How to read file from relative path in Java project? cannot find the path specified

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Problem :

I have a project with 2 packages:

  1. tkorg.idrs.core.searchengines
  2. tkorg.idrs.core.searchengines

In package (2) I have a text file ListStopWords.txt, in package (1) I have a class FileLoadder. Here is code in FileLoader:

File file = new File("properties\files\ListStopWords.txt");

But have this error:

The system cannot find the path specified

Can you give a solution to fix it? Thanks.

Solution :

If it’s already in the classpath, then just obtain it from the classpath instead of from the disk file system. Don’t fiddle with relative paths in They are dependent on the current working directory over which you have totally no control from inside the Java code.

Assuming that ListStopWords.txt is in the same package as your FileLoader class, then do:

URL url = getClass().getResource("ListStopWords.txt");
File file = new File(url.getPath());

Or if all you’re ultimately after is actually an InputStream of it:

InputStream input = getClass().getResourceAsStream("ListStopWords.txt");

This is certainly preferred over creating a new File() because the url may not necessarily represent a disk file system path, but it could also represent virtual file system path (which may happen when the JAR is expanded into memory instead of into a temp folder on disk file system) or even a network path which are both not per definition digestable by File constructor.

If the file is -as the package name hints- is actually a fullworthy properties file (containing key=value lines) with just the “wrong” extension, then you could feed the InputStream immediately to the load() method.

Properties properties = new Properties();

Note: when you’re trying to access it from inside static context, then use FileLoader.class (or whatever YourClass.class) instead of getClass() in above examples.

The relative path works in Java using the . specifier.

  • . means same folder as the currently running context.
  • .. means the parent folder of the currently running context.

So the question is how do you know the path where the Java is currently looking?

Do a small experiment

   File directory = new File("./");

Observe the output, you will come to know the current directory where Java is looking. From there, simply use the ./ specifier to locate your file.

For example if the output is


and your file is present in the folder “MyProject” simply use

File resourceFile = new File("../myFile.txt");

Hope this helps.

The following line can be used if we want to specify the relative path of the file.

File file = new File("./properties/files/ListStopWords.txt");  

InputStream in = FileLoader.class.getResourceAsStream("<relative path from this class to the file to be read>");
try {
    BufferedReader reader = new BufferedReader(new InputStreamReader(in));
    String line = null;
        while ((line = reader.readLine()) != null) {
} catch (Exception e) {

try .propertiesfilesListStopWords.txt

I could have commented but I have less rep for that.
Samrat’s answer did the job for me. It’s better to see the current directory path through the following code.

    File directory = new File("./");

I simply used it to rectify an issue I was facing in my project. Be sure to use ./ to back to the parent directory of the current directory.


While the answer provided by BalusC works for this case, it will break when the file path contains spaces because in a URL, these are being converted to %20 which is not a valid file name. If you construct the File object using a URI rather than a String, whitespaces will be handled correctly:

URL url = getClass().getResource("ListStopWords.txt");
File file = new File(url.toURI());

enter image description here

Assuming you want to read from resources directory in FileSystem class.

String file = "dummy.txt";
var path = Paths.get("src/com/company/fs/resources/", file);


Note: Leading . is not needed.

I wanted to parse ‘command.json’ inside src/main//js/ For that I copied json file in src folder and gave the absolute path like this :

Object obj  = parser.parse(new FileReader("./src/command.json"));

For me actually the problem is the File object’s class path is from <project folder path> or ./src, so use File file = new File("./src/xxx.txt"); solved my problem

    String token = "";
    File fileName = new File("filename.txt").getAbsoluteFile();
    Scanner inFile = null;
    try {
        inFile = new Scanner(fileName);
    } catch (FileNotFoundException e) {
        // TODO Auto-generated catch block
    while( inFile.hasNext() )
        String temp = );  
        token = token + temp;
    System.out.println("file contents" +token);

If text file is not being read, try using a more closer absolute path (if you wish
you could use complete absolute path,) like this:

FileInputStream fin=new FileInputStream("\Dash\src\RS\Test.txt");

assume that the absolute path is:


String basePath = new File(“myFile.txt”).getAbsolutePath();
this basepath you can use as the correct path of your file

if you want to load property file from resources folder which is available inside src folder, use this

String resourceFile = "resources/";
InputStream resourceStream = ClassLoader.getSystemClassLoader().getResourceAsStream(resourceFile);
Properties p=new Properties();  
    System.out.println(p.getProperty("db")); files contains key and value db=sybase

If you are trying to call getClass() from Static method or static block, the you can do the following way.

You can call getClass() on the Properties object you are loading into.

    public static Properties pathProperties = null;
    static { 
        pathProperties = new Properties();
        String pathPropertiesFile = "/file.xml";
//      Now go for getClass() method
        InputStream paths = pathProperties.getClass().getResourceAsStream(pathPropertiesFile);

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