Python Check if File exists: How to Check if a Directory exists?

python check

Directory creation is a common task for programmers. It is a file system structure that aids operating systems and software applications in storing files in an organized manner. For instance, you might require to create a directory to store files or place some new files in an existing directory.

Python is a popular, general-purpose, interactive, object-oriented, high-level programming language. It has few keywords, a simple structure, and a clearly defined syntax. It is an industry-oriented programming language that is portable, scaleable, and cross-platform friendly.

When working with files in Python, it is essential to know the location of the particular file before you perform any action, such as opening, reading, or writing to that file. If the file does not exist and you try to perform the file actions, you will encounter bugs, and the program code will fail.

Therefore, checking whether the Python file exists on the specified path is always better to prevent crashing your program. You can also go in-depth on various functions in Python, check if File exists, and access those files.

Python has garnered a high demand in the past few years, and major companies are looking for skilled Python programmers to build efficient software systems.

How to check if File Exists in Python?

The four ways to know whether a Python file exists are elaborated below:

1. Using the os.path.isfile()

This method works only to check if file exists in Python. It is not applicable to find directories. The general syntax for using the isfile() function is illustrated below.


Only one argument is accepted in this method. It represents the defined path to the file that you are looking for. The ‘path’ argument is a string enclosed in quotation marks. The return value of this method is a boolean value, which is ‘True’ or ‘False’ depending on the file's existence. Also, remember that if the path ends in a directory name, it will return a ‘False’ value.

2. Using the os.path.isdir() Method

This method is applicable only if you want to check if a directory exists. It is not applicable to find files. The directory to be located should be a sub-directory within the main directory. This function takes one argument.

The syntax to use this method is as follows:


3. Using the os.path.exists() Method

It is similar to the first method but also checks for the files in the directory. It works to find both files and folders of a system. You can use this method by entering the following syntax.


The ‘path’ is the name of a file or directory that needs to be checked.

4. Using Path.is_file() Method

This is an alternate method to Python check if a file exists. This method returns a value true if the path object points to a file and false if the file doesn’t exist. It is one of the built-in methods available with the pathlib module.

Follow the following steps to apply this method:

  • Import the path class from the pathlib module using the following syntax
        from pathlib import Path

  • Create a new instance of the Path class and initialize it with the file path you wish to check.

                from pathlib import Path

    path= path(‘./example.txt’)

  • Now use the is_file() method to see if the file exists.

            from pathlib import Path

            path= path(‘./example.txt’)

            print( path.is_file())

You will see the value ‘true’ if the path objects point to a file and ‘false’ if the file does not exist.

Features and benefits of Python

Python is a powerful, high-level, interpreted language focusing on code readability. It has vast software development, data science, and machine learning applications.

1. Easy to learn, read, code, and Debug

It is very easy for beginners or experienced programmers to learn Python compared to other languages like C#, Java, etc. Its syntax is very simple to read. The code is defined by indentations rather than semicolons. Once you understand how to interpret Python’s error traces, you can trace your mistake and rectify the errors quickly.

2. Free and Open Source

It is freely available at the official website of Python and can be downloaded freely. People can view the code since it is open source. Python has a large active community base. This language is used in many organizations since it is versatile and supports multiple programming paradigms.

3. Platform Independent

You can code a program in Python and run it on various platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. Due to this flexibility, many organizations prefer integrating Python into their software applications. To achieve this objective, they need the expertise of Python programmers. This is also one of the prime reasons many programmers choose to upskill their Python coding abilities.

4. Highly Efficient

Python’s highly effective object-oriented design provides enhanced process control and is also equipped with excellent integration capabilities that make it more efficient. Due to its efficiency, Python has a lot of applications in the IoT vertical. Various Python modules are also among the most popular options for creating Graphical applications.

5. Interpreted Language

Python executes the code line by line. In case there’s an error, the further execution stops and reports the error. Similarly, Python shows only one error at a time if the program has many errors. This is why it is called as an interpreted language. 


This article has covered the steps required for Python to check if a file exists. If you wish to succeed as a Python programmer, consider taking a comprehensive Python course. The right Python course can help you jumpstart your career as a software developer specializing in Python language. The demand for Python programmers is growing, with new opportunities evolving in emerging technological fields.

The online Bootcamp programs can help you hone the right skills and make you job ready, thus putting you on a fast track for your career growth. Looking at its range of applications in today’s work environment, Python has gained tremendous popularity and will stay here for an extended period. Hence, getting the right program to sharpen your abilities in Python coding is crucial to your programming career growth.