Iterate over files in a directory in Python

Google Translate Icon

This post will discuss how to iterate over files in a directory in Python.

1. Using os.listdir() function

A simple solution to iterate over files in a directory is using the os.listdir() function. It returns the list of files and subdirectories present in the specified directory. To get only the files, you can filter the list with the os.path.isfile() function:

Download Code

To get files of a specific extension, say .txt, you can add a condition to check for file extension.

Download Code

2. Using os.scandir() function

Starting with Python 3.5, consider using the os.scandir() function when you need file type or file attribute information. It returns directory entries and file attribute information, giving significantly better performance over os.listdir().

Download Code

3. Using pathlib module

With Python 3.4, you can also use the pathlib module. To iterate over files in a directory, use the Path.glob(pattern) function, which glob the given relative pattern in the specified directory and yield the matching files.

The following example shows how to filter and display text files present in a directory.

Download Code

Alternatively, you can use the Path.iterdir() function, which yields path objects of the directory contents. To get file extension of the file, use the suffix property:

Download Code

4. Using os.walk() function

If you need to search for subdirectories as well, consider using the os.walk() function. It yields a 3-tuple (dirpath, dirnames, filenames) for everything reachable from the specified directory, where dirpath is the path to the directory, dirnames is a list of the names of the subdirectories in dirpath, and filenames is a list of the names of the non-directory files in dirpath.

Download Code

As of Python 3.5, os.walk() calls os.scandir() instead of os.listdir(), hence making it faster by reducing the total number of calls to os.stat().

5. Using glob module

Finally, you can use the glob.iglob function, which returns an iterator over the list of pathnames that match the specified pattern.

Download Code

Python version 3.5 extended support for recursive globs using ** that allows you to search subdirectories and symbolic links to directories.

Download Code

That’s all about iterating over files in a directory in Python.

Rate this post

Average rating 5/5. Vote count: 29

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Thanks for reading.

Please use our online compiler to post code in comments using C, C++, Java, Python, JavaScript, C#, PHP, and many more popular programming languages.

Like us? Refer us to your friends and help us grow. Happy coding :)

Notify of
Most Voted
Newest Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!