Shell Path Handling Functions

This section describes the Windows Shell path handling functions. The programming elements explained in this documentation are exported by Shlwapi.dll and defined in Shlwapi.h and Shlwapi.lib.

In this section

Topic Description
PathAddBackslash
Adds a backslash to the end of a string to create the correct syntax for a path. If the source path already has a trailing backslash, no backslash will be added.
[!Note]
Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchAddBackslash or PathCchAddBackslashEx function in its place.

PathAddExtension
Adds a file name extension to a path string.
[!Note]
Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchAddExtension function in its place.

PathAppend
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.

PathBuildRoot
Creates a root path from a given drive number.
PathCanonicalize
Simplifies a path by removing navigation elements such as "." and ".." to produce a direct, well-formed path.
PathCombine
Concatenates two strings that represent properly formed paths into one path; also concatenates any relative path elements.
[!Note]
Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchCombine or PathCchCombineEx function in its place.

PathCommonPrefix
Compares two paths to determine if they share a common prefix. A prefix is one of these types: "C:\\", ".", "..", "..\\".
PathCompactPath
Truncates a file path to fit within a given pixel width by replacing path components with ellipses.
PathCompactPathEx
Truncates a path to fit within a certain number of characters by replacing path components with ellipses.
PathCreateFromUrl
Converts a file URL to a Microsoft MS-DOS path.
PathCreateFromUrlAlloc
Creates a path from a file URL.
PathFileExists
Determines whether a path to a file system object such as a file or folder is valid.
PathFindExtension
Searches a path for an extension.
PathFindFileName
Searches a path for a file name.
PathFindNextComponent
Parses a path and returns the portion of that path that follows the first backslash.
PathFindOnPath
Searches for a file.
PathFindSuffixArray
Determines whether a given file name has one of a list of suffixes.
PathGetArgs
Finds the command line arguments within a given path.
PathGetCharType
Determines the type of character in relation to a path.
PathGetDriveNumber
Searches a path for a drive letter within the range of 'A' to 'Z' and returns the corresponding drive number.
PathIsContentType
Determines if a file's registered content type matches the specified content type. This function obtains the content type for the specified file type and compares that string with the pszContentType. The comparison is not case-sensitive.
PathIsDirectory
Verifies that a path is a valid directory.
PathIsDirectoryEmpty
Determines whether a specified path is an empty directory.
PathIsFileSpec
Searches a path for any path-delimiting characters (for example, ':' or '\' ). If there are no path-delimiting characters present, the path is considered to be a File Spec path.
PathIsHTMLFile
Determines if a file is an HTML file. The determination is made based on the content type that is registered for the file's extension.
PathIsLFNFileSpec
Determines whether a file name is in long format.
PathIsNetworkPath
Determines whether a path string represents a network resource.
PathIsPrefix
Searches a path to determine if it contains a valid prefix of the type passed by pszPrefix. A prefix is one of these types: "C:\\", ".", "..", "..\\".
PathIsRelative
Searches a path and determines if it is relative.
PathIsRoot
Determines whether a path string refers to the root of a volume.
PathIsSameRoot
Compares two paths to determine if they have a common root component.
PathIsSystemFolder
Determines if an existing folder contains the attributes that make it a system folder. Alternately, this function indicates if certain attributes qualify a folder to be a system folder.
PathIsUNC
Determines if a path string is a valid Universal Naming Convention (UNC) path, as opposed to a path based on a drive letter.
PathIsUNCServer
Determines if a string is a valid UNC for a server path only.
PathIsUNCServerShare
Determines if a string is a valid UNC share path, \\server\share.
PathIsURL
Tests a given string to determine if it conforms to a valid URL format.
PathMakePretty
Converts an all-uppercase path to all lowercase characters to give the path a consistent appearance.
PathMakeSystemFolder
Gives an existing folder the proper attributes to become a system folder.
PathMatchSpec
Searches a string using a MS-DOS wildcard match type.
PathMatchSpecEx
Matches a file name from a path against one or more file name patterns.
PathParseIconLocation
Parses a file location string that contains a file location and icon index, and returns separate values.
PathQuoteSpaces
Searches a path for spaces. If spaces are found, the entire path is enclosed in quotation marks.
PathRelativePathTo
Creates a relative path from one file or folder to another.
PathRemoveArgs
Removes any arguments from a given path.
PathRemoveBackslash
Removes the trailing backslash from a given path.
[!Note]
This function is deprecated. We recommend the use of the PathCchRemoveBackslash or PathCchRemoveBackslashEx function in its place.

PathRemoveBlanks
Removes all leading and trailing spaces from a string.
PathRemoveExtension
Removes the file name extension from a path, if one is present.
[!Note]
This function is deprecated. We recommend the use of the PathCchRemoveExtension in its place.

PathRemoveFileSpec
Removes the trailing file name and backslash from a path, if they are present.
[!Note]
This function is deprecated. We recommend the use of the PathCchRemoveFileSpec function in its place.

PathRenameExtension
Replaces the extension of a file name with a new extension. If the file name does not contain an extension, the extension will be attached to the end of the string.
[!Note]
Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchRenameExtension function in its place.

PathSearchAndQualify
Determines if a given path is correctly formatted and fully qualified.
PathSetDlgItemPath
Sets the text of a child control in a window or dialog box, using PathCompactPath to ensure the path fits in the control.
PathSkipRoot
Retrieves a pointer to the first character in a path following the drive letter or UNC server/share path elements.
PathStripPath
Removes the path portion of a fully qualified path and file.
PathStripToRoot
Removes all file and directory elements in a path except for the root information.
[!Note]
Misuse of this function can lead to a buffer overrun. We recommend the use of the safer PathCchStripToRoot function in its place.

PathUndecorate
Removes the decoration from a path string.
PathUnExpandEnvStrings
Replaces certain folder names in a fully qualified path with their associated environment string.
PathUnmakeSystemFolder
Removes the attributes from a folder that make it a system folder. This folder must actually exist in the file system.
PathUnquoteSpaces
Removes quotes from the beginning and end of a path.
SHSkipJunction
Checks a bind context to see if it is safe to bind to a particular component object.
UrlApplyScheme
Determines a scheme for a specified URL string, and returns a string with an appropriate prefix.
UrlCanonicalize
Converts a URL string into canonical form.
UrlCombine
When provided with a relative URL and its base, returns a URL in canonical form.
UrlCompare
Makes a case-sensitive comparison of two URL strings.
UrlCreateFromPath
Converts a MS-DOS path to a canonicalized URL.
UrlEscape
Converts characters or surrogate pairs in a URL that might be altered during transport across the Internet ("unsafe" characters) into their corresponding escape sequences. Surrogate pairs are characters between U+10000 to U+10FFFF (in UTF-32) or between DC00 to DFFF (in UTF-16).
UrlEscapeSpaces
A macro that converts space characters into their corresponding escape sequence.
UrlGetLocation
Retrieves the location from a URL.
UrlGetPart
Accepts a URL string and returns a specified part of that URL.
UrlHash
Hashes a URL string.
UrlIs
Tests whether a URL is a specified type.
UrlIsFileUrl
Tests a URL to determine if it is a file URL.
UrlIsNoHistory
Returns whether a URL is a URL that browsers typically do not include in navigation history.
UrlIsOpaque
Returns whether a URL is opaque.
UrlUnescape
Converts escape sequences back into ordinary characters.
UrlUnescapeInPlace
Converts escape sequences back into ordinary characters and overwrites the original string.