File.Open Method (String, FileMode)


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Opens a FileStream on the specified path with read/write access.

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

Public Shared Function Open (
	path As String,
	mode As FileMode
) As FileStream


Type: System.String

The file to open.

Type: System.IO.FileMode

A FileMode value that specifies whether a file is created if one does not exist, and determines whether the contents of existing files are retained or overwritten.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.FileStream

A FileStream opened in the specified mode and path, with read/write access and not shared.

Exception Condition

path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters as defined by InvalidPathChars.


path is null.


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.


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


An I/O error occurred while opening the file.


path specified a file that is read-only.


This operation is not supported on the current platform.


path specified a directory.


The caller does not have the required permission.


mode is Create and the specified file is a hidden file.


mode specified an invalid value.


The file specified in path was not found.


path is in an invalid format.

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.

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

The following code example creates a temporary file and writes some text to it. The example then opens the file, using T:System.IO.FileMode.Open; that is, if the file did not already exist, it would not be created.

Imports System
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Text

Public Class Test
  Public Shared Sub Main()

    ' Create a temporary file, and put some data into it. 
    Dim path1 As String = Path.GetTempFileName()
    Using fs As FileStream = File.Open(path1, FileMode.Open, FileAccess.Write, FileShare.None)
      Dim info As Byte() = New UTF8Encoding(True).GetBytes("This is some text in the file.")
      ' Add some information to the file.
      fs.Write(info, 0, info.Length)
    End Using

    ' Open the stream and read it back. 
    Using fs As FileStream = File.Open(path1, FileMode.Open)
      Dim b(1024) As Byte
      Dim temp As UTF8Encoding = New UTF8Encoding(True)
      Do While fs.Read(b, 0, b.Length) > 0
    End Using

  End Sub
End Class


for reading from and writing to the specified file. Associated enumerations: FileIOPermissionAccess.Read, FileIOPermissionAccess.Write

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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