This is an experimental technology
Because this technology's specification has not stabilized, check the compatibility table for usage in various browsers. Also note that the syntax and behavior of an experimental technology is subject to change in future versions of browsers as the specification changes.

This feature is non-standard and is not on a standards track. Do not use it on production sites facing the Web: it will not work for every user. There may also be large incompatibilities between implementations and the behavior may change in the future.

The FileSystemDirectoryEntry interface's method getDirectory() returns a FileSystemDirectoryEntry object corresponding to a directory contained somewhere within the directory subtree rooted at the directory on which it's called.


FileSystemDirectoryEntry.getDirectory([path][, options][, successCallback][, errorCallback]);


path Optional
Either an absolute path or a path relative to the directory on which the method is called, describing which directory entry to return. Absolute paths may not be able to be used, for security reasons.
options Optional
An object based on the FileSystemFlags dictionary, which allows you to specify whether or not to create the entry if it's missing and if it's an error if the file already exists. These options are currently not useful in Web contexts.
successCallback Optional
A method to be called once the FileSystemDirectoryEntry has been created. The method receives a single parameter: the FileSystemDirectoryEntry object representing the directory in question.
errorCallback Optional
A method to be called if an error occurs. Receives as its sole input parameter a FileError object describing the error which occurred.

Return value



If an error occurs and an errorCallback was specified, it gets called with a single parameter: a FileError object describing the error. The {domxref("FileError.code")}} specifies what type of error occurred, as follows:

The create option was not specified (or was specified as false), and the directory doesn't exist.
The create and exclusive options were both true, indicating that the directory should be created but must not already exist, but the directory does in fact already exist.
The request to access the directory was denied for security reasons.
The path specified is not a directory; it's probably a file, but might be an unsupported file descriptor such as a pipe; this depends on the user agent to some extent.


The options parameter is an object which is based on the FileSystemFlags dictionary; it provides flags which make it possible to adjust the behavior of the getDirectory() method.

create Optional
If this property is true, and the requested file or directory doesn't exist, the user agent should create it. The default is false.
exclusive Optional
If true, and the create option is also true, the file must not exist prior to issuing the call. Instead, it must be possible for it to be created newly at call time. The default is false.

The table below describes the result of each possible combination of these flags depending on whether or not the target file or directory path already exists.

Option values File/directory condition Result
create exclusive
false n/a[1] Path exists and matches the desired type (depending on whether the function called is getFile() or getDirectory() The successCallback is called with a FileSystemFileEntry if getFile() was called or a FileSystemDirectoryEntry if getDirectory() was called.
false n/a[1] Path exists but doesn't match the desired type The errorCallback is called with an appropriate error code (if the callback was provided).
true false Path exists The existing file or directory is removed and replaced with a new one, then the successCallback is called with a FileSystemFileEntry or a FileSystemDirectoryEntry, as appropriate.
true false Path doesn't exist The file or directory is created, then a FileSystemFileEntry or a FileSystemDirectoryEntry is passed to the successCallback, as appropriate.
true true Path exists The errorCallback is called with an appropriate error, such as FileError.PATH_EXISTS_ERR.
true true Path doesn't exist The file or directory is created, then a FileSystemFileEntry or a FileSystemDirectoryEntry is passed to the successCallback, as appropriate.

[1] When create is false, the value of exclusive is irrelevant and ignored.


In this example, a function is presented whose job it is to locate within a user's app data directory a JSON file containing a user dictionary for a specified language, then load that dictionary.

let dictionary = null;

function loadDictionaryForLanguage(appDataDirEntry, lang) {
  dictionary = null;

  appDataDirEntry.getDirectory("Dictionaries", {}, function(dirEntry) {
    dirEntry.getFile(lang + "-dict.json", {}, function(fileEntry) {
      fileEntry.file(function(dictFile)) {
        let reader = new FileReader();

        reader.addEventListener("loadend", function() {
          dictionary = JSON.parse(reader.result);


The loadDictionaryForLanguage() function starts by using getDirectory() to obtain the FileSystemDirectoryEntry object representing a subfolder named "Dictionaries" located inside the specified app data directory. The success callback for this takes the resulting directory entry object and calls getFile() to get a FileSystemFileEntry object representing the dictionary file; the success callback for this, in turn, creates a new FileReader and uses it to load the contents of the file. When that is loaded successfully (as indicated by the loadend event being fired), the loaded text is passed into JSON.parse() to be reconstituted into a JavaScript object.


Specification Status Comment
File and Directory Entries API
The definition of 'getDirectory()' in that specification.
Editor's Draft Initial specification.

This API has no official W3C or WHATWG specification.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 13 webkit 50 (50) No support No support No support
Feature Android Chrome for Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support No support 0.16webkit 50.0 (50) No support No support No support

See also


© 2016 Mozilla Contributors
Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License v2.5 or later.

API File and Directory Entries API File System API Files FileSystemDirectoryEntry getDirectory Method Non-standard Non-Standard Reference