This step-by-step article demonstrates how to use the FileSystemObject class to recursively search directories
and to find specific files.
Information About the FileSystemObject Class
The FileSystemObject class is located in the Microsoft Scripting Runtime (Scrrun.dll). To obtain the Scrrun.dll file, install any of the following packages:
Microsoft Windows Script Host
Microsoft Windows NT Option Pack
Microsoft Internet Information Server 3.0
Scripting 3.1 upgrade
Microsoft Visual Studio 98
Microsoft Visual Basic 6.0
The FileSystemObject class provides better performance than if you use Visual Basic intrinsic functions such as Dir and GetAttr. Additionally, FileSystemObject is much simpler to
implement that the Visual Basic intrinsic functions.
Build the Sample
Create a new Standard EXE project in Visual Basic. By default, Form1 is created.
On the Project menu, click References, and then add a reference to the Microsoft Scripting Runtime. If this option is not listed, locate the Scrrun.dll file on your system. If you have to, install one of the tools that is listed in the Information About the FileSystemObject Class section.
Add a CommandButton, a Label, and a ListBox control to Form1. Adjust the width of the Label control so that it is the same as the width of the form.
Add the following code in the General Declarations section of Form1:
Dim fso As New FileSystemObject
Dim fld As Folder
Private Sub Command1_Click()
Dim nDirs As Long, nFiles As Long, lSize As Currency
Dim sDir As String, sSrchString As String
sDir = InputBox("Type the directory that you want to search for", _
"FileSystemObjects example", "C:\")
sSrchString = InputBox("Type the file name that you want to search for", _
"FileSystemObjects example", "vb.ini")
MousePointer = vbHourglass
Label1.Caption = "Searching " & vbCrLf & UCase(sDir) & "..."
lSize = FindFile(sDir, sSrchString, nDirs, nFiles)
MousePointer = vbDefault
MsgBox Str(nFiles) & " files found in" & Str(nDirs) & _
" directories", vbInformation
MsgBox "Total Size = " & lSize & " bytes"
Private Function FindFile(ByVal sFol As String, sFile As String, _
nDirs As Long, nFiles As Long) As Currency
Dim tFld As Folder, tFil As File, FileName As String
On Error GoTo Catch
Set fld = fso.GetFolder(sFol)
FileName = Dir(fso.BuildPath(fld.Path, sFile), vbNormal Or _
vbHidden Or vbSystem Or vbReadOnly)
While Len(FileName) <> 0
FindFile = FindFile + FileLen(fso.BuildPath(fld.Path, _
nFiles = nFiles + 1
List1.AddItem fso.BuildPath(fld.Path, FileName) ' Load ListBox
FileName = Dir() ' Get next file
Label1 = "Searching " & vbCrLf & fld.Path & "..."
nDirs = nDirs + 1
If fld.SubFolders.Count > 0 Then
For Each tFld In fld.SubFolders
FindFile = FindFile + FindFile(tFld.Path, sFile, nDirs, nFiles)
Catch: FileName = ""
Run the project, and then click Command1.
Type the directory and the file name to search for. Notice that when each file is found, the file name is added to the list box. When the process is complete, the number of files that are found is displayed in a message box. The total size of the files is also displayed.
Some files and directories, such as System Volume Information on Microsoft Windows XP, cause an access violation if an application tries to access them. The error handling code stops looking in a directory when a problem occurs. You must use a different approach if you must have a more robust workaround.
If you use a file filter (such as *.*), a large number of files may be returned. The ListBox control can only contain a limited number of characters. When that limit is reached, no more entries are added to the list box.
This code sample was tested by using version 126.96.36.19926 of the Microsoft Scripting Runtime (Scrrun.dll). If problems occur, you may have to download a newer version of this file.