How to recursively list all text files in a directory?

In this example you’ll learn how to use the Files.walkFileTree() to walk through file tree. This method requires two parameters. The first parameter is the starting file, in this example we’ll start from drive D:. And the second parameter is the file visitor to invoke for each file. Here we’ll create a file visitor call FindTextFilesVisitor which extend the java.nio.file.SimpleFileVisitor.

To get all the text files (files end with .txt) we override the visitFile() defined by the SimpleFileVisitor. In this method we check if the file ends with .txt extension and print the file name when the extension match. And we continue to walk the file tree by returning FileVisitResult.CONTINUE.


import java.nio.file.*;
import java.nio.file.attribute.BasicFileAttributes;

public class WalkFileTree {
    public static void main(String[] args) {
        try {
            Path startDir = Paths.get("D:/");
            Files.walkFileTree(startDir, new FindTextFilesVisitor());
        } catch (IOException e) {

     * FindTextFilesVisitor.
    static class FindTextFilesVisitor extends SimpleFileVisitor<Path> {
        public FileVisitResult visitFile(Path file, BasicFileAttributes attrs) throws IOException {
            if (file.toString().endsWith(".txt")) {
            return FileVisitResult.CONTINUE;

Instead of listing files, you can modify the code snippet above for instance use it to delete all the files that ends with .bak. Simply change the extension and replace the print out statement with a file delete statement in the visitFile() method.

How do I get file basic attributes?

This example you’ll learn how to get file’s basic attributes. Basic file attributes are attributes that are common to many file systems and consist of mandatory and optional file attributes as defined by the BasicFileAttributes interface.

The file’s basic attributes include file’s date time information such as the creation time, last access time, last modified time. You can also check whether the file is a directory, a regular file, a symbolic link or something else. You can also get the size of the file.

Let’s see the code snippet below:


import java.nio.file.Files;
import java.nio.file.Path;
import java.nio.file.Paths;
import java.nio.file.attribute.BasicFileAttributes;

public class FileAttributesDemo {
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        String path = "D:/resources/data.txt";

        Path file = Paths.get(path);
        BasicFileAttributes attr = Files.readAttributes(file, BasicFileAttributes.class);
        System.out.println("creationTime     = " + attr.creationTime());
        System.out.println("lastAccessTime   = " + attr.lastAccessTime());
        System.out.println("lastModifiedTime = " + attr.lastModifiedTime());

        System.out.println("isDirectory      = " + attr.isDirectory());
        System.out.println("isOther          = " + attr.isOther());
        System.out.println("isRegularFile    = " + attr.isRegularFile());
        System.out.println("isSymbolicLink   = " + attr.isSymbolicLink());
        System.out.println("size             = " + attr.size());

The output of the code snippet:

creationTime     = 2017-11-28T00:08:55.290206Z
lastAccessTime   = 2017-11-28T00:08:55.290206Z
lastModifiedTime = 2017-11-28T00:08:55.291206Z
isDirectory      = false
isOther          = false
isRegularFile    = true
isSymbolicLink   = false
size             = 574