ZipFile.ExtractToDirectory Method (String, String)

.NET Framework (current version)

Extracts all the files in the specified zip archive to a directory on the file system.

Namespace:   System.IO.Compression
Assembly:  System.IO.Compression.FileSystem (in System.IO.Compression.FileSystem.dll)

public static void ExtractToDirectory(
	string sourceArchiveFileName,
	string destinationDirectoryName


Type: System.String

The path to the archive that is to be extracted.

Type: System.String

The path to the directory in which to place the extracted files, specified as a relative or absolute path. A relative path is interpreted as relative to the current working directory.

Exception Condition

destinationDirectoryName or sourceArchiveFileName is Empty, contains only white space, or contains at least one invalid character.


destinationDirectoryName or sourceArchiveFileName is null.


The specified path in destinationDirectoryName or sourceArchiveFileName exceeds the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must not exceed 248 characters, and file names must not exceed 260 characters.


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


The directory specified by destinationDirectoryName already exists.


The name of an entry in the archive is Empty, contains only white space, or contains at least one invalid character.


Extracting an archive entry would create a file that is outside the directory specified by destinationDirectoryName. (For example, this might happen if the entry name contains parent directory accessors.)


An archive entry to extract has the same name as an entry that has already been extracted from the same archive.


The caller does not have the required permission to access the archive or the destination directory.


destinationDirectoryName or sourceArchiveFileName contains an invalid format.


sourceArchiveFileName was not found.


The archive specified by sourceArchiveFileName is not a valid zip archive.


An archive entry was not found or was corrupt.


An archive entry was compressed by using a compression method that is not supported.

This method creates the specified directory and all subdirectories. The destination directory cannot already exist. Exceptions related to validating the paths in the destinationDirectoryName or sourceArchiveFileName parameters are thrown before extraction. Otherwise, if an error occurs during extraction, the archive remains partially extracted. Each extracted file has the same relative path to the directory specified by destinationDirectoryName as its source entry has to the root of the archive.

This example shows how to create and extract a zip archive by using the ZipFile class. It compresses the contents of a folder into a zip archive and extracts that content to a new folder. To use the ZipFile class, you must reference the System.IO.Compression.FileSystem assembly in your project.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.IO.Compression;

namespace ConsoleApplication
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            string startPath = @"c:\example\start";
            string zipPath = @"c:\example\";
            string extractPath = @"c:\example\extract";

            ZipFile.CreateFromDirectory(startPath, zipPath);

            ZipFile.ExtractToDirectory(zipPath, extractPath);

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 4.5
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