Python: Check if a File or Directory Exists

Python is a widely-used general-purpose, high-level programming language. It provides many functionalities and one among them is checking if a file or directory exists or not. This can be using an in-built os module.

OS module in Python provides functions for interacting with the operating system. OS comes under Python’s standard utility modules. This module provides a portable way of using operating system dependent functionality. os.path module is submodule of OS module in Python used for common path name manipulation.

Check if file exists

os.path.isfile() method in Python is used to check whether the specified path is an existing regular file or not.



Note: os.path.isfile() does follow symlinks.

Syntax: os.path.isfile(path)

Parameter:
path: A path-like object representing a file system path. A path-like object is either a string or bytes object representing a path.

Return Type: This method returns a Boolean value of class bool. This method returns True if the specified path is an existing regular file, otherwise returns False.

Example:

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# Python program to explain os.path.isfile() method  
      
# importing os module  
import os 
    
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/test_nikhil.txt'
    
# Check whether the  
# specified path is  
# an existing file 
isFile = os.path.isfile(path) 
print(isFile)
    
    
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/'
    
# Check whether the  
# specified path is  
# an existing file 
isFile = os.path.isfile(path) 
print(isFile) 

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Output:

True
False

Check if a directory exists

os.path.isdir() method in Python is used to check whether the specified path is an existing directory or not. This method follows symbolic link, that means if the specified path is a symbolic link pointing to a directory then the method will return True.

Syntax: os.path.isdir(path)

Parameter:
path: A path-like object representing a file system path.

Return Type: This method returns a Boolean value of class bool. This method returns True if specified path is an existing directory, otherwise returns False.


Example #1: Use of os.path.isdir() method.

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# Python program to explain os.path.isdir() method  
      
# importing os.path module  
import os.path 
    
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/test_nikhil.txt'
    
# Check whether the  
# specified path is an 
# existing directory or not 
isdir = os.path.isdir(path) 
print(isdir) 
    
    
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/'
    
# Check whether the  
# specified path is an 
# existing directory or not 
isdir = os.path.isdir(path) 
print(isdir) 

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Output:

False 
True

Example #2: If the specified path is a symbolic link.

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# Python program to explain os.path.isdir() method  
      
# importing os.path module  
import os.path 
    
    
# Create a directory 
# (in current working directory) 
dirname = "GeeksForGeeks"
os.mkdir(dirname) 
    
# Create a symbolic link 
# pointing to above directory 
symlink_path = "D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/"
os.symlink(dirname, symlink_path) 
    
    
path = dirname 
    
# Now, Check whether the  
# specified path is an 
# existing directory or not 
isdir = os.path.isdir(path) 
print(isdir) 
    
path = symlink_path 
    
# Check whether the  
# specified path (which is a 
# symbolic link ) is an 
# existing directory or not 
isdir = os.path.isdir(path) 
print(isdir) 

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Output:

True
True

Check if either file or directory exists

os.path.exists() method in Python is used to check whether the specified path exists or not. This method can be also used to check whether the given path refers to an open file descriptor or not. It is used as long as you don’t care if the file points to a file or directory.

Syntax: os.path.exists(path)

Parameter:
path: A path-like object representing a file system path. A path-like object is either a string or bytes object representing a path.

Return Type: This method returns a Boolean value of class bool. This method returns True if path exists otherwise returns False.

Example:

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# Python program to explain os.path.exists() method  
       
# importing os module  
import os 
     
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/test_nikhil.txt'
     
# Check whether the  
# specified path is  
# an existing file 
isExist = os.path.exists(path) 
print(isExist)
     
     
# Path 
path = 'D:/Pycharm projects/GeeksforGeeks/Nikhil/'
     
# Check whether the  
# specified path is  
# an existing file 
isExist = os.path.exists(path) 
print(isExist) 

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Output:

True
True

Note: os.path.exists() function may return False, if permission is not granted to execute os.stat() on the requested file, even if the path exists.



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