Windows apps
Collapse the table of content
Expand the table of content
The topic you requested is included in another documentation set. For convenience, it's displayed below. Choose Switch to see the topic in its original location.

Directory::SetCurrentDirectory Method

Sets the application's current working directory to the specified directory.

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

static void SetCurrentDirectory(
	String^ path


Type: System::String

The path to which the current working directory is set.


An IO error occurred.


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


path is nullptr.


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 caller does not have the required permission to access unmanaged code.


The specified path was not found.


The specified directory was not found.

When the application terminates, the working directory is restored to its original location (the directory where the process was started).

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 path parameter is not case-sensitive.

If you are setting the directory to a drive with removable media, for example to "A:" for a floppy disk or "E:" for a CD-ROM, you can determine whether the drive is ready with the IsReady property.

Windows Mobile for Pocket PC, Windows Mobile for Smartphone, Windows CE Platform Note: Because some mobile device operating systems do not have current directory functionality, this method is not supported.

The following code example illustrates setting the current directory and displaying the directory root.

// This sample shows how to set the current directory and how to determine 
// the root directory. 
using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;
int main()

   // Create string for a directory. This value should be an existing directory 
   // or the sample will throw a DirectoryNotFoundException.
   String^ dir = "C:\\test";

      //Set the current directory.
      Directory::SetCurrentDirectory( dir );
   catch ( DirectoryNotFoundException^ e ) 
      Console::WriteLine( "The specified directory does not exist. {0}", e );

   // Print to console the results.
   Console::WriteLine( "Root directory: {0}", Directory::GetDirectoryRoot( dir ) );
   Console::WriteLine( "Current directory: {0}", Directory::GetCurrentDirectory() );

// The output of this sample depends on what value you assign to the variable dir. 
// If the directory c:\test exists, the output for this sample is: 
// Root directory: C:\ 
// Current directory: C:\test

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

Community Additions

© 2017 Microsoft