GetDirectories Method (String)

DirectoryInfo.GetDirectories Method (String)


Returns an array of directories in the current DirectoryInfo matching the given search criteria.

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

public DirectoryInfo[] GetDirectories(
	string searchPattern


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.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.DirectoryInfo[]

An array of type DirectoryInfo matching searchPattern.

Exception Condition

searchPattern contains one or more invalid characters defined by the GetInvalidPathChars method.


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.

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".

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

The following example counts the directories in a path that contain the specified letter.

using System;
using System.IO;

class Test 
    public static void Main() 
            DirectoryInfo di = new DirectoryInfo(@"c:\");

            // Get only subdirectories that contain the letter "p."
            DirectoryInfo[] dirs = di.GetDirectories("*p*");
            Console.WriteLine("The number of directories containing the letter p is {0}.", dirs.Length);

            foreach (DirectoryInfo diNext in dirs) 
                Console.WriteLine("The number of files in {0} is {1}", diNext, 
        catch (Exception e) 
            Console.WriteLine("The process failed: {0}", e.ToString());


for reading from files and directories and for access to the path. Associated enumerations: FileIOPermissionAccess.Read, FileIOPermissionAccess.PathDiscovery

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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