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Path.GetDirectoryName Method

Returns the directory information for the specified path string.

[Visual Basic]
Public Shared Function GetDirectoryName( _
   ByVal path As String _
) As String
public static string GetDirectoryName(
 string path
public: static String* GetDirectoryName(
 String* path
public static function GetDirectoryName(
   path : String
) : String;


The path of a file or directory.

Return Value

A String containing directory information for path, or a null reference (Nothing in Visual Basic) if path denotes a root directory, is the empty string (""), or is a null reference (Nothing). Returns String.Empty if path does not contain directory information.


Exception Type Condition
ArgumentException path contains invalid characters, is empty, or contains only white spaces.


The string returned by this method consists of all characters in the path up to but excluding the last DirectorySeparatorChar or AltDirectorySeparatorChar character.

Calling this method with the path parameter set to "c:\" returns empty string. This method does not support paths with "file:".

For an example of using this method, see the Example section below. The following table lists examples of other typical or related I/O tasks.

To do this... See the example in this topic...
Create a text file. Writing Text to a File
Write to a text file. Writing Text to a File
Read from a text file. Reading Text from a File
Retrieve a file extension. GetExtension
Retrieve the fully qualified path of a file. GetFullPath
Retrieve only the file name from a path. GetFileNameWithoutExtension
Change the extension of a file. ChangeExtension


[Visual Basic, C#, C++] The following example demonstrates using the GetDirectoryName method on a Windows-based desktop platform.

[Visual Basic] 
Dim fileName As String = "C:\mydir\myfile.ext"
Dim pathname As String = "C:\mydir\"
Dim rootPath As String = "C:\"
Dim directoryName As String

directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(fileName)
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", fileName, directoryName)

directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(pathname)
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", pathname, directoryName)

directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(rootPath)
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", rootPath, directoryName)

string fileName = @"C:\mydir\myfile.ext";
string path = @"C:\mydir\";
string rootPath = @"C:\";
string directoryName;
directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(fileName);
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    fileName, directoryName);

directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(path);
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    path, directoryName);

directoryName = Path.GetDirectoryName(rootPath);
Console.WriteLine("GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
    rootPath, directoryName);

String * fileName = S"C:\\mydir\\myfile.ext";
String * path = S"C:\\mydir\\";
String * rootPath = S"C:\\";
String * directoryName;

directoryName = Path::GetDirectoryName(fileName);
Console::WriteLine(S"GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
   fileName, directoryName);

directoryName = Path::GetDirectoryName(path);
Console::WriteLine(S"GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
   path, directoryName);

directoryName = Path::GetDirectoryName(rootPath);
Console::WriteLine(S"GetDirectoryName('{0}') returns '{1}'", 
   rootPath, directoryName);

[JScript] No example is available for JScript. To view a Visual Basic, C#, or C++ example, click the Language Filter button Language Filter in the upper-left corner of the page.


Platforms: Windows 98, Windows NT 4.0, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000, Windows XP Home Edition, Windows XP Professional, Windows Server 2003 family, .NET Compact Framework, Common Language Infrastructure (CLI) Standard

See Also

Path Class | Path Members | System.IO Namespace | Working with I/O | Reading Text from a File | Writing Text to a File

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