GetAttributes Method

File.GetAttributes Method

Gets the FileAttributes of the file on the path.

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

public static FileAttributes GetAttributes(
	string path


Type: System.String
The path to the file.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.FileAttributes
The FileAttributes of the file on the path.


path is empty, contains only white spaces, or contains invalid characters.


The specified path, file name, or both exceed the system-defined maximum length. For example, on Windows-based platforms, paths must be less than 248 characters, and file names must be less than 260 characters.


path is in an invalid format.


path represents a file and is invalid, such as being on an unmapped drive, or the file cannot be found.


path represents a directory and is invalid, such as being on an unmapped drive, or the directory cannot be found.


This file is being used by another process.


The caller does not have the required permission.

The path parameter is permitted to specify relative or absolute path information. Relative path information is interpreted as relative to the current working directory. To obtain the current working directory, see GetCurrentDirectory.

For a list of common I/O tasks, see Common I/O Tasks.

The following example demonstrates the GetAttributes and SetAttributes methods by applying the Archive and Hidden attributes to a file.

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Text;

class Test 
    public static void Main() 
        string path = @"c:\temp\MyTest.txt";

        // Create the file if it exists.
        if (!File.Exists(path)) 

        FileAttributes attributes = File.GetAttributes(path);

        if ((attributes & FileAttributes.Hidden) == FileAttributes.Hidden)
            // Show the file.
            attributes = RemoveAttribute(attributes, FileAttributes.Hidden);
            File.SetAttributes(path, attributes);
            Console.WriteLine("The {0} file is no longer hidden.", path);
            // Hide the file.
            File.SetAttributes(path, File.GetAttributes(path) | FileAttributes.Hidden);
            Console.WriteLine("The {0} file is now hidden.", path);

    private static FileAttributes RemoveAttribute(FileAttributes attributes, FileAttributes attributesToRemove)
        return attributes & ~attributesToRemove;

.NET Framework

Supported in: 4, 3.5, 3.0, 2.0, 1.1, 1.0

.NET Framework Client Profile

Supported in: 4, 3.5 SP1

Windows 7, Windows Vista SP1 or later, Windows XP SP3, Windows XP SP2 x64 Edition, 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.

Community Additions

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