On this document we will be showing a java example on how to use the getCanonicalFile() method of File Class. This method returns the canonical form of this abstract pathname. Equivalent to new File(this.getCanonicalPath()).


  • IOException – If an I/O error occurs, which is possible because the construction of the canonical pathname may require filesystem queries.
  • SecurityException – If a required system property value cannot be accessed, or if a security manager exists and its SecurityManager.checkRead( method denies read access to the file.

Method Syntax

public File getCanonicalFile()
throws IOException

Method Argument

Data Type Parameter Description

Method Returns

This method returns a File which denotes the canonical pathname string denoting the same file or directory as this abstract pathname.


Requires Java 1.2 and up

Java File getCanonicalFile() Example

Below is a java code demonstrates the use of getCanonicalFile() method of File class. The example presented might be simple however it shows the behaviour of the getCanonicalFile() method of File class. Basically we have put a check first if the file exists or not. If the file exists based on the return value of the exists() method, we print the result of the getCanonicalFile() method to illustrate it’s behaviour.



 * This example source code demonstrates the use of  
 * getCanonicalFile() method of File class.

public class FileGetCanonicalFileExample {

	public static void main(String[] args) {

		// initialize File object
		File file = new File("C:javatutorialhqinputtest_file.txt");

		boolean result;
		// check if file exists
		result = file.exists();
		try {
			if (result) {
				// print message that file exists
				System.out.println(file.getCanonicalFile() + " exists");

			} else {
				// print message that the file does not exist
				System.out.println(file.getCanonicalFile() + " does not exists");

		} catch (IOException e) {


Sample Output

Below is the sample output when you run the above example.

java lang File getCanonicalFile() example output