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How to test if a path is a file or directory in Windows batch file?

StackOverflow https://stackoverflow.com/questions/8666225


I searched here, found someone using this

set is_dir=0
for %%i in ("%~1") do if exist "%%~si"\nul set is_dir=1

but didn't work, when %1==c:\this is a file with spaces.csproj, the test still success, which means it will still be treated as a folder!!!

anyone knows the answer, i guess this is a very common problem and Windows has existed for many many years, it should have a very simple solution....


I know the if exist path\nul test for a folder used to work on MS-DOS. I don't know if it was broken with the introduction of long file names.

I knew that if exist "long path\nul" does not work on Windows batch. I did not realize until today that if exist path\nul works on Vista and beyond as long as path is in the short 8.3 form.

The original code appears to work on Vista. It seems like it should work on XP as well, but I believe the following XP bug is getting in the way: Batch parameter %~s1 gives incorrect 8.3 short name.

The original code does not need the FOR loop, it could simply use %~s1

Here is a variation that fully classifies a path as INVALID, FILE or FOLDER. It works on Vista, but does NOT work on XP because of the %~s1 bug. I'm not sure how it performs on MS-DOS.
EDIT 2015-12-08: There are a number of Windows situations where this fails

@echo off
if not exist "%~1" ( set "type=INVALID" ) else if exist %~s1\nul ( set "type=FOLDER" ) else ( set "type=FILE" )
@echo "%~1" = %type%

I believe this variation will work with nearly all versions of Microsoft batch, including MS-DOS and XP. (it obviously won't work on early versions of DOS that don't support PUSHD)

@echo off
if exist "%~1" (2>nul pushd "%~1" && (popd&set "type=FOLDER") || set "type=FILE" ) else set "type=INVALID"
echo "%~1" = %type%

UPDATE 2014-12-26

I'm pretty sure the following will work on all versions of Windows from XP onward, but I have only tested on Win 7.
Edit 2015-12-08: This can fail on network drives because the folder test can falsely report a file as a folder

@echo off
if exist %1\ (
  echo %1 is a folder
) else if exist %1 (
  echo %1 is a file
) else (
  echo %1 does not exist

UPDATE 2015-12-08

Finally - a test that truly should work on any Windows version from XP onward, including with network drives and UNC paths

for /f "tokens=1,2 delims=d" %%A in ("-%~a1") do if "%%B" neq "" (
  echo %1 is a folder
) else if "%%A" neq "-" (
  echo %1 is a file
) else (
  echo %1 does not exist

Note - This technique is intended to be used for a path without any wildcards (a single specific file or folder). If the provided path includes one or more wildcards, then it provides the result for the first file or folder that the file system encounters. Identical directory structures may give different sort order results depending on the underlying file system (FAT32, NTFS, etc.)


I just tried in this way. Hope this helps.

CD %1% 


D:\Work\Stand alone Java classes>test.bat D:\Work\Training

D:\Work\Stand alone Java classes>test.bat D:\Work\Training\SRT.txt
The directory name is invalid.

The /ad option for "dir" command lists folders, /b option for bare. Assuming you have checks for the existence of file in place, use:

dir /ad /b ChangeThisToYourFilename 1> NUL 2> NUL
    echo is a file
) else (
    echo is NOT a file

For a 1 liner:

dir /a:d /b C:\Windows 2>&1 | findstr /i /n /c:"File Not Found">nul && (@echo. Im a file) || (@echo. Im a folder)

e.g. change C:\Windows to C:\Windows\Notepad.exe

-Sorry Arun, dbenham, didn't read yours! Same as..

Previously, I used the "\nul" method, but for a long time now, I have used "\*" to test if an existing filespec is a folder or a file. As far as I know, it works on all versions of Windows, from Windows 95 (and perhaps earlier versions) through all current Windows versions.

So, as with other methods, first test if the file exists. Then, to see if it's a "Folder", test it with: if exist "%fspec%\*":

if not exist "%fspec%"   goto :NotExistOrInvalid

rem "%fspec%" is "Valid" and is either a "Folder", or a "File".
if     exist "%fspec%\*" goto :IsValidAndIsAFolder

rem "%fspec%" is a "File" (a "Regular File" or a Shortcut/Link).
goto :IsValidAndIsAFile

For example:

set "fspec=XYZ:%perlpath%"
if not exist "%fspec%" echo "%fspec%": Invalid or not found && rem Invalid, goto :NotExistOrInvalid

set "fspec=%perlpath%"
if not exist "%fspec%" echo "%fspec%": Invalid or not found && rem goto :NotExistOrInvalid

rem "%fspec%" Is a "Valid" filespec and is either a "Folder", or a "File".
if exist "%fspec%\*" (echo "%fspec%" is a "Folder".) else echo "%fspec%" is a "File".

set "fspec=%perlpath%\perl.exe"
if not exist "%fspec%" echo "%fspec%": Invalid or not found && rem Invalid, goto :NotExistOrInvalid

rem "%fspec%" Is a "Valid" filespec and is either a "Folder", or a "File".
if exist "%fspec%\*" (echo "%fspec%" is a "Folder".) else echo "%fspec%" is a "File".

The output for this is:

"XYZ:F:\usr\perl\bin": Invalid or not found
"F:\usr\perl\bin" is a "Folder".
"F:\usr\perl\bin\perl.exe" is a "File".

This solution combines the file attribute parameter extension (%~a1) with variable substring extraction (%variable:~0,1%):


CALL :is_directory C:\Windows
CALL :is_directory C:\MinGW\share\doc\mingw-get\README
CALL :is_directory C:\$Recycle.Bin
CALL :is_directory "C:\Documents and Settings"
CALL :is_directory "%LOGONSERVER%\C$\Users\All Users"


    SET file_attribute=%~a1
    IF "%file_attribute:~0,1%"=="d" (
        ECHO %file_attribute% %1 is a directory
    ) ELSE (
        ECHO %file_attribute% %1 is NOT a directory


d-------- C:\Windows is a directory
--a------ C:\MinGW\share\doc\mingw-get\README is NOT a directory
d--hs---- C:\$Recycle.Bin is a directory
d--hs---l "C:\Documents and Settings" is a directory
d--hs---l "\\MYCOMPUTER\C$\Users\All Users" is a directory

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