Chris's coding blog

6 ways to get the current directory in C#

August 17, 2010

Small update: added the dotnet core way of doing things (Directory.GetCurrentDirectory())


This is the prefered replacement for AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory in .net core beta (at least until the API appears for AppDomain, if it ever will).


This is the best option all round. It will give you the base directory for class libraries, including those in ASP.NET applications.


Note: in .NET Core this is the current best practice. The details below relate to the .NET Framework 4.5 and below.

This does an interop call using the winapi GetCurrentDirectory call inside kernel32.dll, which means the launching process’ folder will often be returned. Also as the MSDN documents say, it’s not guaranteed to work on mobile devices.


This simply calls Directory.GetCurrentDirectory()


This would be called using


This returns the full path to the calling assembly, including the assembly name itself. If you are calling a separate class library, then its base directory will be returned, such “C:\myassembly.dll” - depending obviously on which Assembly instance is being used.


This is inside the System.Windows.Forms namespace, so is typically used in window forms application only.


The same as Application.StartupPath, however this also includes the application name, such as “myapp.exe”


I'm Chris Small, a software engineer working in London. This is my tech blog. Find out more about me via GithubStackoverflowResume