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DirectoryInfo.EnumerateDirectories Method (String)

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

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

public IEnumerable<DirectoryInfo> EnumerateDirectories(
	string searchPattern


Type: System.String
The search string. The default pattern is "*", which returns all directories.

Return Value

Type: System.Collections.Generic.IEnumerable<DirectoryInfo>
An enumerable collection of directories that matches searchPattern.


searchPattern is null.


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.

The following wildcard specifiers are permitted in the searchPattern parameter.

Wildcard character



Zero or more characters.


Exactly one character.

The EnumerateDirectories and GetDirectories methods differ as follows: When you use EnumerateDirectories, you can start enumerating the collection of DirectoryInfo objects before the whole collection is returned; when you use GetDirectories, you must wait for the whole array of DirectoryInfo objects to be returned before you can access the array. 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.

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows Server 2008 (Server Core not supported), Windows Server 2008 R2 (Server Core supported with SP1 or later), Windows Server 2003 SP2

The .NET Framework does not support all versions of every platform. For a list of the supported versions, see .NET Framework System Requirements.