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Directory.GetParent Method

Retrieves the parent directory of the specified path, including both absolute and relative paths.

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

static member GetParent : 
        path:string -> DirectoryInfo 


Type: System.String
The path for which to retrieve the parent directory.

Return Value

Type: System.IO.DirectoryInfo
The parent directory, or a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) if path is the root directory, including the root of a UNC server or share name.


The directory specified by path is read-only.


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 was not found.

The path parameter can 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.

Trailing spaces are removed from the end of the path parameter before getting the directory.

The string returned by this method consists of all characters in the path up to, but not including, the last DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar. For example, passing the path "C:\Directory\SubDirectory\test.txt" to GetParent returns "C:\Directory\SubDirectory". Passing "C:\Directory\SubDirectory" returns "C:\Directory". However, passing "C:\Directory\SubDirectory\" returns "C:\Directory\SubDirectory", because the ending directory separator is after "SubDirectory".

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 GetParent method to retrieve the parent directory of a user-specified location, "path". The value returned by the GetParent method is then printed to the console. The example is configured to catch all errors common to this method.

No code example is currently available or this language may not be supported.

.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.

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