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Recursive directory listing

version 1.0 (2.61 KB) by

Directory listing with a difference, supports directory wildcards.

24 Ratings



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Lists the files in a directory and its sub directories.

Ok, so there are many functions like this one already on the file exchange, but this one uses a slightly different wildcard naming system that some people may find useful.

For example,

rdir('C:\Program Files\Windows*\**\*.dll');

will find all dll files in the directories starting with 'C:\Program Files\Windows' and all the dll files in the sub directories below them.

One can filter the list based on the file size and date.

Using the function to find files modified sometime today in the windows directory


Include the sub directories.


Or you could use it to find all the no zero-byte processed csv data files for the data recorded in April 2008.


this finds files like...

Comments and Ratings (29)


Serge (view profile)

Dave Ober

My mistake. Just needed tow **

Dave Ober

If I have a file
And I run
cFiles = rdir('C:\Sub1\*\*\*\TxtSet*.txt')
I had hoped it would search all the sub-directories where there are stars (if they exist) in search of the file. However, it does not and requires that I know the level that the file exists. (At least that is the only way I can get it to work). However, I put my own loop around rdir and that works.



Damir (view profile)

No comment, it just works great.


ACLNM (view profile)


Liron (view profile)

Farah Yasmina

Works great in Linux, exactly what I was looking for. Thank you!


One of the most useful file in daily work.


F A (view profile)

Works perfectly in windows and linux

Works great. Thanks !

Thomas Vanaret

Thomas Vanaret (view profile)

@ Matthias :
This is a bug of RDIR (in "if isempty(wildpath)" statement, all directories are removed, whereas it should not)

Enhanced version of RDIR I've submitted fix this bug.

See "Recursive directory listing - Enhanced RDIR" / File ID: #32226 (link above in "Acknowledgements")

I can only get files in some cases.

For example
ListOfFiles = rdir([BaseDir 'Ausleuchtung\a\' '*\**\*_ORG.tif'])

finds nothing, whereas the parent folder

ListOfFiles = rdir([BaseDir 'Ausleuchtung\' '*\**\*_ORG.tif'])

find everyting in folder \a\.

This currently makes the rdir script mostly unusable for me.

Mike Sheppard

Mike Sheppard (view profile)

Thomas Vanaret

Thomas Vanaret (view profile)

@ Pietro and other RDIR users :
I just submitted an enhanced version of RDIR function that fix bug on returned path an add some new features.

See "Recursive directory listing - Enhanced RDIR" below / File ID: #32226


pietro (view profile)

Hi Thomas,so in which way can it be fixed?

Thomas Vanaret

Thomas Vanaret (view profile)

@ pietro : there is indeed a bug in the way the displayed path is built in rdir function, in the "if isempty(wildpath)" statement.

Output name is built only from "prepath" and "D(ii).name" (on line 87). "postpath" is always omitted whereas it can be the parent directory name.


pietro (view profile)

This function is great but unfortunately with many subfolders it has some problems. For example I have typed this:
files=rdir('C:\Users\ml\Documents\virtual\model\Multibody output signals')

and I got:
C:\Users\ml\Documents\virtual\model\Plot_1_SYSTEM;Time;;lower housing (NAUO9);xdd.txt

insted with uigetfile I got:
C:\Users\ml\Documents\virtual\model\Multibody output signals\Plot_1_SYSTEM;Time;;lower housing (NAUO9);xdd.txt

With less subfolders I don't get this problem.


pietro (view profile)

The best!

A very helpful script. After some troubles in the beginning using the inconvenient double-star '**' everything is perfect now.


Kevin (view profile)

Very Useful Function.
One thing I have noticed when using this function is that the results are not unique. The files that are returned seem to be repeated based on how many subdirectories deep they are. This issue is easily fixed by running unique on the results.

Bart Geurten

Oleg Komarov

Oleg Komarov (view profile)

Phillip Feldman

Excellent! Just what I was looking for.

The double star syntax is a bit strange. I'd like to suggest that a slightly cleaner and more flexible mechanism for controlling the recursive searching would be an optional argument that specifies the maximum folder depth of the search.

Imaging Coderguy

I used FUF extensively in the past, and though it did the job, its slowness and quirks were problematic. RDIR on the other hand is so slick and well-made that it may as well be a mathworks-made function. Great work!

Dennis Olly

FUF was great, but failed on folders with a '.' in the name, eg '\recon_P20992.7\'. Rdir is excellent!

Dimitri Shvorob

Great job! Did what neither FUF nor DIRR (earlier FEX submissions) managed to do, and surprisingly fast, too.

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