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FolderBrowserDialog Class

Prompts the user to select a folder. This class cannot be inherited.

Namespace:  System.Windows.Forms
Assembly:  System.Windows.Forms (in System.Windows.Forms.dll)

public ref class FolderBrowserDialog sealed : public CommonDialog

This class provides a way to prompt the user to browse, create, and eventually select a folder. Use this class when you only want to allow the user to select folders, not files. Browsing of the folders is done through a tree control. Only folders from the file system can be selected; virtual folders cannot.

Typically, after creating a new FolderBrowserDialog, you set the RootFolder to the location from which to start browsing. Optionally, you can set the SelectedPath to an absolute path of a subfolder of RootFolder that will initially be selected. You can also optionally set the Description property to provide additional instructions to the user. Finally, call the ShowDialog method to display the dialog box to the user. When the dialog box is closed and the dialog box result from ShowDialog is DialogResult::OK, the SelectedPath will be a string containing the path to the selected folder.

You can use the ShowNewFolderButton property to control if the user is able to create new folders with the New Folder button.

FolderBrowserDialog is a modal dialog box; therefore, when shown, it blocks the rest of the application until the user has chosen a folder. When a dialog box is displayed modally, no input (keyboard or mouse click) can occur except to objects on the dialog box. The program must hide or close the dialog box (usually in response to some user action) before input to the calling program can occur.

The following code example creates an application that enables the user to open rich text (.rtf) files within the RichTextBox control.

// The following example displays an application that provides the ability to 
// open rich text files (rtf) into the RichTextBox. The example demonstrates 
// using the FolderBrowserDialog to set the default directory for opening files. 
// The OpenFileDialog is used to open the file.
#using <System.dll>
#using <System.Windows.Forms.dll>
#using <System.Drawing.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::Drawing;
using namespace System::Windows::Forms;
using namespace System::IO;
public ref class FolderBrowserDialogExampleForm: public System::Windows::Forms::Form
   FolderBrowserDialog^ folderBrowserDialog1;
   OpenFileDialog^ openFileDialog1;
   RichTextBox^ richTextBox1;
   MainMenu^ mainMenu1;
   MenuItem^ fileMenuItem;
   MenuItem^ openMenuItem;
   MenuItem^ folderMenuItem;
   MenuItem^ closeMenuItem;
   String^ openFileName;
   String^ folderName;
   bool fileOpened;


   // Constructor.
      fileOpened = false;
      this->mainMenu1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::MainMenu;
      this->fileMenuItem = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::MenuItem;
      this->openMenuItem = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::MenuItem;
      this->folderMenuItem = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::MenuItem;
      this->closeMenuItem = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::MenuItem;
      this->openFileDialog1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::OpenFileDialog;
      this->folderBrowserDialog1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::FolderBrowserDialog;
      this->richTextBox1 = gcnew System::Windows::Forms::RichTextBox;
      this->mainMenu1->MenuItems->Add( this->fileMenuItem );
      array<System::Windows::Forms::MenuItem^>^temp0 = {this->openMenuItem,this->closeMenuItem,this->folderMenuItem};
      this->fileMenuItem->MenuItems->AddRange( temp0 );
      this->fileMenuItem->Text = "File";
      this->openMenuItem->Text = "Open...";
      this->openMenuItem->Click += gcnew System::EventHandler( this, &FolderBrowserDialogExampleForm::openMenuItem_Click );
      this->folderMenuItem->Text = "Select Directory...";
      this->folderMenuItem->Click += gcnew System::EventHandler( this, &FolderBrowserDialogExampleForm::folderMenuItem_Click );
      this->closeMenuItem->Text = "Close";
      this->closeMenuItem->Click += gcnew System::EventHandler( this, &FolderBrowserDialogExampleForm::closeMenuItem_Click );
      this->closeMenuItem->Enabled = false;
      this->openFileDialog1->DefaultExt = "rtf";
      this->openFileDialog1->Filter = "rtf files (*.rtf)|*.rtf";

      // Set the help text description for the FolderBrowserDialog. 
      this->folderBrowserDialog1->Description = "Select the directory that you want to use as the default.";

      // Do not allow the user to create new files via the FolderBrowserDialog. 
      this->folderBrowserDialog1->ShowNewFolderButton = false;

      // Default to the My Documents folder. 
      this->folderBrowserDialog1->RootFolder = Environment::SpecialFolder::Personal;
      this->richTextBox1->AcceptsTab = true;
      this->richTextBox1->Location = System::Drawing::Point( 8, 8 );
      this->richTextBox1->Size = System::Drawing::Size( 280, 344 );
      this->richTextBox1->Anchor = static_cast<AnchorStyles>(AnchorStyles::Top | AnchorStyles::Left | AnchorStyles::Bottom | AnchorStyles::Right);
      this->ClientSize = System::Drawing::Size( 296, 360 );
      this->Controls->Add( this->richTextBox1 );
      this->Menu = this->mainMenu1;
      this->Text = "RTF Document Browser";


   // Bring up a dialog to open a file. 
   void openMenuItem_Click( Object^ /*sender*/, System::EventArgs^ /*e*/ )

      // If a file is not opened then set the initial directory to the 
      // FolderBrowserDialog::SelectedPath value. 
      if (  !fileOpened )
         openFileDialog1->InitialDirectory = folderBrowserDialog1->SelectedPath;
         openFileDialog1->FileName = nullptr;

      // Display the openFile Dialog.
      System::Windows::Forms::DialogResult result = openFileDialog1->ShowDialog();

      // OK button was pressed. 
      if ( result == ::DialogResult::OK )
         openFileName = openFileDialog1->FileName;

            // Output the requested file in richTextBox1.
            Stream^ s = openFileDialog1->OpenFile();
            richTextBox1->LoadFile( s, RichTextBoxStreamType::RichText );
            fileOpened = true;
         catch ( Exception^ exp ) 
            MessageBox::Show( String::Concat( "An error occurred while attempting to load the file. The error is: ", System::Environment::NewLine, exp, System::Environment::NewLine ) );
            fileOpened = false;

         closeMenuItem->Enabled = fileOpened;
      // Cancel button was pressed. 

      // Cancel button was pressed. 
      if ( result == ::DialogResult::Cancel )

   // Close the current file. 
   void closeMenuItem_Click( Object^ /*sender*/, System::EventArgs^ /*e*/ )
      richTextBox1->Text = "";
      fileOpened = false;
      closeMenuItem->Enabled = false;

   // Bring up a dialog to chose a folder path in which to open/save a file. 
   void folderMenuItem_Click( Object^ /*sender*/, System::EventArgs^ /*e*/ )

      // Show the FolderBrowserDialog.
      System::Windows::Forms::DialogResult result = folderBrowserDialog1->ShowDialog();
      if ( result == ::DialogResult::OK )
         folderName = folderBrowserDialog1->SelectedPath;
         if (  !fileOpened )

            // No file is opened, bring up openFileDialog in selected path.
            openFileDialog1->InitialDirectory = folderName;
            openFileDialog1->FileName = nullptr;


// The main entry point for the application. 
int main()
   Application::Run( gcnew FolderBrowserDialogExampleForm );

Any public static (Shared in Visual Basic) members of this type are thread safe. Any instance members are not guaranteed to be thread safe.

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

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