# Tutorial :How to get files in a relative path in C#

### Question:

If I have an executable called app.exe which is what I am coding in C#, how would I get files from a folder loaded in the same directory as the app.exe, using relative paths?

This throws an illegal characters in path exception:

string [ ] files = Directory.GetFiles ( "\\Archive\\*.zip" );  

How would one do this in C#?

### Solution:1

To make sure you have the application's path (and not just the current directory), use this:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.diagnostics.process.getcurrentprocess.aspx

Now you have a Process object that represents the process that is running.

Then use Process.MainModule.FileName:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.diagnostics.processmodule.filename.aspx

Finally, use Path.GetDirectoryName to get the folder containing the .exe:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/system.io.path.getdirectoryname.aspx

So this is what you want:

string folder = Path.GetDirectoryName(Process.GetCurrentProcess().MainModule.FileName) + @"\Archive\";  string filter = "*.zip";  string[] files = Directory.GetFiles(folder, filter);  

(Notice that "\Archive\" from your question is now @"\Archive\": you need the @ so that the \ backslashes aren't interpreted as the start of an escape sequence)

Hope that helps!

### Solution:2

string currentDirectory = Path.GetDirectoryName(Assembly.GetEntryAssembly().Location);  string archiveFolder = Path.Combine(currentDirectory, "archive");  string[] files = Directory.GetFiles(archiveFolder, "*.zip");  

The first parameter is the path. The second is the search pattern you want to use.

### Solution:3

Write it like this:

string[] files = Directory.GetFiles(@".\Archive", "*.zip");  

. is for relative to the folder where you started your exe, and @ to allow \ in the name.

When using filters, you pass it as a second parameter. You can also add a third parameter to specify if you want to search recursively for the pattern.

In order to get the folder where your .exe actually resides, use:

var executingPath = Path.GetDirectoryName(Assembly.GetEntryAssembly().Location);  

### Solution:4

As others have said, you can/should prepend the string with @ (though you could also just escape the backslashes), but what they glossed over (that is, didn't bring it up despite making a change related to it) was the fact that, as I recently discovered, using \ at the beginning of a pathname, without . to represent the current directory, refers to the root of the current directory tree.

C:\foo\bar>cd \  C:\>  

versus

C:\foo\bar>cd .\  C:\foo\bar>  

(Using . by itself has the same effect as using .\ by itself, from my experience. I don't know if there are any specific cases where they somehow would not mean the same thing.)

You could also just leave off the leading .\ , if you want.

C:\foo>cd bar  C:\foo\bar>  

In fact, if you really wanted to, you don't even need to use backslashes. Forwardslashes work perfectly well! (Though a single / doesn't alias to the current drive root as \ does.)

C:\>cd foo/bar  C:\foo\bar>  

You could even alternate them.

C:\>cd foo/bar\baz  C:\foo\bar\baz>  

...I've really gone off-topic here, though, so feel free to ignore all this if you aren't interested.

### Solution:5

Pretty straight forward, use relative path

string[] offerFiles = Directory.GetFiles(Server.MapPath("~/offers"), "*.csv");  

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