Windows Forms: How to make a File Browser in C#

In this tutorial, I'll show you how to make a File Browser in C# using ListView control, then extract the icon associated with a file.

As you know a ListView control is a window that displays a collection of items. ListView controls provide several ways to arrange and display items and are much more flexible than simple ListBox control. We will create a File Browser allows you to access files include icons in your hard disk.

Step 1: Create a New Project, then select Visual C# on the left, then Windows and then select Windows Forms Application. Name your project "FileBrowser" and then click OK

c# file browser

Step 2: You need to add a ListView, TextBox, Label, Button to your windows forms, then design a simple File Browser as shown below

file browser in c#

Step 3: Add code to handle your File Browser form

We will create a list with the string data type to the file name as shown below

List<string> listFiles = new List<string>();

Then add a click event handler to Open button

private void btnOpen_Click(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    //Clear all items
    listFiles.Clear();
    listView.Items.Clear();
    //Open folder browser dialog
    using (FolderBrowserDialog fbd = new FolderBrowserDialog() { Description = "Select your path." })
    {
        if (fbd.ShowDialog() == DialogResult.OK)
        {
            //Set path to textbox
            txtPath.Text = fbd.SelectedPath;
            foreach (string item in Directory.GetFiles(fbd.SelectedPath))
            {
                //Add image to imagelist
                imageList.Images.Add(System.Drawing.Icon.ExtractAssociatedIcon(item));
                FileInfo fi = new FileInfo(item);
                listFiles.Add(fi.FullName);//Add file name to list
                //Add file name and image to listview
                listView.Items.Add(fi.Name, imageList.Images.Count - 1);
            }
        }
    }
}

Click the ListView control, select event SelectedIndexChanged then add your code as below

private void listView_SelectedIndexChanged(object sender, EventArgs e)
{
    if (listView.FocusedItem != null)
        Process.Start(listFiles[listView.FocusedItem.Index]); //Open process
}

The Process.Start method allows you to start a process resource and associates it with a process component.

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