Xamarin.Essentials: File Picker

The FilePicker class lets a user pick a single or multiple files from the device.

Pre-release API

Get started

To start using this API, read the getting started guide for Xamarin.Essentials to ensure the library is properly installed and set up in your projects.

To access the FilePicker functionality the following platform specific setup is required.

The ReadExternalStorage permission is required and must be configured in the Android project. This can be added in the following ways:

Open the AssemblyInfo.cs file under the Properties folder and add:

[assembly: UsesPermission(Android.Manifest.Permission.ReadExternalStorage)]

OR Update Android Manifest:

Open the AndroidManifest.xml file under the Properties folder and add the following inside of the manifest node.

<uses-permission android:name="android.permission.READ_EXTERNAL_STORAGE" />

Or right click on the Android project and open the project's properties. Under Android Manifest find the Required permissions: area and check this permission. This will automatically update the AndroidManifest.xml file.


All methods must be called on the UI thread because permission checks and requests are automatically handled by Xamarin.Essentials.

Pick File

FilePicker.PickAsync() method enables your user to pick a file from the device. You are able to specific different PickOptions when calling the method enabling you to specify the title to display and the file types the user is allowed to pick. By default

async Task<FileResult> PickAndShow(PickOptions options)
        var result = await FilePicker.PickAsync();
        if (result != null)
            Text = $"File Name: {result.FileName}";
            if (result.FileName.EndsWith("jpg", StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase) ||
                result.FileName.EndsWith("png", StringComparison.OrdinalIgnoreCase))
                var stream = await result.OpenReadAsync();
                Image = ImageSource.FromStream(() => stream);
    catch (Exception ex)
        // The user canceled or something went wrong

Default file types are provided with FilePickerFileType.Images, FilePickerFileType.Png, and FilePickerFilerType.Videos. You can specify custom files types when creating the PickOptions and they can be customized per platform. For example here is how you would specify specific comic file types:

var customFileType =
    new FilePickerFileType(new Dictionary<DevicePlatform, IEnumerable<string>>
        { DevicePlatform.iOS, new[] { "public.my.comic.extension" } }, // or general UTType values
        { DevicePlatform.Android, new[] { "application/comics" } },
        { DevicePlatform.UWP, new[] { ".cbr", ".cbz" } },
        { DevicePlatform.Tizen, new[] { "*/*" } },
        { DevicePlatform.macOS, new[] { "cbr", "cbz" } }, // or general UTType values
var options = new PickOptions
    PickerTitle = "Please select a comic file",
    FileTypes = customFileType,

Pick Multiple Files

If you desire your user to pick multiple files you can call the FilePicker.PickMultipleAsync() method. It also takes in PickOptions as a parameter to specify additional information. The results are the same as PickAsync, but instead of a single FileResult an IEnumerable<FileResult> is returned that can be iterated over.

Platform Differences

  • The URI of the resulting file may not be persisted between reboots.