How can I get the application's path in a .NET console application?

2009-05-08 c# .net console console-application

How do I find the application's path in a console application?

In Windows Forms, I can use Application.StartupPath to find the current path, but this doesn't seem to be available in a console application.



Combine that with System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName if all you want is the directory.

1As per Mr.Mindor's comment:
System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location returns where the executing assembly is currently located, which may or may not be where the assembly is located when not executing. In the case of shadow copying assemblies, you will get a path in a temp directory. System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase will return the 'permanent' path of the assembly.

You may be looking to do this:


You can use the following code to get the current application directory.


Probably a bit late but this is worth a mention:


Or more correctly to get just the directory path:



Quite a few people have pointed out that GetCommandLineArgs is not guaranteed to return the program name. See The first word on the command line is the program name only by convention. The article does state that "Although extremely few Windows programs use this quirk (I am not aware of any myself)". So it is possible to 'spoof' GetCommandLineArgs, but we are talking about a console application. Console apps are usually quick and dirty. So this fits in with my KISS philosophy.

For anyone interested in web apps. Here are my results of 3 different methods

protected void Application_Start(object sender, EventArgs e)
  string p1 = System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location);
  string p2 = System.Web.Hosting.HostingEnvironment.ApplicationPhysicalPath;
  string p3 = this.Server.MapPath("");
  Console.WriteLine("p1 = " + p1);
  Console.WriteLine("p2 = " + p2);
  Console.WriteLine("p3 = " + p3);


p1 = C:\Windows\Microsoft.NET\Framework64\v4.0.30319\Temporary ASP.NET Files\root\a897dd66\ec73ff95\assembly\dl3\ff65202d\29daade3_5e84cc01
p2 = C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging\
p3 = C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging

the app is physically running from "C:\inetpub\SBSPortal_staging", so the first solution is definitely not appropriate for web apps.

You have two options for finding the directory of the application, which you choose will depend on your purpose.

// to get the location the assembly is executing from
//(not necessarily where the it normally resides on disk)
// in the case of the using shadow copies, for instance in NUnit tests, 
// this will be in a temp directory.
string path = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location;

//To get the location the assembly normally resides on disk or the install directory
string path = System.Reflection.Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().CodeBase;

//once you have the path you get the directory with:
var directory = System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName(path);

Assembly.GetEntryAssembly().Location or Assembly.GetExecutingAssembly().Location

Use in combination with System.IO.Path.GetDirectoryName() to get only the directory.

The paths from GetEntryAssembly() and GetExecutingAssembly() can be different, even though for most cases the directory will be the same.

With GetEntryAssembly() you have to be aware that this can return null if the entry module is unmanaged (ie C++ or VB6 executable). In those cases it is possible to use GetModuleFileName from the Win32 API:

[DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Auto)]
public static extern int GetModuleFileName(HandleRef hModule, StringBuilder buffer, int length);

The answer above was 90% of what I needed, but returned a Uri instead of a regular path for me.

As explained in the MSDN forums post, How to convert URI path to normal filepath?, I used the following:

// Get normal filepath of this assembly's permanent directory
var path = new Uri(

You can create a folder name as Resources within the project using Solution Explorer,then you can paste a file within the Resources.

private void Form1_Load(object sender, EventArgs e) {
    string appName = Environment.CurrentDirectory;
    int l = appName.Length;
    int h = appName.LastIndexOf("bin");
    string ll = appName.Remove(h);                
    string g = ll + "Resources\\sample.txt";

you can use this one instead.


I use this if the exe is supposed to be called by double clicking it

var thisPath = System.IO.Directory.GetCurrentDirectory();

I have used


when I want to find a path relative to an applications folder. This works for both ASP.Net and winform applications. It also does not require any reference to System.Web assemblies.

For Console Applications, you can try this:


Output (on my local machine):

c:\users\xxxxxxx\documents\visual studio 2012\Projects\ImageHandler\GetDir\bin\Debug

Or you can try (there's an additional backslash in the end):



c:\users\xxxxxxx\documents\visual studio 2012\Projects\ImageHandler\GetDir\bin\Debug\


Will resolve the issue to refer the 3rd party reference files with installation packages.

