The process simplifies code and improves productivity when going through the file system.
This guide shows how to change the working directory in Python.
- Python 3 installed and configured.
- A Python IDE or text editor to write code.
osmodule for communicating with the operating system.
Get Current Working Directory in Python
getcwd() function from the
os module fetches the current working directory location. The function returns the full path starting from the root directory to the current working directory. The working directory is where a Python script executes all the commands.
The syntax is:
To check the current working directory, import the
os module and print the
getcwd() function's results. For example:
import os print(os.getcwd())
If using a text editor, save the code and run the script with the following command:
The code prints the current working directory of the script.
Note: If running the code results in an error, Python might not be installed or added to PATH. See how to fix the python: command not found error.
Change Current Working Directory in Python
To switch the current working directory in Python to a different location, use the
chdir() function from the
os module and provide the absolute path as a string. The syntax is:
To test how the function works, import the
os module and print the current working directory. Change the location using the
chdir() function and print the working directory again.
The example below demonstrates how to change the working directory:
import os print(os.getcwd()) os.chdir('[path]') print(os.getcwd())
The code prints the working directory before and after the change. The current working directory changes to the location provided in the
Alternatively, save the path as a string and provide the variable to the function. For example:
import os path = '[path]' print(os.getcwd()) os.chdir(path) print(os.getcwd())
Storing the path string in a variable allows storing multiple locations in different variables at the beginning of the code. Multiple variables can reside in a list, which enables looping through the list and changing directories with ease.
After reading this guide, you know how to check the current working directory and change it to a different location. Python uses the
os module to communicate with the underlying operating system to commit the changes.
Next, learn how to read from stdin using Python to read user input from files.