FileSystemWatcher.Path Property

Definition

Gets or sets the path of the directory to watch.

public:
 property System::String ^ Path { System::String ^ get(); void set(System::String ^ value); };
[System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter("System.Diagnostics.Design.StringValueConverter, System.Design, Version=4.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a")]
[System.IO.IODescription("The directory to monitor")]
[System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter("System.Diagnostics.Design.StringValueConverter, System.Design, Version=1.0.5000.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a")]
[System.IO.IODescription("FSW_Path")]
[System.ComponentModel.TypeConverter("System.Diagnostics.Design.StringValueConverter, System.Design, Version=2.0.0.0, Culture=neutral, PublicKeyToken=b03f5f7f11d50a3a")]
[System.ComponentModel.SettingsBindable(true)]
public string Path { get; set; }
member this.Path : string with get, set
Public Property Path As String

Property Value

The path to monitor. The default is an empty string ("").

Attributes

Exceptions

The specified path does not exist or could not be found.

-or-

The specified path contains wildcard characters.

-or-

The specified path contains invalid path characters.

Examples

The following example creates a FileSystemWatcher to watch the directory specified at run time. The component is set to watch for changes in LastWrite and LastAccess time, the creation, deletion, or renaming of text files in the directory. If a file is changed, created, or deleted, the path to the file prints to the console. When a file is renamed, the old and new paths print to the console.

#using <System.dll>

using namespace System;
using namespace System::IO;
using namespace System::Security::Permissions;

public ref class Watcher
{
private:
   // Define the event handlers.
   static void OnChanged( Object^ /*source*/, FileSystemEventArgs^ e )
   {
      // Specify what is done when a file is changed, created, or deleted.
      Console::WriteLine( "File: {0} {1}", e->FullPath, e->ChangeType );
   }

   static void OnRenamed( Object^ /*source*/, RenamedEventArgs^ e )
   {
      // Specify what is done when a file is renamed.
      Console::WriteLine( "File: {0} renamed to {1}", e->OldFullPath, e->FullPath );
   }

public:
   [PermissionSet(SecurityAction::Demand, Name="FullTrust")]
   int static run()
   {
      array<String^>^args = System::Environment::GetCommandLineArgs();

      // If a directory is not specified, exit program.
      if ( args->Length != 2 )
      {
         // Display the proper way to call the program.
         Console::WriteLine( "Usage: Watcher.exe (directory)" );
         return 0;
      }

      // Create a new FileSystemWatcher and set its properties.
      FileSystemWatcher^ watcher = gcnew FileSystemWatcher;
      watcher->Path = args[ 1 ];

      /* Watch for changes in LastAccess and LastWrite times, and 
          the renaming of files or directories. */
      watcher->NotifyFilter = static_cast<NotifyFilters>(NotifyFilters::LastAccess |
            NotifyFilters::LastWrite | NotifyFilters::FileName | NotifyFilters::DirectoryName);

      // Only watch text files.
      watcher->Filter = "*.txt";

      // Add event handlers.
      watcher->Changed += gcnew FileSystemEventHandler( Watcher::OnChanged );
      watcher->Created += gcnew FileSystemEventHandler( Watcher::OnChanged );
      watcher->Deleted += gcnew FileSystemEventHandler( Watcher::OnChanged );
      watcher->Renamed += gcnew RenamedEventHandler( Watcher::OnRenamed );

      // Begin watching.
      watcher->EnableRaisingEvents = true;

      // Wait for the user to quit the program.
      Console::WriteLine( "Press \'q\' to quit the sample." );
      while ( Console::Read() != 'q' );

      return 0;
   }
};

int main() {
   Watcher::run();
}
using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Security.Permissions;

public class Watcher
{
    public static void Main()
    {
        Run();
    }

    [PermissionSet(SecurityAction.Demand, Name = "FullTrust")]
    private static void Run()
    {
        string[] args = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs();

        // If a directory is not specified, exit program.
        if (args.Length != 2)
        {
            // Display the proper way to call the program.
            Console.WriteLine("Usage: Watcher.exe (directory)");
            return;
        }

        // Create a new FileSystemWatcher and set its properties.
        using (FileSystemWatcher watcher = new FileSystemWatcher())
        {
            watcher.Path = args[1];

