GetFileAttributesExW function (fileapi.h)

Retrieves attributes for a specified file or directory.

To perform this operation as a transacted operation, use the GetFileAttributesTransacted function.


BOOL GetFileAttributesExW(
  [in]  LPCWSTR                lpFileName,
  [in]  GET_FILEEX_INFO_LEVELS fInfoLevelId,
  [out] LPVOID                 lpFileInformation


[in] lpFileName

The name of the file or directory.

By default, the name is limited to MAX_PATH characters. To extend this limit to 32,767 wide characters, prepend "\\?\" to the path. For more information, see Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces.


Starting with Windows 10, Version 1607, you can opt-in to remove the MAX_PATH limitation without prepending "\\?\". See the "Maximum Path Length Limitation" section of Naming Files, Paths, and Namespaces for details.

[in] fInfoLevelId

A class of attribute information to retrieve.

This parameter can be the following value from the GET_FILEEX_INFO_LEVELS enumeration.

Value Meaning
The lpFileInformation parameter is a WIN32_FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DATA structure.

[out] lpFileInformation

A pointer to a buffer that receives the attribute information.

The type of attribute information that is stored into this buffer is determined by the value of fInfoLevelId.

Return value

If the function succeeds, the return value is a nonzero value.

If the function fails, the return value is zero (0). To get extended error information, call GetLastError.


The GetFileAttributes function retrieves file system attribute information. GetFileAttributesEx can obtain other sets of file or directory attribute information. Currently, GetFileAttributesEx retrieves a set of standard attributes that is a superset of the file system attribute information.

When the GetFileAttributesEx function is called on a directory that is a mounted folder, it returns the attributes of the directory, not those of the root directory in the volume that the mounted folder associates with the directory. To obtain the attributes of the associated volume, call GetVolumeNameForVolumeMountPoint to obtain the name of the associated volume. Then use the resulting name in a call to GetFileAttributesEx. The results are the attributes of the root directory on the associated volume.

In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, this function is supported by the following technologies.

Technology Supported
Server Message Block (SMB) 3.0 protocol Yes
SMB 3.0 Transparent Failover (TFO) Yes
SMB 3.0 with Scale-out File Shares (SO) Yes
Cluster Shared Volume File System (CsvFS) Yes
Resilient File System (ReFS) Yes

Symbolic link behavior—If the path points to a symbolic link, the function returns attributes for the symbolic link.

Transacted Operations

If a file is open for modification in a transaction, no other thread can open the file for modification until the transaction is committed. So if a transacted thread opens the file first, any subsequent threads that try modifying the file before the transaction is committed receives a sharing violation. If a non-transacted thread modifies the file before the transacted thread does, and the file is still open when the transaction attempts to open it, the transaction receives the error ERROR_TRANSACTIONAL_CONFLICT.


The fileapi.h header defines GetFileAttributesEx 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 XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Minimum supported server Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]
Target Platform Windows
Header fileapi.h (include Windows.h)
Library Kernel32.lib
DLL Kernel32.dll

See also

File Attribute Constants

File Management Functions




Symbolic Links