File Management


This article covers Uno-specific information for file management. For a full description of the feature and instructions on using it, consult the UWP documentation:

  • File management allows shared reading and writing of files across all Uno Platform targets

Supported features

Feature Windows Android iOS Web (WASM) macOS Linux (Skia) Win 7 (Skia)
CachedFileManager partial partial partial partial partial partial


Uno supports some of the APIs from the Windows.Storage namespace, such as Windows.Storage.StorageFile and Windows.Storage.StorageFolder for all platforms.

Both Windows.Storage and System.IO APIs are available, with some platform specifics defined below. In general, it is best to use Windows.Storage APIs when available, as their asynchronous nature allows for transparent interactions with the underlying file system implementations. In addition, System.IO cannot work with files that are not owned by the application directly (e.g. files picked by a dialog).

Note that for file and folder metadata only BasicProperties are partially supported for now. FileAttributes and all "advanced properties" (StorageItemContentProperties) related to the content of the file, including the thumbnail, are not yet supported.

WebAssembly File System

WebAssembly file system APIs are built using emscripten's POSIX file system APIs. The persistence is done through the use of browser APIs, such as IndexedDB through emscripten's IDBFS.

While it is possible to write files in any paths, only some folders are persisted across browser refreshes:

  • ApplicationData.Current.LocalFolder
  • ApplicationData.Current.RoamingFolder
  • ApplicationData.Current.SharedLocalFolder

Note that the initialization of the filesystem is asynchronous. This means that reading a file during Application.OnLaunched using System.IO.File.OpenRead may fail to find a file that was previously written, because the filesystem is not available yet.

The optimal way to open a file is to use the following:

var localFolder = Windows.Storage.ApplicationData.Current.LocalFolder;
var folder = await localFolder.CreateFolderAsync("myFolder", CreationCollisionOption.OpenIfExists);
File.WriteAllText(Path.Combine(folder.Path, "MyFile.txt"), DateTime.Now.ToLongDateString());

Note that for WebAssembly in particular, the await localFolder.CreateFolderAsync is important to ensure that the file system has properly been initialized from the IDBFS persistence. Any asynchronous operation from StorageFolder awaits for the filesystem's initialization before continuing.

Note that you can view the content of the IndexedDB in the Application tab of your browser, in the Storage / IndexedDB section.

Support for StorageFile.GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync

Uno Platform supports the ability to get package files using the StorageFile.GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync.

Support per platform may vary:

  • On non-WebAssembly targets, the file is available directly as it is a part of the installed package.
  • On WebAssembly, the requested file is part of the application package on the remote server and is downloaded on demand to avoid increasing the initial application payload size. After it is requested for the first time, the file is then stored in the browser IndexedDB.

Here's how to use it:

var file = await Windows.Storage.StorageFile.GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync(new Uri("ms-appx:///MyPackageFile.xml"));
var content = await FileIO.ReadTextAsync(file);

Given than in the project there's the following declaration:

    <Content Include="MyPackageFile.xml" />

Support for Library provided assets

Since Uno Platform 4.6, the GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync method supports reading assets provided by ProjectReference or PackageReference libraries, using the following syntax:

Given a library or package named MyLibrary01, the following format can be used to read assets:

var file = await Windows.Storage.StorageFile.GetFileFromApplicationUriAsync(new Uri("ms-appx:///MyLibrary01/MyPackageFile.xml"));
var content = await FileIO.ReadTextAsync(file);

Uno Platform also provides the ability to determine if an asset or resource exists in the application package by using StorageFileHelper.ExistsInPackage:

var fileExists = await StorageFileHelper.ExistsInPackage("Assets/Fonts/uno-fluentui-assets.ttf");

Support for RandomAccessStreamReference.CreateFromUri

Uno Platform supports the creation of a RandomAccessStreamReference from an Uri (RandomAccessStreamReference.CreateFromUri), but note that on WASM downloading a file from a server often causes issues with CORS. Make sure the server that hosts the file is configured accordingly.

Support for CachedFileManager

For all targets except for UWP/WinUI and WebAssembly, the CachedFileManager does not provide any functionality and its methods immediately return. This allows us to easily write code that requires deferring updates on UWP and sharing it across all targets.

In the case of WebAssembly, the behavior of CachedFileManager depends on whether the app uses the File System Access API or Download picker. This is described in detail in file pickers documentation.