FindFirstChangeNotificationA function

Creates a change notification handle and sets up initial change notification filter conditions. A wait on a notification handle succeeds when a change matching the filter conditions occurs in the specified directory or subtree. The function does not report changes to the specified directory itself.

This function does not indicate the change that satisfied the wait condition. To retrieve information about the specific change as part of the notification, use the
ReadDirectoryChangesW function.

Syntax

HANDLE FindFirstChangeNotificationA(
  LPCSTR lpPathName,
  BOOL   bWatchSubtree,
  DWORD  dwNotifyFilter
);

Parameters

lpPathName

The full path of the directory to be watched.

This cannot be a relative path or an empty string.

In the ANSI version of this function, the name is limited to MAX_PATH characters. To extend this limit to 32,767 wide characters, call the Unicode version of the function and prepend "\?" to the path. For more information, see Naming a File.

bWatchSubtree

If this parameter is TRUE, the function monitors the directory tree rooted at the specified directory; if it is FALSE, it monitors only the specified directory.

dwNotifyFilter

The filter conditions that satisfy a change notification wait. This parameter can be one or more of the following values.

Value Meaning
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_FILE_NAME
0x00000001
Any file name change in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return. Changes include renaming, creating, or deleting a file name.
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_DIR_NAME
0x00000002
Any directory-name change in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return. Changes include creating or deleting a directory.
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_ATTRIBUTES
0x00000004
Any attribute change in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return.
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_SIZE
0x00000008
Any file-size change in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return. The operating system detects a change in file size only when the file is written to the disk. For operating systems that use extensive caching, detection occurs only when the cache is sufficiently flushed.
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_LAST_WRITE
0x00000010
Any change to the last write-time of files in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return. The operating system detects a change to the last write-time only when the file is written to the disk. For operating systems that use extensive caching, detection occurs only when the cache is sufficiently flushed.
FILE_NOTIFY_CHANGE_SECURITY
0x00000100
Any security-descriptor change in the watched directory or subtree causes a change notification wait operation to return.

Return Value

If the function succeeds, the return value is a handle to a find change notification object.

If the function fails, the return value is INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.

Remarks

The wait functions can monitor the specified directory or subtree by using the handle returned by the FindFirstChangeNotification function. A wait is satisfied when one of the filter conditions occurs in the monitored directory or subtree.

After the wait has been satisfied, the application can respond to this condition and continue monitoring the directory by calling the FindNextChangeNotification function and the appropriate wait function. When the handle is no longer needed, it can be closed by using the FindCloseChangeNotification function.

Notifications may not be returned when calling FindFirstChangeNotification for a remote file system.

Symbolic link behavior—If the path points to a symbolic link, the notification handle is created for the target.

If an application has registered to receive change notifications for a directory that contains symbolic links, the application is only notified when the symbolic links have been changed, not the target files.

In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, this function is supported by the following technologies.

Technology Supported
Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 protocol Yes
SMB 3.0 Transparent Failover (TFO) Yes
SMB 3.0 with Scale-out File Shares (SO) Yes
Cluster Shared Volume File System (CsvFS) See remark
Resilient File System (ReFS) Yes
 

Application might experience false positives on CsvFs pause/resume.

Examples

For an example, see Obtaining Directory Change_Notifications.

Requirements

   
Windows version Windows XP [desktop apps only] Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header fileapi.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See Also

Directory Management Functions

FindCloseChangeNotification

FindNextChangeNotification

ReadDirectoryChangesW