We recommend using Visual Studio 2017

_access_s, _waccess_s


The new home for Visual Studio documentation is Visual Studio 2017 Documentation on docs.microsoft.com.

The latest version of this topic can be found at _access_s, _waccess_s.

Determines file read/write permissions. This is a version of _access, _waccess with security enhancements as described in Security Features in the CRT.

errno_t _access_s(   
   const char *path,   
   int mode   
errno_t _waccess_s(   
   const wchar_t *path,   
   int mode   


File or directory path.

Permission setting.

Each function returns 0 if the file has the given mode. The function returns an error code if the named file does not exist or is not accessible in the given mode. In this case, the function returns an error code from the set as follows and also sets errno to the same value.

Access denied. The file's permission setting does not allow specified access.

File name or path not found.

Invalid parameter.

For more information, see errno, _doserrno, _sys_errlist, and _sys_nerr.

When used with files, the _access_s function determines whether the specified file exists and can be accessed as specified by the value of mode. When used with directories, _access_s determines only whether the specified directory exists. In Windows 2000 and later operating systems, all directories have read and write access.

mode valueChecks file for
00Existence only.
02Write permission.
04Read permission.
06Read and write permission.

Permission to read or write the file is not enough to ensure the ability to open a file. For example, if a file is locked by another process, it might not be accessible even though _access_s returns 0.

_waccess_s is a wide-character version of _access_s, where the path argument to _waccess_s is a wide-character string. Otherwise, _waccess_s and _access_s behave identically.

These functions validate their parameters. If path is NULL or mode does not specify a valid mode, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, these functions set errno to EINVAL and return EINVAL.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

Tchar.h routine_UNICODE and _MBCS not defined_MBCS defined_UNICODE defined
RoutineRequired headerOptional header
_waccess_s<wchar.h> or <io.h><errno.h>

This example uses _access_s to check the file named crt_access_s.c to see whether it exists and whether writing is allowed.

// crt_access_s.c  
#include <io.h>  
#include <stdio.h>  
#include <stdlib.h>  
int main( void )  
    errno_t err = 0;  
    // Check for existence.   
    if ((err = _access_s( "crt_access_s.c", 0 )) == 0 )  
        printf_s( "File crt_access_s.c exists.\n" );  
        // Check for write permission.   
        if ((err = _access_s( "crt_access_s.c", 2 )) == 0 )  
            printf_s( "File crt_access_s.c does have "  
                      "write permission.\n" );  
            printf_s( "File crt_access_s.c does not have "  
                      "write permission.\n" );  
        printf_s( "File crt_access_s.c does not exist.\n" );  

File crt_access_s.c exists.  
File crt_access_s.c does not have write permission.  


File Handling
_access, _waccess
_chmod, _wchmod
_fstat, _fstat32, _fstat64, _fstati64, _fstat32i64, _fstat64i32
_open, _wopen
_stat, _wstat Functions