GetOpenFileNameA function (commdlg.h)

[Starting with Windows Vista, the Open and Save As common dialog boxes have been superseded by the Common Item Dialog. We recommended that you use the Common Item Dialog API instead of these dialog boxes from the Common Dialog Box Library.]

Creates an Open dialog box that lets the user specify the drive, directory, and the name of a file or set of files to be opened.


BOOL GetOpenFileNameA(
  [in, out] LPOPENFILENAMEA unnamedParam1


[in, out] unnamedParam1


A pointer to an OPENFILENAME structure that contains information used to initialize the dialog box. When GetOpenFileName returns, this structure contains information about the user's file selection.

Return value

Type: BOOL

If the user specifies a file name and clicks the OK button, the return value is nonzero. The buffer pointed to by the lpstrFile member of the OPENFILENAME structure contains the full path and file name specified by the user.

If the user cancels or closes the Open dialog box or an error occurs, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call the CommDlgExtendedError function, which can return one of the following values.


The Explorer-style Open dialog box provides user-interface features that are similar to the Windows Explorer. You can provide an OFNHookProc hook procedure for an Explorer-style Open dialog box. To enable the hook procedure, set the OFN_EXPLORER and OFN_ENABLEHOOK flags in the Flags member of the OPENFILENAME structure and specify the address of the hook procedure in the lpfnHook member.

Windows continues to support the old-style Open dialog box for applications that want to maintain a user-interface consistent with the old-style user-interface. To display the old-style Open dialog box, enable an OFNHookProcOldStyle hook procedure and ensure that the OFN_EXPLORER flag is not set.

To display a dialog box that allows the user to select a directory instead of a file, call the SHBrowseForFolder function.

Note, when selecting multiple files, the total character limit for the file names depends on the version of the function.

  • ANSI: 32k limit
  • Unicode: no restriction


For an example, see Opening a File.


The commdlg.h header defines GetOpenFileName as an alias which automatically selects the ANSI or Unicode version of this function based on the definition of the UNICODE preprocessor constant. Mixing usage of the encoding-neutral alias with code that not encoding-neutral can lead to mismatches that result in compilation or runtime errors. For more information, see Conventions for Function Prototypes.


Requirement Value
Minimum supported client Windows 2000 Professional [desktop apps only]
Minimum supported server Windows 2000 Server [desktop apps only]
Target Platform Windows
Header commdlg.h (include Windows.h)
Library Comdlg32.lib
DLL Comdlg32.dll
API set ext-ms-win-shell-comdlg32-l1-1-1 (introduced in Windows 10, version 10.0.14393)

See also


Common Dialog Box Library






Other Resources