ShellFolderItem.ExtendedProperty method

Gets the value of a property from an item's property set. The property can be specified either by name or by the property set's format identifier (FMTID) and property identifier (PID).


retVal = ShellFolderItem.ExtendedProperty(


sPropName [in]

Type: BSTR

A String value that specifies the property. See the Remarks section for details.

Return value

Type: Variant*

When this method returns, contains the value of the property, if it exists for the specified item. The value will have full typing—for example, dates are returned as dates, not strings.

This method returns a zero-length string if the property is valid but does not exist for the specified item, or an error code otherwise.


There are two ways to specify a property. The first is to assign the property's well-known name, such as "Author" or "Date", to sPropName. However, each property is a member of a Component Object Model (COM) property set and can also be identified by specifying its format ID (FMTID) and property ID (PID). An FMTID is a GUID that identifies the property set, and a PID is an integer that identifies a particular property within the property set.

Specifying a property by its FMTID/PID values is usually more efficient than using its name. To use a property's FMTID/PID values with ExtendedProperty, they must be combined into an SCID. An SCID is a string that contains the FMTID/PID values in the form "FMTID**PID", where the FMTID is the string form of the property set's GUID. For example, the SCID of the summary information property set's author property is "{F29F85E0-4FF9-1068-AB91-08002B27B3D9} 4".

For a list of FMTIDs and PIDs that are currently supported by the Shell, see SHCOLUMNID.


This sample code illustrates how to use ExtendedProperty to retrieve the "Title" and "Author" properties from a Word document. Once you have the ShellFolderItem object associated with the file, fiWordDoc in this example, retrieve the property's value by passing its name to ExtendedProperty.


A faster and more efficient approach is to pass an SCID to ExtendedProperty.


The following examples show the proper usage of this method for JScript, VBScript, and Visual Basic.


<script language="JScript">
    function fnFolderItem2ExtendedPropertyJ()
        var objShell = new ActiveXObject("shell.application");
        var objFolder2;
        var ssfWINDOWS = 36;
        objFolder2 = objShell.NameSpace(ssfWINDOWS);
        if (objFolder2 != null)
            var objFolderItem;
            objFolderItem = objFolder2.ParseName("NOTEPAD.EXE");
            if (objFolderItem != null)
                var szReturn = "";
                szReturn = objFolderItem.ExtendedProperty("infotip");


<script language="VBScript">
    function fnFolderItemExtendedPropertyVB()
        dim objShell
        set objShell = CreateObject("shell.application")
        if (not objShell is nothing) then
            dim objFolder2
            dim ssfWINDOWS
            ssfWINDOWS = 36
            set objFolder2 = objShell.NameSpace(ssfWINDOWS)
            if (not objFolder2 is nothing) then
                dim objFolderItem
                set objFolderItem = objFolder2.Self
                if (not objFolderItem is nothing) then
                    dim szReturn
                    szReturn = objFolderItem.ExtendedProperty("type")
                end if
                set objFolderItem = nothing
            end if
            set objFolder2 = nothing
        end if
        set objShell = nothing
    end function

Visual Basic:

Private Sub fnFolderItem2ExtendedPropertyVB()
    Dim objShell   As Shell
    Dim objFolder2 As Folder2
    Dim ssfWINDOWS As Long
    ssfWINDOWS = 36
    Set objShell = New Shell
    Set objFolder2 = objShell.NameSpace(ssfWINDOWS)
        If (Not objFolder2 Is Nothing) Then
            Dim objFolderItem2 As Object
            Set objFolderItem2 = objFolder2.ParseName("NOTEPAD.EXE")
                If (Not objFolderItem2 Is Nothing) Then
                    Dim szReturn As String
                    szReturn = objFolderItem2.ExtendedProperty("size")
                    Debug.Print szReturn
                    'FolderItem object returned nothing.
                End If
            Set objFolderItem2 = Nothing
            'Folder object returned nothing.
        End If
    Set objFolder2 = Nothing
    Set objShell = Nothing
End Sub


Minimum supported client
Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server
Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Shell32.dll (version 5.0 or later)