VB.NET Recursive Files

Page: lines of text

A program needs to recurse through all directories. It starts at a certain point. It then lists all the file paths in those directories. We can use an efficient and bug-free VB.NET Function for this purpose.



First, this is the code for the VB.NET Function that traverses through all subdirectories and then all further subdirectories. It returns a List(Of String), which is often used for file paths.

VB.NET program that recurses directories

Imports System.IO

''' <summary>
''' This class contains directory helper method(s).
''' </summary>
Public Class FileHelper

    ''' <summary>
    ''' This method starts at the specified directory, and traverses all subdirectories.
    ''' It returns a List of those directories.
    ''' </summary>
    Public Shared Function GetFilesRecursive(ByVal initial As String) As List(Of String)
	' This list stores the results.
	Dim result As New List(Of String)

	' This stack stores the directories to process.
	Dim stack As New Stack(Of String)

	' Add the initial directory

	' Continue processing for each stacked directory
	Do While (stack.Count > 0)
	    ' Get top directory string
	    Dim dir As String = stack.Pop
		' Add all immediate file paths
		result.AddRange(Directory.GetFiles(dir, "*.*"))

		' Loop through all subdirectories and add them to the stack.
		Dim directoryName As String
		For Each directoryName In Directory.GetDirectories(dir)

	    Catch ex As Exception
	    End Try

	' Return the list
	Return result
    End Function

End Class

Module Module1

    ''' <summary>
    ''' Entry point that shows usage of recursive directory function.
    ''' </summary>
    Sub Main()
	' Get recursive List of all files starting in this directory.
	Dim list As List(Of String) = FileHelper.GetFilesRecursive("C:\Users\Sam\Documents\Perls")

	' Loop through and display each path.
	For Each path In list

	' Write total number of paths found.
    End Sub

End Module
Path type

We see the actual function that you will want in your project. It uses Stack to build up a list of paths it needs to process. It then processes each directory path in the stack individually, adding all the files each time.

StackMain method

Note:The Main sub here shows how to call FileHelper.GetFilesRecursive and specify a path string.

Tip:The path string must specify an absolute path, or one relative to the program. Here, we specify a C:\ path on my computer.



The output of the above program on my computer is a list of 677 file paths. Each path is fully specified and absolute. They are ordered alphabetically. The sample next shows three of the first several lines printed.

Note:I checked the directory in Windows Explorer by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Properties.

And:The dialog shows that there are 677 files in the folder. Further inspection shows all file paths are accurate.

Example output

Properties dialog


The VB.NET programming language

Here we saw a powerful and efficient recursive directory and subdirectory traversing function. It works reliably in programs. It is tested. The function provides accurate results.

Review:It demonstrates an excellent use of Stack and List. It is highly useful in many projects.


VB.NET: File