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How can I get the localized name of a 'special' windows folder (Recycle bin etc.)?

StackOverflow https://stackoverflow.com/questions/37053


I'm trying to find out the 'correct' windows API for finding out the localized name of 'special' folders, specifically the Recycle Bin. I want to be able to prompt the user with a suitably localized dialog box asking them if they want to send files to the recycle bin or delete them directly.

I've found lots on the internet (and on Stackoverflow) about how to do the actual deletion, and it seems simple enough, I just really want to be able to have the text localized.


Read this article for code samples and usage:


Also there is an article on MSDN that helps you Identify the Location of Special Folders with API Calls


I actually didn't find the CodeProject article terribly helpful, so I thought I'd answer this question with the actual code that I used to retrieve the localized name of the recycle bin.

This sample also tries to behave correctly with regard to freeing resources. Any comments are welcome, especially if you spot an error with my resource management!

public static string GetLocalizedRecycleBinName()
   IntPtr relative_pidl, parent_ptr, absolute_pidl;

   PInvoke.SHGetFolderLocation(IntPtr.Zero, PInvoke.CSIDL.BitBucket,
         IntPtr.Zero, 0, out absolute_pidl);
            ref PInvoke.Guids.IID_IShellFolder,
            out parent_ptr, out relative_pidl);
      PInvoke.IShellFolder shell_folder =
            as PInvoke.IShellFolder;
      // Release() for this object is called at finalization
      if (shell_folder == null)
         return Strings.RecycleBin;

      PInvoke.STRRET strret = new PInvoke.STRRET();
      StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(260);
      shell_folder.GetDisplayNameOf(relative_pidl, PInvoke.SHGNO.Normal,
            out strret);
      PInvoke.StrRetToBuf(ref strret, relative_pidl, sb, 260);
      string name = sb.ToString();

      return String.IsNullOrEmpty(name) ? Strings.RecycleBin : name;
   finally { PInvoke.ILFree(absolute_pidl); }

static class PInvoke
   public static extern int SHGetFolderLocation(IntPtr hwndOwner,
         CSIDL nFolder, IntPtr hToken, uint dwReserved, out IntPtr ppidl);

   public static extern int SHBindToParent(IntPtr lpifq, [In] ref Guid riid,
         out IntPtr ppv, out IntPtr pidlLast);

   public static extern Int32 StrRetToBuf(ref STRRET pstr, IntPtr pidl,
         StringBuilder pszBuf, uint cchBuf);

   public static extern void ILFree([In] IntPtr pidl);

   public interface IShellFolder
      Int32 CompareIDs(Int32 lParam, IntPtr pidl1, IntPtr pidl2);
      void ParseDisplayName(IntPtr hwnd, IntPtr pbc, String pszDisplayName,
            UInt32 pchEaten, out IntPtr ppidl, UInt32 pdwAttributes);
      void EnumObjects(IntPtr hwnd, int grfFlags,
            out IntPtr ppenumIDList);
      void BindToObject(IntPtr pidl, IntPtr pbc, [In] ref Guid riid,
            out IntPtr ppv);
      void BindToStorage(IntPtr pidl, IntPtr pbc, [In] ref Guid riid,
            out IntPtr ppv);
      void CreateViewObject(IntPtr hwndOwner, [In] ref Guid riid,
            out IntPtr ppv);
      void GetAttributesOf(UInt32 cidl,
            [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPArray, SizeParamIndex = 0)]
         IntPtr[] apidl, ref uint rgfInOut);
      void GetUIObjectOf(IntPtr hwndOwner, UInt32 cidl,
            [MarshalAs(UnmanagedType.LPArray, SizeParamIndex = 1)]
         IntPtr[] apidl, [In] ref Guid riid, UInt32 rgfReserved,
         out IntPtr ppv);
      void GetDisplayNameOf(IntPtr pidl, SHGNO uFlags, out STRRET pName);
      void SetNameOf(IntPtr hwnd, IntPtr pidl, string pszName,
            int uFlags, out IntPtr ppidlOut);

   public enum CSIDL
      BitBucket = 0x000a,

   public enum SHGNO
      Normal = 0x0000, ForParsing = 0x8000,

   [StructLayout(LayoutKind.Explicit, Size = 520)]
   public struct STRRETinternal
      [FieldOffset(0)] public IntPtr pOleStr;
      [FieldOffset(0)] public IntPtr pStr;
      [FieldOffset(0)] public uint uOffset;

   public struct STRRET
      public uint uType;
      public STRRETinternal data;

   public class Guids
      public static Guid IID_IShellFolder =
            new Guid("{000214E6-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}");

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