This is a simple example of how to use recursion to get a list of all the directories (folders) and file names within them. It also illustrates simple use if std::list, std::vector, std::string, std::cin and std::cout. It was compiled and tested with both VC++ 6.0 and Dev-C++ compilers on XP Pro.

// The next two lines are for VC++ 6.0 compiler.  You should 
// delete them if you compile it with a different compiler.
#include "stdafx.h"
#pragma warning(disable: 4786)
#include <io.h>
#include <string>
#include <vector>
#include <list>
#include <iostream>
using namespace std;

// structure to hold a directory and all its filenames.
	string path;
	vector<string> theList;

void TransverseDirectory(string path, list<FILELIST>& theList)
	struct _finddatai64_t data;
	// First create the filename that will be use to initialize the find.
	// "*.*" are wild card characters that tells the find function to return a 
	// list of all the files and directories.  You can limit this if you wish
	// to just file with specific extensions, for example "*.txt".  If you do that
	// then finder will not return any directory names.
	string fname = path + "\\*.*";
	// start the finder -- on error _findfirsti64() will return -1, otherwise if no
	// error it returns a handle greater than -1.
	long h = _findfirsti64(fname.c_str(),&data);
	if(h >= 0)
		FILELIST thisList;
		// add empty FILELIST structure to the linked list argument
		// get pointer to the FILELIST just added to the linked list above.
		list<FILELIST>::iterator it = theList.end();
		// set current path
		(*it).path = path;
		do {
			if( (data.attrib & _A_SUBDIR) )
				// make sure we skip "." and "..".  Have to use strcmp here because
				// some file names can start with a dot, so just testing for the 
				// first dot is not suffient.
				if( strcmp(,".") != 0 &&strcmp(,"..") != 0)
					// We found a sub-directory, so get the files in it too
					fname = path + "\\" +;
					// recursion here!

				// this is just a normal filename.  So just add it to our vector

		}while( _findnexti64(h,&data) == 0);
		// close the find handle.  



int main(int argc, char* argv[])
	list<FILELIST> MyList;
	string path;
	cout << "Enter starting path ... ";
	list<FILELIST>::iterator it;
	// now just display all the files
	for(it = MyList.begin(); it != MyList.end(); it++)
		vector<string>::iterator its;
		for(its = (*it).theList.begin(); its != (*it).theList.end(); its++)
			cout << (*it).path + "\\" + (*its) << endl;

	return 0;

Hmm ... I think something like this would be better suited to our Code Snippets section ... thanky very much for the contribution nonetheless!

Be a part of the DaniWeb community

We're a friendly, industry-focused community of developers, IT pros, digital marketers, and technology enthusiasts learning and sharing knowledge.