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Working with folders in Node.js

The Node.js fs core module provides many handy methods you can use to work with folders.

Check if a folder exists

Use fs.access() to check if the folder exists and Node.js can access it with its permissions.

Create a new folder

Use fs.mkdir() or fs.mkdirSync() to create a new folder.

const fs = require('fs')

const folderName = '/Users/joe/test'

try {
if (!fs.existsSync(folderName)) {
fs.mkdirSync(folderName)
}
} catch (err) {
console.error(err)
}

Read the content of a directory

Use fs.readdir() or fs.readdirSync() to read the contents of a directory.

This piece of code reads the content of a folder, both files and subfolders, and returns their relative path:

const fs = require('fs')

const folderPath = '/Users/joe'

fs.readdirSync(folderPath)

You can get the full path:

fs.readdirSync(folderPath).map(fileName => {
return path.join(folderPath, fileName)
})

You can also filter the results to only return the files, and exclude the folders:

const isFile = fileName => {
return fs.lstatSync(fileName).isFile()
}

fs.readdirSync(folderPath).map(fileName => {
return path.join(folderPath, fileName)
})
.filter(isFile)

Rename a folder

Use fs.rename() or fs.renameSync() to rename folder. The first parameter is the current path, the second the new path:

const fs = require('fs')

fs.rename('/Users/joe', '/Users/roger', err => {
if (err) {
console.error(err)
return
}
//done
})

fs.renameSync() is the synchronous version:

const fs = require('fs')

try {
fs.renameSync('/Users/joe', '/Users/roger')
} catch (err) {
console.error(err)
}

Remove a folder

Use fs.rmdir() or fs.rmdirSync() to remove a folder.

Removing a folder that has content can be more complicated than you need. You can pass the option { recursive: true } to recursively remove the contents.

const fs = require('fs')

fs.rmdir(dir, { recursive: true }, (err) => {
if (err) {
throw err;
}

console.log(`${dir} is deleted!`);
});

NOTE: In Node v16.x the option recursive is deprecated for fs.rmdir of callback API, instead use fs.rm to delete folders that have content in them:

const fs = require('fs')

fs.rm(dir, { recursive: true, force: true }, (err) => {
if (err) {
throw err;
}

console.log(`${dir} is deleted!`)
});

Or you can install and make use of the fs-extra module, which is very popular and well maintained. It's a drop-in replacement of the fs module, which provides more features on top of it.

In this case the remove() method is what you want.

Install it using

npm install fs-extra

and use it like this:

const fs = require('fs-extra')

const folder = '/Users/joe'

fs.remove(folder, err => {
console.error(err)
})

It can also be used with promises:

fs.remove(folder)
.then(() => {
//done
})
.catch(err => {
console.error(err)
})

or with async/await:

async function removeFolder(folder) {
try {
await fs.remove(folder)
//done
} catch (err) {
console.error(err)
}
}

const folder = '/Users/joe'
removeFolder(folder)