/Web APIs


Secure context: This feature is available only in secure contexts (HTTPS), in some or all supporting browsers.

The FileSystemFileHandle interface of the File System Access API represents a handle to a file system entry. The interface is accessed through the window.showOpenFilePicker() method.

Note that read and write operations depend on file-access permissions that do not persist after a page refresh if no other tabs for that origin remain open. The queryPermission method of the FileSystemHandle interface can be used to verify permission state before accessing a file.

FileSystemHandle FileSystemFileHandle

Instance properties

Inherits properties from its parent, FileSystemHandle.

Instance methods

Inherits methods from its parent, FileSystemHandle.


Returns a Promise which resolves to a File object representing the state on disk of the entry represented by the handle.


Returns a Promise which resolves to a FileSystemSyncAccessHandle object that can be used to synchronously read from and write to a file. The synchronous nature of this method brings performance advantages, but it is only usable inside dedicated Web Workers.


Returns a Promise which resolves to a newly created FileSystemWritableFileStream object that can be used to write to a file.


Reading a File

The following asynchronous function presents a file picker and once a file is chosen, uses the getFile() method to retrieve the contents.

async function getTheFile() {
  const pickerOpts = {
    types: [
        description: "Images",
        accept: {
          "image/*": [".png", ".gif", ".jpeg", ".jpg"],
    excludeAcceptAllOption: true,
    multiple: false,

  // open file picker
  const [fileHandle] = await window.showOpenFilePicker(pickerOpts);
  // get file contents
  const fileData = await fileHandle.getFile();
  return fileData;

Writing a File

The following asynchronous function writes the given contents to the file handle, and thus to disk.

async function writeFile(fileHandle, contents) {
  // Create a FileSystemWritableFileStream to write to.
  const writable = await fileHandle.createWritable();

  // Write the contents of the file to the stream.
  await writable.write(contents);

  // Close the file and write the contents to disk.
  await writable.close();

Synchronously reading and writing a file

The following asynchronous event handler function is contained inside a Web Worker. On receiving a message from the main thread it:

  • Creates a synchronous file access handle.
  • Gets the size of the file and creates an ArrayBuffer to contain it.
  • Reads the file contents into the buffer.
  • Encodes the message and writes it to the end of the file.
  • Persists the changes to disk and closes the access handle.
onmessage = async (e) => {
  // Retrieve message sent to work from main script
  const message = e.data;

  // Get handle to draft file
  const root = await navigator.storage.getDirectory();
  const draftHandle = await root.getFileHandle("draft.txt", { create: true });
  // Get sync access handle
  const accessHandle = await draftHandle.createSyncAccessHandle();

  // Get size of the file.
  const fileSize = accessHandle.getSize();
  // Read file content to a buffer.
  const buffer = new DataView(new ArrayBuffer(fileSize));
  const readBuffer = accessHandle.read(buffer, { at: 0 });

  // Write the message to the end of the file.
  const encoder = new TextEncoder();
  const encodedMessage = encoder.encode(message);
  const writeBuffer = accessHandle.write(encodedMessage, { at: readBuffer });

  // Persist changes to disk.

  // Always close FileSystemSyncAccessHandle if done.

Note: In earlier versions of the spec, close(), flush(), getSize(), and truncate() were wrongly specified as asynchronous methods. This has now been amended, but some browsers still support the asynchronous versions.


Browser compatibility

Desktop Mobile
Chrome Edge Firefox Internet Explorer Opera Safari WebView Android Chrome Android Firefox for Android Opera Android Safari on IOS Samsung Internet
FileSystemFileHandle 86 86 111 No 72 15.2 86 86 111 61 15.2 14.0
createSyncAccessHandle 102 102 111 No 88 15.2 109 109 111 74 15.2 No
createWritable 86 86 111 No 72 No No 86 111 61 No 14.0
getFile 86 86 111 No 72 15.2 No 86 111 61 15.2 14.0

See also

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