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DirectoryInfo.GetFiles Method (String)

Returns a file list from the current directory matching the given search pattern.

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

'Declaration
Public Function GetFiles ( _
	searchPattern As String _
) As FileInfo()

Parameters

searchPattern
Type: System.String

The search string to match against the names of files. This parameter can contain a combination of valid literal path and wildcard (* and ?) characters (see Remarks), but doesn't support regular expressions. The default pattern is "*", which returns all files.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.FileInfo()
An array of type FileInfo.

ExceptionCondition
ArgumentException

searchPattern contains one or more invalid characters defined by the GetInvalidPathChars method.

ArgumentNullException

searchPattern is Nothing.

DirectoryNotFoundException

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

SecurityException

The caller does not have the required permission.

searchPattern can be a combination of literal and wildcard characters, but doesn't support regular expressions. The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard specifier

Matches

* (asterisk)

Zero or more characters in that position.

? (question mark)

Zero or one character in that position.

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

The EnumerateFiles and GetFiles methods differ as follows:

  • When you use EnumerateFiles, you can start enumerating the collection of FileInfo objects before the whole collection is returned.

  • When you use GetFiles, you must wait for the whole array of FileInfo objects to be returned before you can access the array.

Therefore, when you are working with many files and directories, EnumerateFiles can be more efficient.

If there are no files in the DirectoryInfo, this method returns an empty array.

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in the searchPattern parameter.

Wildcard character

Description

*

Zero or more characters.

?

Exactly zero or one character.

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

Wildcards are permitted. For example, the searchPattern string "*.txt" searches for all file names having an extension of "txt". The searchPattern string "s*" searches for all file names beginning with the letter "s". If there are no files, or no files that match the searchPattern string in the DirectoryInfo, this method returns an empty array.

NoteNote

When using the asterisk wildcard character in a searchPattern (for example, "*.txt"), the matching behavior varies depending on the length of the specified file extension. A searchPattern with a file extension of exactly three characters returns files with 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 with 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 in a directory, "file1.txt" and "file1.txtother", a search pattern of "file?.txt" returns only 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" will return "longfilename.txt" because the equivalent 8.3 file name format would be "longf~1.txt".

This method pre-populates the values of the following FileInfo properties:

The following example shows how to get a list of files from a directory by using different search options. The example assumes a directory that has files named log1.txt, log2.txt, test1.txt, test2.txt, test3.txt, and a subdirectory that has a file named SubFile.txt.

Imports System.IO

Module Module1

    Sub Main()
        Dim di As DirectoryInfo = New DirectoryInfo("C:\ExampleDir")
        Console.WriteLine("No search pattern returns:")
        For Each fi In di.GetFiles()
            Console.WriteLine(fi.Name)
        Next

        Console.WriteLine()

        Console.WriteLine("Search pattern *2* returns:")
        For Each fi In di.GetFiles("*2*")
            Console.WriteLine(fi.Name)
        Next

        Console.WriteLine()

        Console.WriteLine("Search pattern test?.txt returns:")
        For Each fi In di.GetFiles("test?.txt")
            Console.WriteLine(fi.Name)
        Next

        Console.WriteLine()

        Console.WriteLine("Search pattern AllDirectories returns:")
        For Each fi In di.GetFiles("*", SearchOption.AllDirectories)
            Console.WriteLine(fi.Name)
        Next 
    End Sub 

End Module 

' This code produces output similar to the following: 

' No search pattern returns: 
' log1.txt 
' log2.txt 
' test1.txt 
' test2.txt 
' test3.txt 

' Search pattern *2* returns: 
' log2.txt 
' test2.txt 

' Search pattern test?.txt returns: 
' test1.txt 
' test2.txt 
' test3.txt 

' Search pattern AllDirectories returns: 
' log1.txt 
' log2.txt 
' test1.txt 
' test2.txt 
' test3.txt 
' SubFile.txt 
' Press any key to continue . . .

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4.6, 4.5, 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0

Supported in: Windows Phone 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8.1

Supported in: Windows Phone Silverlight 8

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