I mean, why not a p/invoke method?

    using System;
    using System.IO;
    using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
    using System.Text;
    public class AppInfo
            [DllImport("kernel32.dll", CharSet = CharSet.Auto, ExactSpelling = false)]
            private static extern int GetModuleFileName(HandleRef hModule, StringBuilder buffer, int length);
            private static HandleRef NullHandleRef = new HandleRef(null, IntPtr.Zero);
            public static string StartupPath
                    StringBuilder stringBuilder = new StringBuilder(260);
                    GetModuleFileName(NullHandleRef, stringBuilder, stringBuilder.Capacity);
                    return Path.GetDirectoryName(stringBuilder.ToString());

You would use it just like the Application.StartupPath:

    Console.WriteLine("The path to this executable is: " + AppInfo.StartupPath + "\\" + System.Diagnostics.Process.GetCurrentProcess().ProcessName + ".exe");



works for me (Application Type: Class Library). Not sure about C#... Returns the path w/o Filename as string

Here is a reliable solution that works with 32bit and 64bit applications.

Add these references:

using System.Diagnostics;

using System.Management;

Add this method to your project:

public static string GetProcessPath(int processId)
    string MethodResult = "";
        string Query = "SELECT ExecutablePath FROM Win32_Process WHERE ProcessId = " + processId;

        using (ManagementObjectSearcher mos = new ManagementObjectSearcher(Query))
            using (ManagementObjectCollection moc = mos.Get())
                string ExecutablePath = (from mo in moc.Cast<ManagementObject>() select mo["ExecutablePath"]).First().ToString();

                MethodResult = ExecutablePath;



    catch //(Exception ex)
    return MethodResult;

Now use it like so:

int RootProcessId = Process.GetCurrentProcess().Id;


Notice that if you know the id of the process, then this method will return the corresponding ExecutePath.

Extra, for those interested:


...will give you an array of all the currently running processes, and...


...will give you the current process, along with their information e.g. Id, etc. and also limited control e.g. Kill, etc.*

You can simply add to your project references System.Windows.Forms and then use the System.Windows.Forms.Application.StartupPath as usual .

So, not need for more complicated methods or using the reflection.

I have used this code and get the solution.


None of these methods work in special cases like using a symbolic link to the exe, they will return the location of the link not the actual exe.

So can use QueryFullProcessImageName to get around that:

using System;
using System.IO;
using System.Runtime.InteropServices;
using System.Text;
using System.Diagnostics;

internal static class NativeMethods
    [DllImport("kernel32.dll", SetLastError = true)]
    internal static extern bool QueryFullProcessImageName([In]IntPtr hProcess, [In]int dwFlags, [Out]StringBuilder lpExeName, ref int lpdwSize);

    [DllImport("kernel32.dll", SetLastError = true)]
    internal static extern IntPtr OpenProcess(
        UInt32 dwDesiredAccess,
        Boolean bInheritHandle,
        Int32 dwProcessId

public static class utils

    private const UInt32 PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION = 0x400;
    private const UInt32 PROCESS_VM_READ = 0x010;

    public static string getfolder()
        Int32 pid = Process.GetCurrentProcess().Id;
        int capacity = 2000;
        StringBuilder sb = new StringBuilder(capacity);
        IntPtr proc;

        if ((proc = NativeMethods.OpenProcess(PROCESS_QUERY_INFORMATION | PROCESS_VM_READ, false, pid)) == IntPtr.Zero)
            return "";

        NativeMethods.QueryFullProcessImageName(proc, 0, sb, ref capacity);

        string fullPath = sb.ToString(0, capacity);

        return Path.GetDirectoryName(fullPath) + @"\";

Try this simple line of code:

 string exePath = Path.GetDirectoryName( Application.ExecutablePath);

If you are looking for a .NET Core compatible way, use


This was introduced in .NET Framework 4.6 and .NET Core 1.0 (and .NET Standard 1.3). See: AppContext.BaseDirectory Property.

According to this page,

This is the prefered replacement for AppDomain.CurrentDomain.BaseDirectory in .NET Core

I didn't see anyone convert the LocalPath provided by .Net Core reflection into a usable System.IO path so here's my version.

public static string GetApplicationRoot()
   var exePath = new Uri(System.Reflection.

   return new FileInfo(exePath).DirectoryName;


This will return the full "C:\xxx\xxx" formatted path to where your code is.

Following line will give you an application path:

var applicationPath = Path.GetDirectoryName(Process.GetCurrentProcess().MainModule.FileName)

Above solution is working properly in the following situations:

  • simple app
  • in another domain where Assembly.GetEntryAssembly() would return null
  • DLL is loaded from Embedded resources as a byte array and loaded to AppDomain as Assembly.Load(byteArrayOfEmbeddedDll)
  • with Mono's mkbundle bundles (no other methods work)

There are many ways to get executable path, which one we should use it depends on our needs here is a link which discuss different methods.

Different ways to get Application Executable Path

Another solution is using relative paths pointing to the current path: