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Directory.SetCurrentDirectory Method (String)


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

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

public static void SetCurrentDirectory(
	string path


Type: System.String

The path to which the current working directory is set.

Exception Condition

An I/O error occurred.


path is a zero-length string, contains only white space, or contains one or more invalid characters. You can query for invalid characters with the GetInvalidPathChars method.


path is null.


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.

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

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 drive or "E:" for a CD-ROM drive), you can determine whether the drive is ready by using the IsReady property.

The following example illustrates how to set the current directory and display the directory root.

// This sample shows how to set the current directory and how to determine
// the root directory.
using System;
using System.IO;

namespace IOSamples
  public class DirectoryRoot
    public static void 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.
	  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


for writing to files or directories. Associated enumeration: FileIOPermissionAccess.Write


for calling unmanaged code. Associated enumeration: SecurityPermissionFlag.UnmanagedCode

Universal Windows Platform
Available since 10
.NET Framework
Available since 1.1
Available since 2.0
Windows Phone Silverlight
Available since 7.0
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