How do I get the parent directory in Python?


Could someone tell me how to get the parent directory of a path in Python in a cross platform way. E.g.

C:\Program Files ---> C:\


C:\ ---> C:\

If the directory doesn't have a parent directory, it returns the directory itself. The question might seem simple but I couldn't dig it up through Google.

1/11/2015 3:24:07 PM

Accepted Answer

Try this:

import os.path
print os.path.abspath(os.path.join(yourpath, os.pardir))

where yourpath is the path you want the parent for.

2/20/2013 8:38:19 AM

Using os.path.dirname:

>>> os.path.dirname(r'C:\Program Files')
>>> os.path.dirname('C:\\')

Caveat: os.path.dirname() gives different results depending on whether a trailing slash is included in the path. This may or may not be the semantics you want. Cf. @kender's answer using os.path.join(yourpath, os.pardir).

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