Unlock Python File Mastery: Your Essential Guide to Efficient File Handling

Explore Python file handling in our guide. Master efficient operations and elevate your coding skills. Unlock the secrets of seamless file Handling now.

Unlock Python File Mastery: Your Essential Guide to Efficient File Handling

Python File Handling

Python makes saving and reading data files effortless using File Handling. Furthermore, its dedicated modules make working with complex formats such as CSV or JSON much simpler. When using Python, it is essential that any inactive files be closed so as to prevent their becoming damaged and unusable. Doing this will also reduce the risk of files becoming corrupted or lost altogether.

How to open a file in Python?

Python's open() function is used to create and access file objects and their associated support methods. It takes two arguments, including filename and access mode - these could either be 'r' for read only (existing data will be overwritten), 'w' (writing new file if nonexists yet) or 'a+' (appending and reading, where contents of existing file will be truncated and new written data added at end).

Python also features modules, such as csv and json, that make manipulating files in those formats straightforward. Another useful feature is with, which automatically closes files at the end of a block - an essential step towards avoiding unexpected errors and making code more readable. Read the complete article at Understanding and Working With Files in Python.

How to read a file in Python?

Python is a versatile programming language capable of creating, writing, and reading files. Two types of files can be created and read using Python: regular text files (written using alphabetic characters) as well as binary (composed of zeros and ones).

Python provides several built-in functions for reading files, such as read(), readline() and readlines() that provide different methods of accessing them.

Read() returns data as a string, while readline() and readlines() return each line of a file as an array item.

Note that when using these functions it is imperative that after reading has finished it is necessary to close the file; failing to do so could result in unexpected errors for your program. The with keyword can be used to ensure that this doesn't happen by automatically closing the file when its code executes within its block.

How to write a file in Python?

Files provide a convenient means of temporarily and permanently storing information on computers, providing easy access to a contiguous set of bytes organized in a specific format. Python offers various functions for working with files - opening, reading from, writing to, and closing them all can all be accomplished within a program.

To write to a file using Python's open() function, it must first set its mode parameter to either 'w' or 'a'. Writing via mode 'w' overwrites existing data on a file while also creating it if it doesn't already exist; while mode 'a' appends new information onto existing ones.

The 'a' write mode can be particularly beneficial when working with iterable objects such as lists or strings. A for statement provides an ideal method of sequentially writing to a file, while using an asynchronous mode can prevent data overwriting from occurring.

How to close a file in Python?

Closing files is an integral component of working with files in Python, ensuring any writes have been perused to their destination while freeing up system resources. Furthermore, closing any no longer in use files decreases their risk of being altered or read unjustifiably.

Python uses a buffer to save on write operations by temporarily storing data until it can be written directly to files, making processing large amounts of information much simpler. But this could prove dangerous if you forget to close down files after writing to them.

Close files in Python using either its close() method or by using the with statement to auto close them if an exception arises during program execution - this provides a safer and more reliable approach for handling exceptions in Python.

Python File Open

Any web application that involves file handling will be a success. Python provides several functions to create, read, update, and delete files.

File Handling

The open() is the key function to work with files in Python. open() takes two parameters: filename and mode.

There are four ways to open a file.

"r" Read: Default value. Opens a document for reading. Error if the document does not exist

"a" Append. Opens a new file to append.

"wWrite Opens a File for Writing, Creates the File if it doesn't Exist

"x" Create - Creates a file specified, returning an error if it already exists.

You can also specify whether the file is to be treated in binary mode or text mode.

"t"  Text - Default value. Text mode

"b" Binary – Binary mode (e.g. images)


It is sufficient to specify the file name in order to open the file.

f = open("demofile.txt")

The code is:

f = open("demofile.txt", "rt")

You do not have to specify "r",, for read and , "t",, for text, because they are default values.

Note : Check that the file exists or you may get an error.

Open a File on the Server

Let's assume we have this file in the same directory as Python.


Hello! Welcome to demofile.txt
This file is for testing purposes.
Good Luck!

Use the open() built-in function to open the file.

The read() function is used to read the contents of the file.


f = open("demofile.txt", "r")

You will need to specify the path of the file if it is in a different place.

Open a file on a different location:


f = open("D:\\myfiles\welcome.txt", "r")

Read Only Parts of the File

You can specify the number of characters to return by default when using the read() function.


Return the first 5 characters of the file:

f = open("demofile.txt", "r")

Read Lines

Use the readline() to return a single line:

f = open("demofile.txt", "r")

You can read one line in the file.

You can read the first two lines by calling readline() twice.


Two lines from the file are read:

f = open("demofile.txt", "r")

.You can read the entire file by looping through its lines:


Line by line, loop through the file:

f = open("demofile.txt", "r")
for x in f:

Close Files

Close the file after you have finished with it.


Close the file once you're done with it.

f = open("demofile.txt", "r")

Note: It is important to always close files. In some cases, buffering may prevent changes to a file from showing up until the file has been closed.

Python File Write

Write to an existing file

You must add the following parameter to the open() function to write to an already existing file:

"a" - Append will append the end of the file

"w"  - Write will overwrite existing content


Open the file "demofile2.txt" and append content to the file:

f = open("demofile2.txt", "a")
f.write("Now the file has more content!")

#open and read the file after the appending:
f = open("demofile2.txt", "r")


Overwrite the contents of the file "demofile3.txt":

f = open("demofile3.txt", "w")
f.write("Woops! I have deleted the content!")

#open and read the file after the overwriting:
f = open("demofile3.txt", "r")

Note that using the "w" method overwrites the entire file.

Create a New File

Use the open()method with one of these parameters to create a new Python file:

"x" - Create will create a new file. If the file already exists, it returns an error.

"a"- Append will create a new file if it does not already exist.

"w" - Write will create a new file if specified file doesn't exist


Create a text file named "myfile.txt":

f = open("myfile.txt", "x")

The result is a blank file! it means a new file is created.


If the file does not already exist, create it:

f = open("myfile.txt", "w")

Python Delete File

Delete a File

You must import the OS module and then run its os.remove() functions to delete a particular file:


Remove the file "demofile.txt".

import os

Check to see if the file exists:

You may want to verify that the file already exists before deleting it to avoid an error:


Check if file exists, then delete it:

import os
if os.path.exists("demofile.txt"):
  print("The file does not exist")

Delete Folder

Use the os.rmdir() to delete an entire folder:


Remove the folder "myfolder".

import os

Note that you can only delete empty files.

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