CreateDirectoryExA function

Creates a new directory with the attributes of a specified template directory. If the underlying file system supports security on files and directories, the function applies a specified security descriptor to the new directory. The new directory retains the other attributes of the specified template directory.

To perform this operation as a transacted operation, use the CreateDirectoryTransacted function.

Syntax

BOOL CreateDirectoryExA(
  LPCSTR                lpTemplateDirectory,
  LPCSTR                lpNewDirectory,
  LPSECURITY_ATTRIBUTES lpSecurityAttributes
);

Parameters

lpTemplateDirectory

The path of the directory to use as a template when creating the new directory.

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.

Tip  Starting with Windows 10, version 1607, for the unicode version of this function (CreateDirectoryExW), you can opt-in to remove the MAX_PATH character limitation without prepending "\\?\". The 255 character limit per path segment still applies. See the "Maximum Path Length Limitation" section of Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces for details.
 

lpNewDirectory

The path of the directory to be created.

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.

Tip  Starting with Windows 10, version 1607, for the unicode version of this function (CreateDirectoryExW), you can opt-in to remove the MAX_PATH character limitation without prepending "\\?\". The 255 character limit per path segment still applies. See the "Maximum Path Length Limitation" section of Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces for details.
 

lpSecurityAttributes

A pointer to a SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES structure. The lpSecurityDescriptor member of the structure specifies a security descriptor for the new directory.

If lpSecurityAttributes is NULL, the directory gets a default security descriptor. The access control lists (ACL) in the default security descriptor for a directory are inherited from its parent directory.

The target file system must support security on files and directories for this parameter to have an effect. This is indicated when GetVolumeInformation returns FS_PERSISTENT_ACLS.

Return Value

If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero.

If the function fails, the return value is zero (0). To get extended error information, call GetLastError. Possible errors include the following.

Return code Description
ERROR_ALREADY_EXISTS
The specified directory already exists.
ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND
One or more intermediate directories do not exist. This function only creates the final directory in the path. To create all intermediate directories on the path, use the SHCreateDirectoryEx function.

Remarks

The CreateDirectoryEx function allows you to create directories that inherit stream information from other directories. This function is useful, for example, when you are using Macintosh directories, which have a resource stream that is needed to properly identify directory contents as an attribute.

Some file systems, such as the NTFS file system, support compression or encryption for individual files and directories. On volumes formatted for such a file system, a new directory inherits the compression and encryption attributes of its parent directory.

You can obtain a handle to a directory by calling the CreateFile function with the FILE_FLAG_BACKUP_SEMANTICS flag set. For a code example, see CreateFile.

To support inheritance functions that query the security descriptor of this object can heuristically determine and report that inheritance is in effect. For more information, see Automatic Propagation of Inheritable ACEs.

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) Yes
Resilient File System (ReFS) Yes

Requirements

   
Minimum supported client Windows XP [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header winbase.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See Also

CreateDirectory

CreateDirectoryTransacted

CreateFile

Creating and Deleting Directories

Directory Management Functions

RemoveDirectory

SECURITY_ATTRIBUTES