            // Watch for changes in LastAccess and LastWrite times, and
            // the renaming of files or directories.
            watcher.NotifyFilter = NotifyFilters.LastAccess
                                 | NotifyFilters.LastWrite
                                 | NotifyFilters.FileName
                                 | NotifyFilters.DirectoryName;

            // Only watch text files.
            watcher.Filter = "*.txt";

            // Add event handlers.
            watcher.Changed += OnChanged;
            watcher.Created += OnChanged;
            watcher.Deleted += OnChanged;
            watcher.Renamed += OnRenamed;

            // Begin watching.
            watcher.EnableRaisingEvents = true;

            // Wait for the user to quit the program.
            Console.WriteLine("Press 'q' to quit the sample.");
            while (Console.Read() != 'q') ;
        }
    }

    // Define the event handlers.
    private static void OnChanged(object source, FileSystemEventArgs e) =>
        // Specify what is done when a file is changed, created, or deleted.
        Console.WriteLine($"File: {e.FullPath} {e.ChangeType}");

    private static void OnRenamed(object source, RenamedEventArgs e) =>
        // Specify what is done when a file is renamed.
        Console.WriteLine($"File: {e.OldFullPath} renamed to {e.FullPath}");
}
Imports System.IO
Imports System.Security.Permissions

Public Class Watcher

    Public Shared Sub Main()

        Run()

    End Sub

    <PermissionSet(SecurityAction.Demand, Name:="FullTrust")>
    Private Shared Sub Run()

        Dim args() As String = Environment.GetCommandLineArgs()

        ' If a directory is not specified, exit the program.
        If args.Length <> 2 Then
            ' Display the proper way to call the program.
            Console.WriteLine("Usage: Watcher.exe (directory)")
            Return
        End If

        ' Create a new FileSystemWatcher and set its properties.
        Using watcher As New FileSystemWatcher()
            watcher.Path = args(1)

            ' Watch for changes in LastAccess and LastWrite times, and
            ' the renaming of files or directories. 
            watcher.NotifyFilter = (NotifyFilters.LastAccess _
                                 Or NotifyFilters.LastWrite _
                                 Or NotifyFilters.FileName _
                                 Or NotifyFilters.DirectoryName)

            ' Only watch text files.
            watcher.Filter = "*.txt"

            ' Add event handlers.
            AddHandler watcher.Changed, AddressOf OnChanged
            AddHandler watcher.Created, AddressOf OnChanged
            AddHandler watcher.Deleted, AddressOf OnChanged
            AddHandler watcher.Renamed, AddressOf OnRenamed

            ' Begin watching.
            watcher.EnableRaisingEvents = True

            ' Wait for the user to quit the program.
            Console.WriteLine("Press 'q' to quit the sample.")
            While Chr(Console.Read()) <> "q"c
            End While
        End Using
    End Sub

    ' Define the event handlers.
    Private Shared Sub OnChanged(source As Object, e As FileSystemEventArgs)
        ' Specify what is done when a file is changed, created, or deleted.
        Console.WriteLine($"File: {e.FullPath} {e.ChangeType}")
    End Sub

    Private Shared Sub OnRenamed(source As Object, e As RenamedEventArgs)
        ' Specify what is done when a file is renamed.
        Console.WriteLine($"File: {e.OldFullPath} renamed to {e.FullPath}")
    End Sub

End Class

Remarks

This is a fully qualified path to a directory. If the IncludeSubdirectories property is true, this directory is the root at which the system watches for changes; otherwise it is the only directory watched. To watch a specific file, set the Path property to the fully qualified, correct directory, and the Filter property to the file name.

The Path property supports Universal Naming Convention (UNC) paths.

Note

This property must be set before the component can watch for changes.

When a directory is renamed, the FileSystemWatcher automatically reattaches itself to the newly renamed item. For example, if you set the Path property to "C:\My Documents" and then manually rename the directory to "C:\Your Documents", the component continues listening for change notifications on the newly renamed directory. However, when you ask for the Path property, it contains the old path. This happens because the component determines what directory watches based on the handle, rather than the name of the directory. Renaming does not affect the handle. So, if you destroy the component, and then recreate it without updating the Path property, your application will fail because the directory no longer exists.

Applies to

See also