DirectoryInfo.GetFileSystemInfos Method (String)

Retrieves an array of strongly typed FileSystemInfo objects representing the files and subdirectories matching the specified search criteria.

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

public FileSystemInfo[] GetFileSystemInfos (
	string searchPattern
public FileSystemInfo[] GetFileSystemInfos (
	String searchPattern
public function GetFileSystemInfos (
	searchPattern : String
) : FileSystemInfo[]
Not applicable.



The search string, such as "System*", used to search for all directories beginning with the word "System".

Return Value

An array of strongly typed FileSystemInfo objects matching the search criteria.

Exception typeCondition


searchPattern is a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).


The specified path is invalid, such as being on an unmapped drive.


The caller does not have the required permission.

This method is not recursive.

For subdirectories, the FileSystemInfo objects returned by this method can be cast to the derived class DirectoryInfo. Use the FileAttributes value returned by the FileSystemInfo.Attributes property to determine whether the FileSystemInfo represents a file or a directory.

Wild cards are permitted. For example, the searchPattern string "*t" searches for all directory names in path ending with the letter "t". The searchPattern string "s*" searches for all directory names in path beginning with the letter "s".

The string ".." can only be used in searchPattern if it is specified as a part of a valid directory name, such as in the directory name "a..b". It cannot be used to move up the directory hierarchy. If there are no files or directories, or no files or directories that match the searchPattern string in the DirectoryInfo, this method returns an empty array.

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

The following example counts the files and directories that match the specified search pattern.

using System;
using System.IO;

class DirectoryFileCount

    static long files = 0;
    static long directories = 0;

    static void Main()
            Console.WriteLine("Enter the path to a directory:");

            string directory = Console.ReadLine();

            Console.WriteLine("Enter a search string (for example *p*):");

            string searchString = Console.ReadLine();

            // Create a new DirectoryInfo object.
            DirectoryInfo dir = new DirectoryInfo(directory);

            if (!dir.Exists)
                throw new DirectoryNotFoundException("The directory does not exist.");

            // Call the GetFileSystemInfos method.
            FileSystemInfo[] infos = dir.GetFileSystemInfos(searchString);


            // Pass the result to the ListDirectoriesAndFiles
            // method defined below.
            ListDirectoriesAndFiles(infos, searchString);

            // Display the results to the console. 
            Console.WriteLine("Directories: {0}", directories);
            Console.WriteLine("Files: {0}", files);

        catch (Exception e)


    static void ListDirectoriesAndFiles(FileSystemInfo[] FSInfo, string SearchString)
        // Check the parameters.
        if (FSInfo == null)
            throw new ArgumentNullException("FSInfo");
        if (SearchString == null || SearchString.Length == 0)
            throw new ArgumentNullException("SearchString");

        // Iterate through each item.
        foreach (FileSystemInfo i in FSInfo)
            // Check to see if this is a DirectoryInfo object.
            if (i is DirectoryInfo)
                // Add one to the directory count.

                // Cast the object to a DirectoryInfo object.
                DirectoryInfo dInfo = (DirectoryInfo)i;

                // Iterate through all sub-directories.
                ListDirectoriesAndFiles(dInfo.GetFileSystemInfos(SearchString), SearchString);
            // Check to see if this is a FileInfo object.
            else if (i is FileInfo)
                // Add one to the file count.



Windows 98, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows CE, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Starter Edition

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.0 is supported on Windows Vista, Microsoft Windows XP SP2, and Windows Server 2003 SP1.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 1.0