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_chdir, _wchdir


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Changes the current working directory.

int _chdir(   
   const char *dirname   
int _wchdir(   
   const wchar_t *dirname   


Path of new working directory.

These functions return a value of 0 if successful. A return value of –1 indicates failure. If the specified path could not be found, errno is set to ENOENT. If dirname is NULL, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, errno is set to EINVAL and the function returns -1.

The _chdir function changes the current working directory to the directory specified by dirname. The dirname parameter must refer to an existing directory. This function can change the current working directory on any drive. If a new drive letter is specified in dirname, the default drive letter is changed as well. For example, if A is the default drive letter and \BIN is the current working directory, the following call changes the current working directory for drive C and establishes C as the new default drive:


When you use the optional backslash character (\) in paths, you must place two backslashes (\\) in a C string literal to represent a single backslash (\).

_wchdir is a wide-character version of _chdir; the dirname argument to _wchdir is a wide-character string. _wchdir and _chdir behave identically otherwise.

Generic-Text Routine Mapping:

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

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.

// crt_chdir.c  
// arguments: C:\WINDOWS  
/* This program uses the _chdir function to verify  
   that a given directory exists. */  
#include <direct.h>  
#include <stdio.h>  
#include <stdlib.h>  
#include <errno.h>  
int main( int argc, char *argv[] )  
   if(_chdir( argv[1] ) )  
      switch (errno)  
      case ENOENT:  
         printf( "Unable to locate the directory: %s\n", argv[1] );  
      case EINVAL:  
         printf( "Invalid buffer.\n");  
         printf( "Unknown error.\n");  
      system( "dir *.exe");  

Volume in drive C has no label.  
 Volume Serial Number is 2018-08A1  
 Directory of c:\windows  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM         1,004,032 explorer.exe  
12/17/2002  04:43 PM            10,752 hh.exe  
03/03/2003  09:24 AM            33,792 ieuninst.exe  
10/29/1998  04:45 PM           306,688 IsUninst.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM            66,048 NOTEPAD.EXE  
03/03/2003  09:24 AM            33,792 Q330994.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM           134,144 regedit.exe  
02/28/2003  06:26 PM            46,352 setdebug.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM            15,360 TASKMAN.EXE  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM            49,680 twunk_16.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM            25,600 twunk_32.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM           256,192 winhelp.exe  
08/29/2002  04:00 AM           266,752 winhlp32.exe  
              13 File(s)      2,249,184 bytes  
               0 Dir(s)  67,326,029,824 bytes free  


Directory Control
_mkdir, _wmkdir
_rmdir, _wrmdir
system, _wsystem