Displaying Files and Folders in a GridView

The .NET Framework provides a variety of classes in the System.IO namespace that simplifies working with the file system. Using these classes it's possible to delete files and folders, to create new files, to edit existing files, and more. These classes, combined with ASP.NET's suite of Web controls and databinding syntax, make it quite easy to present information about the files on the web server's file system to visitors to your website. With a bit of markup and code, it's possible to add a simple file browser to a web page that allows users to view the files and folders from a particular directory on the web server. Such file browsers are useful if you let users upload content to the website and need to let them view their uploaded content. If you have a folder that contains user-accessible content like images, PDF files and Word documents, a file browser offers a quick and easy way for users to see what content is available and to view content of interest.

Back in 2003 I wrote an article titled Displaying the Files in a Directory using a DataGrid that showed how to list the files of a particular folder in a DataGrid Web control. This dated article still attracts a decent amount of traffic and questions from readers, so much so that I thought it worthwhile to update the content to use the latest technology, namely ASP.NET 4 and the GridView Web control. I also added some new features, for example, the file browser now lists both files and folders, allowing users to view the files in subfolders. Also, I moved the markup and code into a User Control, which simplifies adding the file browser to an ASP.NET page. This article walks through this new, updated version; the complete, working code is available for download at the end of this article.

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About the Author

Scott Mitchell

Scott Mitchell is the Editor, founder, and primary contributor to 4GuysFromRolla.com. In addition to founding 4GuysFromRolla.com, Scott also created ASPFAQs.com and ASPMessageboard.com. He works as a freelance writer, trainer, and consultant and resides in California.