_splitpath, _wsplitpath

Break a path name into components. More secure versions of these functions are available, see _splitpath_s, _wsplitpath_s.

void _splitpath(
   const char *path,
   char *drive,
   char *dir,
   char *fname,
   char *ext 
void _wsplitpath(
   const wchar_t *path,
   wchar_t *drive,
   wchar_t *dir,
   wchar_t *fname,
   wchar_t *ext 


  • path
    Full path.

  • drive
    Drive letter, followed by a colon (:). You can pass NULL for this parameter if you do not need the drive letter.

  • dir
    Directory path, including trailing slash. Forward slashes ( / ), backslashes ( \ ), or both may be used. You can pass NULL for this parameter if you do not need the directory path.

  • fname
    Base filename (no extension). You can pass NULL for this parameter if you do not need the filename.

  • ext
    Filename extension, including leading period (.). You can pass NULL for this parameter if you do not need the filename extension.


The _splitpath function breaks a path into its four components. _splitpath automatically handles multibyte-character string arguments as appropriate, recognizing multibyte-character sequences according to the multibyte code page currently in use. _wsplitpath is a wide-character version of _splitpath; the arguments to _wsplitpath are wide-character strings. These functions behave identically otherwise.

Security Note    These functions incur a potential threat brought about by a buffer overrun problem. Buffer overrun problems are a frequent method of system attack, resulting in an unwarranted elevation of privilege. For more information, see Avoiding Buffer Overruns. More secure versions of these functions are available; see _splitpath_s, _wsplitpath_s.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine

_UNICODE & _MBCS not defined

_MBCS defined

_UNICODE defined





Each component of the full path is stored in a separate buffer; the manifest constants _MAX_DRIVE, _MAX_DIR, _MAX_FNAME, and _MAX_EXT (defined in STDLIB.H) specify the maximum size for each file component. File components that are larger than the corresponding manifest constants cause heap corruption.

Each buffer must be as large as its corresponding manifest constant to avoid potential buffer overrun.

The following table lists the values of the manifest constants.











If the full path does not contain a component (for example, a filename), _splitpath assigns empty strings to the corresponding buffers.

You can pass NULL to _splitpath for any parameter other than path that you do not need.

If path is NULL, the invalid parameter handler is invoked, as described in Parameter Validation. If execution is allowed to continue, errno is set to EINVAL and the function returns EINVAL.



Required header




<stdlib.h> or <wchar.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility in the Introduction.


See the example for _makepath.

.NET Framework Equivalent

Not applicable. To call the standard C function, use PInvoke. For more information, see Platform Invoke Examples.

See Also


File Handling

_fullpath, _wfullpath


_makepath, _wmakepath


_splitpath_s, _wsplitpath_s