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Add folders to search path



addpath(folderName1,...,folderNameN) adds the specified folders to the top of the search path for the current MATLAB® session.

If the input is a set of multiple folders separated by path separators, then each of the specified folders will be added.


addpath(folderName1,...,folderNameN,position) adds the specified folders to the top or bottom of the search path, as specified by position.


addpath(___,'-frozen') additionally disables folder change detection for the folders being added. When folder change detection is disabled for a folder, MATLAB does not detect changes made to the folder from outside of MATLAB.

Use this syntax with any of the arguments in previous syntaxes. You can specify '-frozen' and position in either order.


oldpath = addpath(___) additionally returns the path prior to adding the specified folders.


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Create a folder, add it to the top of your search path, and then save the search path for future MATLAB® sessions.

savepath matlab/myfiles/pathdef.m

Create the folder matlab/myfiles and add it to the end of the search path.


Add matlab/myfiles and its subfolders to the search path.

Create the folder matlab/myfiles and call genpath inside of addpath to add all subfolders of matlab/myfiles to the search path.


Create the folder matlab/myfiles. Then, add it to the top of the search path, disable folder change notification, and return the search path before adding the folder.

oldpath = addpath('matlab/myfiles','-frozen');

Disabling folder change notification is not supported in MATLAB® Online™.

Input Arguments

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Folder names to add to the search path, specified as one or more character vectors or string scalars. Use the full path name for each folder. Use genpath with addpath to add all subfolders of folderName.

Example: 'c:\matlab\work'

Example: '/home/user/matlab'

Example: '/home/user/matlab','/home/user/matlab/test'

MATLAB resolves all path names containing '.', '..', and symbolic links to their target location before adding them to the path. This ensures that each entry in the MATLAB path represents a unique folder location. For example, if you specify c:\matlab\..\work, MATLAB adds the folder c:\work to the path.

Data Types: char | string

Position on the search path, specified as one of the following:

Value of position



Add specified folders to the top of the search path.


Add specified folders to the bottom of the search path.

Output Arguments

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Path prior to the addition of folders, returned as a character vector.


  • To save the newly modified search path for future MATLAB sessions, use the savepath function.

  • To modify the search path programmatically at startup, use addpath statements in a startup.m file. For more information, see Add Folders to the MATLAB Search Path at Startup.


If you use addpath within a local function, the path change persists after program control returns from the function. That is, the scope of the path change is global.

Version History

Introduced before R2006a