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Directory.GetFiles Method (String, String)

.NET Framework 1.1

Returns the names of files in the specified directory that match the specified search pattern.

[Visual Basic]
Overloads Public Shared Function GetFiles( _
   ByVal path As String, _
   ByVal searchPattern As String _
) As String()
[C#]
public static string[] GetFiles(
 string path,
 string searchPattern
);
[C++]
public: static String* GetFiles(
 String* path,
 String* searchPattern
)  __gc[];
[JScript]
public static function GetFiles(
   path : String,
 searchPattern : String
) : String[];

Parameters

path
The directory to search.
searchPattern
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

A String array containing the names of files in the specified directory that match the specified search pattern.

Exceptions

Exception Type Condition
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 a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).
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, such as being on an unmapped drive.

Remarks

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in searchPattern.

Wildcard character Description
* Zero or more characters.
? Exactly one character.

Characters other than the wild card 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".

The matching behavior of searchPattern when the extension is exactly three characters long is different from when the extension is more than three characters long. A searchPattern of exactly three characters returns files having an extension of three or more characters. A searchPattern of one, two, or more than three characters returns only files having extensions of exactly that length.

The following list shows the behavior of different lengths for the searchPattern parameter:

  • "*.abc" returns files having an extension of .abc, .abcd, .abcde, .abcdef, and so on.
  • "*.abcd" returns only files having an extension of .abcd.
  • "*.abcde" returns only files having an extension of .abcde.
  • "*.abcdef" returns only files having an extension of .abcdef.

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 paramenter is not case-sensitive.

For an example of using this method, see the Example section below. The following table lists examples of other typical or related I/O tasks.

To do this... See the example in this topic...
Create a text file. Writing Text to a File
Write to a text file. Writing Text to a File
Read from a text file. Reading Text from a File
Copy a directory. Directory
Rename or move a directory. Directory.Move

DirectoryInfo.MoveTo

Rename or move a file. File.Move

FileInfo.MoveTo

Delete a directory. Directory.Delete

DirectoryInfo.Delete

Create a directory. CreateDirectory

Directory

Create a subdirectory. CreateSubdirectory
See the files in a directory. Name
See the subdirectories of a directory. GetDirectories

GetDirectories

See all the files in all subdirectories of a directory. GetFileSystemInfos
Find the size of a directory. Directory
Determine if a file exists. Exists
Determine if a directory exists. Exists
Get file attributes. GetAttributes
Set file attributes. SetAttributes

Example

[Visual Basic, C#, C++] The following example counts the number of files that begin with the specified letter.

[Visual Basic] 
Imports System
Imports System.IO

Public Class Test
    Public Shared Sub Main()
        Try
            ' Only get files that begin with the letter "c."
            Dim dirs As String() = Directory.GetFiles("c:\", "c*")
            Console.WriteLine("The number of files starting with c is {0}.", dirs.Length)
            Dim dir As String
            For Each dir In dirs
                Console.WriteLine(dir)
            Next
        Catch e As Exception
            Console.WriteLine("The process failed: {0}", e.ToString())
        End Try
    End Sub
End Class

[C#] 
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());
        }
    }
}

[C++] 
#using <mscorlib.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;

int main() {
    try {
        // Only get files that begin with the letter "c."
        String* dirs[] = Directory::GetFiles(S"c:\\", S"c*");
        Console::WriteLine(S"The number of files starting with c is {0}.", __box(dirs->Length));
        Collections::IEnumerator* myEnum = dirs->GetEnumerator();
        while (myEnum->MoveNext()) {
            Console::WriteLine(myEnum->Current);
        }
    } catch (Exception* e) {
        Console::WriteLine(S"The process failed: {0}", e);
    }
}

[JScript] No example is available for JScript. To view a Visual Basic, C#, or C++ example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.

Requirements

Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family, .NET Compact Framework, Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) Standard

.NET Framework Security: 

See Also

Directory Class | Directory Members | System.IO Namespace | Directory.GetFiles Overload List | Working with I/O | Reading Text from a File | Writing Text to a File

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