparse file. Sparse files are typically large files whose data consists of mostly zeros.


The file is a system file. That is, the file is part of the operating system or is used exclusively by the operating system.


The file is temporary. A temporary file contains data that is needed while an application is executing but is not needed after the application is finished. File systems try to keep all the data in memory for quicker access rather than flushing the data back to mass storage. A temporary file should be deleted by the application as soon as it is no longer needed.

You can get attributes for files and directories by calling the GetAttributes method, and you can set them by calling the SetAttributes method.

It is not possible to change the compression status of a File object by using the SetAttributes method. Instead, you must actually compress the file using either a compression tool or one of the classes in the System.IO.Compression namespace.

The following example shows how to retrieve the attributes for a file and check if the file is read-only.

using System;
using System.IO;

namespace ConsoleApplication
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            FileAttributes attributes = File.GetAttributes("c:/Temp/testfile.txt");
            if ((attributes & FileAttributes.ReadOnly) == FileAttributes.ReadOnly)
                Console.WriteLine("read-only file");
                Console.WriteLine("not read-only file");

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
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