Golang : Determine if directory is empty with os.File.Readdir() function

Problem :

You are traversing a directory tree with filepath.Walk() function and you need to find out if a directory is empty or not.

Solution :

Instead of grabbing the entire directory content only to find out that it is empty, check if the directory is empty by reading in 1 file. Yup, just 1 file with the os.Readdir() function and if the error returned is EOF(end of file), that means .... the directory is empty.

 package main

 import (

 func IsDirEmpty(name string) (bool, error) {
 f, err := os.Open(name)
 if err != nil {
 return false, err
 defer f.Close()

 // read in ONLY one file
 _, err = f.Readdir(1)

 // and if the file is EOF... well, the dir is empty.
 if err == io.EOF {
 return true, nil
 return false, err

 func main() {
 ok, err := IsDirEmpty("./")

 if err != nil {

 fmt.Println("Current directory is empty? : ", ok)

 ok, err = IsDirEmpty("./emptydir")

 if err != nil {

 fmt.Println("EmptyDir directory is empty? : ", ok)


Sample output :

Current directory is empty? : false

EmptyDir directory is empty? : true

References :



  See also : Golang : Delete certain files in a directory

By Adam Ng

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