Skip to content

How to create a nested directory in Python

This article shows how a directory and all missing parents of this directory can be created in Python.


This article shows how a directory and all missing parents of this directory can be created in Python.

Use pathlib.Path.mkdir

Since Python 3.5 the best and easiest way to create a nested directory is by using pathlib.Path.mkdir:

from pathlib import Path
Path("/my/directory").mkdir(parents=True, exist_ok=True)

If parents is true, any missing parents of this path are created as needed (Make sure to have required permissions for this path).

If parents is false (the default), a missing parent raises FileNotFoundError.

If exist_ok is false (the default), FileExistsError is raised if the target directory already exists.

If exist_ok is true, FileExistsError exceptions will be ignored, but only if the last path component is not an existing non-directory file.

Use os.path.makedirs

For older Python versions os.path.makedirs can be used together with os.path.exists:

import os
if not os.path.exists(directory):
    os.makedirs(directory)

Be aware that in rare cases a race condition can occur here 鈥 if the directory is created between the os.path.exists and the os.makedirs calls, the os.makedirs will fail with an OSError. More information about this can be found here.

Use Pathlib to check if a file exists

The pathlib module is also very useful to check if a file or a directory exists in Python. You can read more about this in the following short article:

How to check if a file or directory exists in Python


FREE VS Code / PyCharm Extensions I Use

鉁 Write cleaner code with Sourcery, instant refactoring suggestions: Link*


PySaaS: The Pure Python SaaS Starter Kit

馃殌 Build a software business faster with pure Python: Link*

* These are affiliate link. By clicking on it you will not have any additional costs. Instead, you will support my project. Thank you! 馃檹