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Path.GetPathRoot Method

Gets the root directory information of the specified path.

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

public static string GetPathRoot(
	string path


Type: System.String

The path from which to obtain root directory information.

Return Value

Type: System.String
A string containing the root directory of path, such as "C:\", or null if path is null, or an empty string if path does not contain root directory information.


path contains one or more of the invalid characters defined in GetInvalidPathChars.


String.Empty was passed to path.

This method does not verify that the path or file name exists.

Possible patterns for the string returned by this method are as follows:

  • An empty string (path specified a relative path on the current drive or volume).

  • "/" (path specified an absolute path on the current drive).

  • "X:" (path specified a relative path on a drive, where X represents a drive or volume letter).

  • "X:/" (path specified an absolute path on a given drive).

  • "\\ComputerName\SharedFolder" (a UNC path).

The .NET Framework does not support direct access to physical disks through paths that are device names, such as "\\.\PHYSICALDRIVE0 ".

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

The following code example demonstrates a use of the GetPathRoot method.

string path = @"\mydir\";
string fileName = "myfile.ext";
string fullPath = @"C:\mydir\myfile.ext";
string pathRoot;

pathRoot = Path.GetPathRoot(path);
Console.WriteLine("GetPathRoot('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    path, pathRoot);

pathRoot = Path.GetPathRoot(fileName);
Console.WriteLine("GetPathRoot('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    fileName, pathRoot);

pathRoot = Path.GetPathRoot(fullPath);
Console.WriteLine("GetPathRoot('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    fullPath, pathRoot);

// This code produces output similar to the following: 
// GetPathRoot('\mydir\') returns '\' 
// GetPathRoot('myfile.ext') returns '' 
// GetPathRoot('C:\mydir\myfile.ext') returns 'C:\'

Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP SP2, Windows XP Media Center Edition, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows XP Starter Edition, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2000 SP4, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 98, Windows CE, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Xbox 360, Zune

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

.NET Framework

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

.NET Compact Framework

Supported in: 3.5, 2.0, 1.0

XNA Framework

Supported in: 3.0, 2.0, 1.0