DirectoryInfo.EnumerateDirectories Method (String, SearchOption)


The .NET API Reference documentation has a new home. Visit the .NET API Browser on to see the new experience.

Returns an enumerable collection of directory information that matches a specified search pattern and search subdirectory option.

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

Public Function EnumerateDirectories (
	searchPattern As String,
	searchOption As SearchOption
) As IEnumerable(Of DirectoryInfo)


Type: System.String

The search string to match against the names of directories. 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.

Type: System.IO.SearchOption

One of the enumeration values that specifies whether the search operation should include only the current directory or all subdirectories. The default value is TopDirectoryOnly.

Return Value

Type: System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable(Of DirectoryInfo)

An enumerable collection of directories that matches searchPattern and searchOption.

Exception Condition

searchPattern is null.


searchOption is not a valid SearchOption value.


The path encapsulated in the DirectoryInfo object is invalid (for example, it is on an unmapped drive).


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


* (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 EnumerateDirectories and GetDirectories methods differ as follows:

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

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

The returned collection is not cached; each call to the GetEnumerator method on the collection will start a new enumeration.

The following example, starting from a specified directory, uses this method and the EnumerateFiles method to enumerate the files and directories within the start directory and display details of any files over 10 MB in size.

Imports System
Imports System.IO

Class Program
    Public Shared Sub Main(ByVal args As String())
        Dim diTop As New DirectoryInfo("d:\")
            For Each fi In diTop.EnumerateFiles()
                    ' Display each file over 10 MB;
                    If fi.Length > 10000000 Then
                        Console.WriteLine("{0}" & vbTab & vbTab & "{1}", fi.FullName, fi.Length.ToString("N0"))
                    End If
                Catch UnAuthTop As UnauthorizedAccessException
                    Console.WriteLine("{0}", UnAuthTop.Message)
                End Try

            For Each di In diTop.EnumerateDirectories("*")
                    For Each fi In di.EnumerateFiles("*", SearchOption.AllDirectories)
                            ' // Display each file over 10 MB;
                            If fi.Length > 10000000 Then
                                Console.WriteLine("{0}" & vbTab &
                                vbTab & "{1}", fi.FullName, fi.Length.ToString("N0"))
                            End If
                        Catch UnAuthFile As UnauthorizedAccessException
                            Console.WriteLine("UnAuthFile: {0}", UnAuthFile.Message)
                        End Try
                Catch UnAuthSubDir As UnauthorizedAccessException
                    Console.WriteLine("UnAuthSubDir: {0}", UnAuthSubDir.Message)
                End Try
        Catch DirNotFound As DirectoryNotFoundException
            Console.WriteLine("{0}", DirNotFound.Message)
        Catch UnAuthDir As UnauthorizedAccessException
            Console.WriteLine("UnAuthDir: {0}", UnAuthDir.Message)
        Catch LongPath As PathTooLongException
            Console.WriteLine("{0}", LongPath.Message)
        End Try
    End Sub
End Class

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 4.0
Available since 4.0
Return to top