If the reason you're checking is so you can do something like if file_exists: open_it(), it's safer to use a try around the attempt to open it. Checking and then opening risks the file being deleted or moved or something between when you check and when you try to open it.

If you're not planning to open the file immediately, you can use os.path.isfile

Return True if path is an existing regular file. This follows symbolic links, so both islink() and isfile() can be true for the same path.

import os.path

if you need to be sure it's a file.

Starting with Python 3.4, the pathlib module offers an object-oriented approach (backported to pathlib2 in Python 2.7):

from pathlib import Path

my_file = Path("/path/to/file")
if my_file.is_file():
    # file exists

To check a directory, do:

if my_file.is_dir():
    # directory exists

To check whether a Path object exists independently of whether is it a file or directory, use exists():

if my_file.exists():
    # path exists

You can also use resolve(strict=True) in a try block:

    my_abs_path = my_file.resolve(strict=True)
except FileNotFoundError:
    # doesn't exist
    # exists

How to Check If a File Exists in Python


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pathlib is for python3, right? I've been using pathlib2 thinking it was superior. – theX. Jul 2 '20 at 21:26.

pathlib — Object-oriented filesystem paths — Python 3.10.1 ...


Listing Python source files in this directory tree: ... Paths of a different flavour compare unequal and cannot be ordered: ... usr/bin/env python3\n'.

how to check if a file exists Code Example


import os os.path.exists("file.txt") # Or folder, will return true or false. ... check if a path to a file exists python · python3 check file existence ...