How do I check whether a file exists without exceptions

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How do I check if a file exists or not, without using the try statement?

Dec 16, 2020 in Python by Rajiv
• 8,880 points
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1 answer to this question.

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 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 the 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
os.path.isfile(fname) 

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:

try:
    my_abs_path = my_file.resolve(strict=True)
except FileNotFoundError:
    # doesn't exist
else:
    # exists
answered Dec 16, 2020 by Gitika
• 65,870 points

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