ReadDirectoryChangesW function (winbase.h)
Retrieves information that describes the changes within the specified directory. The function does not report changes to the specified directory itself.
To track changes on a volume, see change journals.
BOOL ReadDirectoryChangesW( [in] HANDLE hDirectory, [out] LPVOID lpBuffer, [in] DWORD nBufferLength, [in] BOOL bWatchSubtree, [in] DWORD dwNotifyFilter, [out, optional] LPDWORD lpBytesReturned, [in, out, optional] LPOVERLAPPED lpOverlapped, [in, optional] LPOVERLAPPED_COMPLETION_ROUTINE lpCompletionRoutine );
A handle to the directory to be monitored. This directory must be opened with the FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY access right, or an access right such as GENERIC_READ that includes the FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY access right.
A pointer to the DWORD-aligned formatted buffer in which the read results are to be returned. The structure of this buffer is defined by the FILE_NOTIFY_INFORMATION structure. This buffer is filled either synchronously or asynchronously, depending on how the directory is opened and what value is given to the lpOverlapped parameter. For more information, see the Remarks section.
The size of the buffer that is pointed to by the lpBuffer parameter, in bytes.
If this parameter is TRUE, the function monitors the directory tree rooted at the specified directory. If this parameter is FALSE, the function monitors only the directory specified by the hDirectory parameter.
The filter criteria that the function checks to determine if the wait operation has completed. This parameter can be one or more of the following values.
[out, optional] lpBytesReturned
For synchronous calls, this parameter receives the number of bytes transferred into the lpBuffer parameter. For asynchronous calls, this parameter is undefined. You must use an asynchronous notification technique to retrieve the number of bytes transferred.
[in, out, optional] lpOverlapped
A pointer to an OVERLAPPED structure that supplies data to be used during asynchronous operation. Otherwise, this value is NULL. The Offset and OffsetHigh members of this structure are not used.
[in, optional] lpCompletionRoutine
A pointer to a completion routine to be called when the operation has been completed or canceled and the calling thread is in an alertable wait state. For more information about this completion routine, see FileIOCompletionRoutine.
If the function succeeds, the return value is nonzero. For synchronous calls, this means that the operation succeeded. For asynchronous calls, this indicates that the operation was successfully queued.
If the function fails, the return value is zero. To get extended error information, call GetLastError.
If the network redirector or the target file system does not support this operation, the function fails with ERROR_INVALID_FUNCTION.
To obtain a handle to a directory, use the CreateFile function with the FILE_FLAG_BACKUP_SEMANTICS flag.
A call to ReadDirectoryChangesW can be completed synchronously or asynchronously. To specify asynchronous completion, open the directory with CreateFile as shown above, but additionally specify the FILE_FLAG_OVERLAPPED attribute in the dwFlagsAndAttributes parameter. Then specify an OVERLAPPED structure when you call ReadDirectoryChangesW.
When you first call ReadDirectoryChangesW, the system allocates a buffer to store change information. This buffer is associated with the directory handle until it is closed and its size does not change during its lifetime. Directory changes that occur between calls to this function are added to the buffer and then returned with the next call. If the buffer overflows, ReadDirectoryChangesW will still return true, but the entire contents of the buffer are discarded and the lpBytesReturned parameter will be zero, which indicates that your buffer was too small to hold all of the changes that occurred.
Upon successful synchronous completion, the lpBuffer parameter is a formatted buffer and the number of bytes written to the buffer is available in lpBytesReturned. If the number of bytes transferred is zero, the buffer was either too large for the system to allocate or too small to provide detailed information on all the changes that occurred in the directory or subtree. In this case, you should compute the changes by enumerating the directory or subtree.
For asynchronous completion, you can receive notification in one of three ways:
- Using the GetOverlappedResult function. To receive notification through GetOverlappedResult, do not specify a completion routine in the lpCompletionRoutine parameter. Be sure to set the hEvent member of the OVERLAPPED structure to a unique event.
- Using the GetQueuedCompletionStatus function. To receive notification through GetQueuedCompletionStatus, do not specify a completion routine in lpCompletionRoutine. Associate the directory handle hDirectory with a completion port by calling the CreateIoCompletionPort function.
- Using a completion routine. To receive notification through a completion routine, do not associate the directory with a completion port. Specify a completion routine in lpCompletionRoutine. This routine is called whenever the operation has been completed or canceled while the thread is in an alertable wait state. The hEvent member of the OVERLAPPED structure is not used by the system, so you can use it yourself.
ReadDirectoryChangesW fails with ERROR_INVALID_PARAMETER when the buffer length is greater than 64 KB and the application is monitoring a directory over the network. This is due to a packet size limitation with the underlying file sharing protocols.
ReadDirectoryChangesW fails with ERROR_NOACCESS when the buffer is not aligned on a DWORD boundary.
ReadDirectoryChangesW fails with ERROR_NOTIFY_ENUM_DIR when the system was unable to record all the changes to the directory. In this case, you should compute the changes by enumerating the directory or subtree.
If you opened the file using the short name, you can receive change notifications for the short name.
In Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012, this function is supported by the following technologies.
|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|
Transacted OperationsIf there is a transaction bound to the directory handle, then the notifications follow the appropriate transaction isolation rules.
|Minimum supported client||Windows XP [desktop apps | UWP apps]|
|Minimum supported server||Windows Server 2003 [desktop apps | UWP apps]|
|Header||winbase.h (include Windows.h)|
Directory Management Functions