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Directory.GetFiles Method (String)

Returns the names of files (including their paths) in the specified directory.

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

public static function GetFiles(
	path : String
) : String[]


Type: System.String

The directory from which to retrieve the files.

Return Value

Type: System.String[]
A String array of file names in the specified directory. File names include the full path.


path is a file name.


A network error has occurred.


The caller does not have the required permission.


path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters as defined by InvalidPathChars.


path is a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic).


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.


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

The returned file names are appended to the supplied path parameter.

If there are no files, this method returns an empty array.

This method is identical to GetFiles with the asterisk (*) specified as the search pattern.

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.

The order of the returned file names is not guaranteed; use the Sort() method if a specific sort order is required.

The path parameter is not case-sensitive.

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

The following example demonstrates how to use the GetFiles method to return file names from a user-specified location. The example is configured to catch all errors common to this method.

//For Directory.GetFiles and Directory.GetDirectories
import System;
import System.IO;
import System.Collections;

// For File.Exists, Directory.Exists 
// Takes an array of file names or directory names on the command line.  
// Determines what kind of name it is and processes it appropriately
public class RecursiveFileProcessor {
    public static function Main(args : String[]) : void  {
        for(var i : int in args) {
            var path : String = args[i];
            if (File.Exists(path)) {
                // This path is a file
            else if(Directory.Exists(path)) {
                // This path is a directory
            else {
                Console.WriteLine("{0} is not a valid file or directory.", path);

    // Process all files in the directory passed in, and recurse on any directories 
    // that are found to process the files they contain
    public static function ProcessDirectory(targetDirectory : String) : void  {
        // Process the list of files found in the directory
        var fileEntries : String [] = Directory.GetFiles(targetDirectory);
        for (var i : int in fileEntries)

        // Recurse into subdirectories of this directory
        var subdirectoryEntries : String[] = Directory.GetDirectories(targetDirectory);
        for (i in subdirectoryEntries)

    // Real logic for processing found files would go here.
    public static function ProcessFile(path : String) : void  {
        Console.WriteLine("Processed file '{0}'.", path);	    

// For JScript there is no 'Main' routine defined and hence the command line arguments
// have to be obtained with a call to System.Environment.GetCommandLineArgs

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

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