From Xojo Documentation

Global Method

GetFolderItem(path As String, Optional pathMode As Integer) As FolderItem

Supported on Desktop, Web, Console.

Used to access an item in a folder (directory).


result = GetFolderItem(path [,pathMode])

Part Type Description
result FolderItem Represents the file that was opened.
path String The path or an empty string.

Path is the name of a document if it is in the current directory. Otherwise, it can be one of three types of paths to other locations. See the optional pathMode parameter. Path can also be a GetSaveInfo string if the pathMode is either Absolute or Native.

Introduced 5.5
Class Constant The type of path that is passed.

It uses a FolderItem class constant. The following class constants can be passed:

Class Constant Value
PathTypeAbsolute 0
PathTypeShell 1
PathTypeURL 2
PathTypeNative 3

Use the class constants, not the numeric values in your code. The numeric values are provided for your information only and the values associated with the constants may change in subsequent versions. The pathtype parameter indicates whether the path is a Shell path, an “ordinary” path, or path in the form of a URL.

For example, to specify a Shell path, use the expression


If you pass a Shell path, it must be an absolute path. If not, an UnsupportedFormatException will result. See the ShellPath property of the FolderItem class for information about shell paths. If you pass FolderItem.PathTypeURL, it must begin with "file:///".


The GetFolderItem function creates a FolderItem object for a specific item (application, document, or folder). GetFolderItem can be passed a file name for a specific item or an empty string. If you want to access an item via an absolute path, it is safer to use the Volume function and the Child method of the FolderItem class.

If you intend to open an existing file with GetFolderItem, you should check the Exists property of the FolderItem to be sure that the file actually exists before accessing that FolderItem's properties.

Passing an empty string returns a FolderItem representing the current folder of the running app.

For macOS applications, GetFolderItem returns the FolderItem for the directory containing the bundle.

Resolving Aliases on macOS

GetFolderItem automatically resolves aliases when filename represents an alias. To prevent this, use GetTrueFolderItem.

If necessary, macOS will mount external volumes and may present a login dialog during alias resolution.

Sample Code

This code displays the name of the current folder in a message box.

Dim currentFolder As FolderItem
currentFolder = GetFolderItem("")

The following code gets an item within the current directory:

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("Resources")

The following code uses the Parent property of the FolderItem class to get the parent directory for the directory that contains the application:

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("").Parent

The following code opens a PNG file in the current folder and uses it as the background image ("backdrop") for a Canvas control:

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("Zippy.png")
If f.Exists Then
Canvas1.BackDrop = Picture.Open(f)
End If

To get a reference using an absolute path, construct it using the Volume function and the Child method of the FolderItem class:. The code uses a Try block to handle the exception if the path is invalid.

Dim f As FolderItem
f = SpecialFolder.Documents.Child("Schedule")
Catch err As NilObjectException
MsgBox("The path is invalid!")
End Try

The following code uses the URL path to the user's "Documents" folder on Windows:

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("file:///C:/Documents%20and%20Settings/Joe%20User/My%20Documents/", _
If f.Exists Then
MsgBox("The folderitem does not exist.")
End If

The following code uses the shell path to the Documents folder on macOS:

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("/Users/Joe/Documents", FolderItem.PathTypeShell)
If f.Exists Then
TextField1.Text = f.NativePath
MsgBox("The FolderItem does not exist.")
End If

This code returns a FolderItem for the "Documents" folder in the home directory on Linux for user "Joe":

Dim f As FolderItem
f = GetFolderItem("/home/Joe/Documents", FolderItem.PathTypeShell)
If f.Exists Then
TextField1.Text = f.NativePath
MsgBox("The FolderItem does not exist.")
End If

See Also

FolderItem, FolderItemDialog, RuntimeException classes; GetTrueFolderItem function; NilObjectException error; Nil object.