Stay in touch!

Never miss out on the latest articles and get sneak peeks of our favorite classes.

How To List Files in Directory Python


In this article, you’ll learn how to list files in directory Python. Python was invented by Guido van Rossum in 1991. It’s a high-level type of programming language that has since become one of the most popular programming languages in the world. It’s an easy one to learn, making it great for a beginner programmer to know before moving on to other programming languages. 


When working with Python programming, you can create a directory to make locating files more accessible than ever. Using a directory is vital to staying organized and one of the first things you learn when dealing with Python.


If you’ve been thinking about learning how to work with Python or create a directory to list files, we’re here to help. 

What is Directory Python?

Created by Guido van Rossum, the directory Python is a great way to organize data and keep files relating to a specific topic or company in one safe place. Since Python is a programming language, it’s a way of coding a directory according to a particular language that allows a computer system to categorize the files listed in the directory. 


There’s a lot to learn when it comes to working with Python, so this beginner’s course on Python is highly beneficial for those interested in learning the basics of the program. 

Does a Directory Exist in Python?

Directories don’t always exist in Python. They can, but it depends, and you’ll need to check to see if there is one. Directories listed in Python can only happen when someone creates them on a computer via the coding language. 

quotation marks

Directories listed in Python can only happen when someone creates them on a computer via the coding language.

How Do You Check for a Directory in Python?

If you need to check for a directory in Python, you’ll need to use the isdir() function. Performing this function will pull up any directories in the section you’re looking for. 

What is Python Used For?

Python is generally used for storing and manipulating various files on a computer system. It’s often used in data and computer science industries to keep files of all kinds organized and keep important information from being accessible to people it shouldn’t be. 

list files in directory python

How To List Files in Directory Python

Here’s how you can list files in the directory Python in five easy steps: 


  • Step One: Open your database
  • Step Two: Use the ‘os’ module 
  • Step Three: Enter the field using the os.listdir()’ function
  • Step Four: Repeat step three 
  • Step Five: Check that the files are in the directory


You May Also Like: Python Tutor: How a Python Tutor Can Help You Learn Python Programming 

Steps Breakdown

Many people think listing files in Python is complicated. It can be if you don’t follow the proper steps. Here’s a breakdown of how to list files in a directory in Python. 

Step One

Before you can start entering the files you want to include in a directory, you need to open the database where you’ll enter the files in Python. 

Step Two

There are a few ways to list files in Python, but using the ‘os’ function is the easiest and often fastest method. You’ll want to use “/path/to/directory” and replace those words with the path you want the files to take within the directory. 


Be sure you know what files you want to have in your specified directory so that you’re not accidentally placing a file in the wrong directory and have to correct your error later. 

Step Three

Use the ‘os.listdir()’ to insert each file, one by one, into the directory of your choosing. You’ll also choose a path that they’ll follow here. You should choose an absolute or relative path. 

Step Four

You’ll need to repeat step three as many times as you need to ensure you get all the files you want in one directory within the specified directory. 

Step Five

Once you’ve added all the files you want to a directory via Python, you’ll want to double-check that the guide has listed all the files. You can do this by using the function’ os.listdir(directory)’ within the directory to see a complete list of all files in the directory. 


If you see that you missed a file or two, you can repeat the above steps until the problem is solved. Be sure to re-check the directory to ensure that those files you initially missed have made it to the correct directory. 


You May Also Like: Must-Have Data Analysis Tools 

list files in directory python

Tips To Successfully List Files in Directory Python

While listing files in a directory using Python isn’t overly complicated, we wanted to mention some tips to help ensure you do so successfully. Here are our main tips: 


  • Use the ‘os’ module: Even though there are three other options to enter files into a directory, this module is the most straightforward one to learn and use. 
  • Filter directories: You’ll want to use the ‘os.listdir()’ method to return files and directories. You can use this to see only the files rather than all the directories within Python. You can do this by using ‘os.path.isfile()’.
  • Use relative or absolute paths: You’ll want to use relative or absolute paths as you choose the directory path. A relative path specifies the path relative to the current directory, while an absolute path shows the full path within the directory on the file system. 


Address any errors: When entering files into a directory in Python, mistakes can happen. It’s completely normal, but you’ll want to fix these as you see them to ensure that you don’t list files in the wrong places or list the incorrect files within the directory.


Python is a beginner-friendly yet famous programming language. You can use it to code on a computer and store files within a directory. All you need to do to list fields in a directory with Python is to know the ‘os’ function and upload all the tiles you need. 

Related Articles

Share this article
Back to top