How do I check if a directory exists in Python?


How do I check if a directory exists in Python?

Asked By: David542



Yes, use os.path.exists().

Answered By: aganders3

Use os.path.isdir for directories only:

>>> import os
>>> os.path.isdir('new_folder')

Use os.path.exists for both files and directories:

>>> import os
>>> os.path.exists(os.path.join(os.getcwd(), 'new_folder', 'file.txt'))

Alternatively, you can use pathlib:

 >>> from pathlib import Path
 >>> Path('new_folder').is_dir()
 >>> (Path.cwd() / 'new_folder' / 'file.txt').exists()
Answered By: phihag

As in:

In [3]: os.path.exists('/d/temp')
Out[3]: True

Probably toss in a os.path.isdir(...) to be sure.

Answered By: AlG

So close! os.path.isdir returns True if you pass in the name of a directory that currently exists. If it doesn’t exist or it’s not a directory, then it returns False.

Answered By: Kirk Strauser
Answered By: RanRag

os provides you with a lot of these capabilities:

import os
os.path.isdir(dir_in) #True/False: check if this is a directory
os.listdir(dir_in)    #gets you a list of all files and directories under dir_in

the listdir will throw an exception if the input path is invalid.

Answered By: dputros

Just to provide the os.stat version (python 2):

import os, stat, errno
def CheckIsDir(directory):
    return stat.S_ISDIR(os.stat(directory).st_mode)
  except OSError, e:
    if e.errno == errno.ENOENT:
      return False
Answered By: Tyler A.

Python 3.4 introduced the pathlib module into the standard library, which provides an object oriented approach to handle filesystem paths. The is_dir() and exists() methods of a Path object can be used to answer the question:

In [1]: from pathlib import Path

In [2]: p = Path('/usr')

In [3]: p.exists()
Out[3]: True

In [4]: p.is_dir()
Out[4]: True

Paths (and strings) can be joined together with the / operator:

In [5]: q = p / 'bin' / 'vim'

In [6]: q
Out[6]: PosixPath('/usr/bin/vim') 

In [7]: q.exists()
Out[7]: True

In [8]: q.is_dir()
Out[8]: False

Pathlib is also available on Python 2.7 via the pathlib2 module on PyPi.

Answered By: joelostblom
#You can also check it get help for you

if not os.path.isdir('mydir'):
    print('new directry has been created')
    os.system('mkdir mydir')
Answered By: Ramapati Maurya

We can check with 2 built in functions


It will give boolean true the specified directory is available.


It will give boolead true if specified directory or file is available.

To check whether the path is directory;


will give boolean true if the path is directory

Answered By: Wickkiey

There is a convenient Unipath module.

>>> from unipath import Path 
>>> Path('/var/log').exists()
>>> Path('/var/log').isdir()

Other related things you might need:

>>> Path('/var/log/system.log').parent
>>> Path('/var/log/system.log').ancestor(2)
>>> Path('/var/log/system.log').listdir()
[Path('/var/foo'), Path('/var/bar')]
>>> (Path('/var/log') + '/system.log').isfile()

You can install it using pip:

$ pip3 install unipath

It’s similar to the built-in pathlib. The difference is that it treats every path as a string (Path is a subclass of the str), so if some function expects a string, you can easily pass it a Path object without a need to convert it to a string.

For example, this works great with Django and

BASE_DIR = Path(__file__).ancestor(2)
STATIC_ROOT = BASE_DIR + '/tmp/static'
Answered By: Max Malysh

You may also want to create the directory if it’s not there.

Source, if it’s still there on SO.


On Python ≥ 3.5, use pathlib.Path.mkdir:

from pathlib import Path
Path("/my/directory").mkdir(parents=True, exist_ok=True)

For older versions of Python, I see two answers with good qualities, each with a small flaw, so I will give my take on it:

Try os.path.exists, and consider os.makedirs for the creation.

import os
if not os.path.exists(directory):

As noted in comments and elsewhere, there’s a race condition – if the directory is created between the os.path.exists and the os.makedirs calls, the os.makedirs will fail with an OSError. Unfortunately, blanket-catching OSError and continuing is not foolproof, as it will ignore a failure to create the directory due to other factors, such as insufficient permissions, full disk, etc.

One option would be to trap the OSError and examine the embedded error code (see Is there a cross-platform way of getting information from Python’s OSError):

import os, errno

except OSError as e:
    if e.errno != errno.EEXIST:

Alternatively, there could be a second os.path.exists, but suppose another created the directory after the first check, then removed it before the second one – we could still be fooled.

Depending on the application, the danger of concurrent operations may be more or less than the danger posed by other factors such as file permissions. The developer would have to know more about the particular application being developed and its expected environment before choosing an implementation.

Modern versions of Python improve this code quite a bit, both by exposing FileExistsError (in 3.3+)…

except FileExistsError:
    # directory already exists

…and by allowing a keyword argument to os.makedirs called exist_ok (in 3.2+).

os.makedirs("path/to/directory", exist_ok=True)  # succeeds even if directory exists.
Answered By: Nathan

Two things

  1. check if the directory exist?
  2. if not, create a directory (optional).
import os
dirpath = "<dirpath>" # Replace the "<dirpath>" with actual directory path.

if os.path.exists(dirpath):
   print("Directory exist")
else: #this is optional if you want to create a directory if doesn't exist.
   print("Directory created")
Answered By: Uday Kiran

The following code checks the referred directory in your code exists or not, if it doesn’t exist in your workplace then, it creates one:

import os

if not os.path.isdir("directory_name"):
Answered By: sksoumik

Step 1: Import the os.path module
import the os.path module before running the code.

import os.path
from os import path

Step 2: Use path.exists() function
The path.exists() method is used to find whether a file exists.


Step 3: Use os.path.isfile()
We can use the isfile command to determine whether or not a given input is a file.


step 4: Use os.path.isdir()
We can use the os.path.dir() function to determine whether or not a given input is a directory.


Here is the complete code

    import os.path
    from os import path
    def main():
       print ("File exists:"+str(path.exists('your_file.txt')))
       print ("Directory exists:" + str(path.exists('myDirectory')))
       print("Item is a file: " + str(path.isfile("your_file.txt")))
       print("Item is a directory: " + str(path.isdir("myDirectory")))
    if __name__== "__main__":

pathlibPath.exists() For Python 3.4

Pathlib Module is included in Python 3.4 and later versions to handle file system paths. Python checks if a folder exists using an object-oriented technique.

import pathlib
file = pathlib.Path("your_file.txt")
if file.exists ():
    print ("File exist")
    print ("File not exist")
  • os.path.exists() – Returns True if path or directory does exists.
  • os.path.isfile() – Returns True if path is File.
  • os.path.isdir() – Returns True if path is Directory.
  • pathlib.Path.exists() – Returns True if path or directory does exists. (In Python 3.4 and above versions)

Article refered How do I check if directory exists in Python?

Answered By: Mohammed Rashad
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