FolderBrowserDialog in C#

A FolderBrowserDialog control is used to browse and select a folder on a computer. A typical FolderBrowserDialog looks like Figure 1 where you can see Windows Explorer like features to navigate through folders and select a folder.

Figure 1

Creating a FolderBrowserDialog

We can create a FolderBrowserDialog control using a Forms designer at design-time or using the FolderBrowserDialog class in code at run-time (also known as dynamically). Unlike other Windows Forms controls, a FolderBrowserDialog does not have and not need visual properties like others.


To create a FolderBrowserDialog control at design-time, you simply drag and drop a FolderBrowserDialog control from Toolbox to a Form in Visual Studio. After you drag and drop a FolderBrowserDialog on a Form, the FolderBrowserDialog looks like Figure 2.

Figure 2

Adding a FolderBrowserDialog to a Form adds following two lines of code.


private System.Windows.Forms.FolderBrowserDialog folderBrowserDialog1;

this.folderBrowserDialog1 = new System.Windows.Forms.FolderBrowserDialog();


Creating a FolderBrowserDialog control at run-time is merely a work of creating an instance of FolderBrowserDialog class, set its properties and add FolderBrowserDialog class to the Form controls.

First step to create a dynamic FolderBrowserDialog is to create an instance of FolderBrowserDialog class. The following code snippet creates an FolderBrowserDialog control object.

FolderBrowserDialog folderDlg = new FolderBrowserDialog();


ShowDialog method displays the FolderBrowserDialog.

DialogResult result = folderDlg.ShowDialog();


Once the ShowDialog method is called, you can browse and select a file.

FolderBrowserDialog Properties

SelectedPath property represents the selected path in a FolderBrowserDialog control.

RootFolder property represents the root folder where the browsing starts from.

ShowNewFolderButton property represents a value indicating whether the New Folder button appears in the folder browser dialog box.

The following code snippet shows how to use a FolderBrowserDialog control and its properties.

private void BrowseFolderButton_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)


    FolderBrowserDialog folderDlg = new FolderBrowserDialog();

    folderDlg.ShowNewFolderButton = true;

    // Show the FolderBrowserDialog.

    DialogResult result = folderDlg.ShowDialog();

    if (result == DialogResult.OK)


        textBox1.Text = folderDlg.SelectedPath;

        Environment.SpecialFolder root = folderDlg.RootFolder;




A FolderBrowserDialog control allows users to launch Windows Folder Browser Dialog and let users select a folder. In this article, we discussed how to use a Windows Folder Browser Dialog and set its properties in a Windows Forms application.

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