PathAppendA function (shlwapi.h)

Appends one path to the end of another.

Note  Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchAppend or PathCchAppendEx function in its place.


BOOL PathAppendA(
  LPSTR  pszPath,
  LPCSTR pszMore




A pointer to a null-terminated string to which the path specified in pszMore is appended. You must set the size of this buffer to MAX_PATH to ensure that it is large enough to hold the returned string.



A pointer to a null-terminated string of maximum length MAX_PATH that contains the path to be appended.

Return value

Type: BOOL

Returns TRUE if successful, or FALSE otherwise.


This function automatically inserts a backslash between the two strings, if one is not already present.

The path supplied in pszPath cannot begin with "..\" or ".\" to produce a relative path string. If present, those periods are stripped from the output string. For example, appending "path3" to "..\path1\path2" results in an output of "\path1\path2\path3" rather than "..\path1\path2\path3".


#include <windows.h>
#include <iostream>
#include "Shlwapi.h"

using namespace std;

int main( void )
	// String for path name.
	char buffer_1[MAX_PATH] = "name_1\\name_2";
	char *lpStr1;
	lpStr1 = buffer_1;

	// String of what is being added.
	char buffer_2[ ] = "name_3";
	char *lpStr2;
	lpStr2 = buffer_2;

	cout << "The original path string is    " << lpStr1 << endl;
	cout << "The part to append to end is   " << lpStr2 << endl;
	bool ret = PathAppend(lpStr1,lpStr2);
	cout << "The appended path string is    " << lpStr1 << endl;

The original path string is    name_1\name_2
The part to append to end is   name_3
The appended path string is    name_1\name_2\name_3


The shlwapi.h header defines PathAppend as an alias which automatically selects the ANSI or Unicode version of this function based on the definition of the UNICODE preprocessor constant. Mixing usage of the encoding-neutral alias with code that not encoding-neutral can lead to mismatches that result in compilation or runtime errors. For more information, see Conventions for Function Prototypes.


Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional, Windows XP [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header shlwapi.h
Library Shlwapi.lib
DLL Shlwapi.dll (version 4.71 or later)