Select file selection mode in file chooser

With this tutorial we are going to see how to set the file selection mode in a file chooser of a Java Desktop Application. This is very useful when you want to search for a specific type of file in your file system.

To select file selection mode in a file chooser in a Java Application you have to:

  • Create a new JFrame.
  • Create a new JFileChooser to a File.
  • Call setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.DIRECTORIES_ONLY). This will list only directories.
  • Call setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.FILES_ONLY). This will list only files.
  • Call setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.FILES_AND_DIRECTORIES). This will list both files and directories.
  • Use showOpenDialog to pop up an Open File Chooser dialog.

Let’s see the code:

package com.javacodegeeks.snippets.desktop;

import java.awt.FlowLayout;
import java.awt.event.ActionEvent;
import java.awt.event.ActionListener;
import java.io.File;

import javax.swing.JButton;
import javax.swing.JFileChooser;
import javax.swing.JFrame;

public class SelectFileSelectionModeInFileChooser {

	private static final long serialVersionUID = 1L;

	private static void createAndShowGUI() {

		// Create and set up the window.
		final JFrame frame = new JFrame("Centered");

		// Display the window.
		frame.setSize(200, 200);

		// set flow layout for the frame
		frame.getContentPane().setLayout(new FlowLayout());

		JButton button = new JButton("Choose file/directory");

		button.addActionListener(new ActionListener() {
			public void actionPerformed(ActionEvent e) {



	private static void createFileChooser(final JFrame frame) {

		String filename = File.separator+"tmp";
		JFileChooser fileChooser = new JFileChooser(new File(filename));

		fileChooser.setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.DIRECTORIES_ONLY); // only directories
		// fileChooser.setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.FILES_ONLY); // only files
		// fileChooser.setFileSelectionMode(JFileChooser.FILES_AND_DIRECTORIES); // both files and directories

		// pop up an "Open File" file chooser dialog

		System.out.println("File to open: " + fileChooser.getSelectedFile());


	public static void main(String[] args) {

  //Schedule a job for the event-dispatching thread:

  //creating and showing this application's GUI.

  javax.swing.SwingUtilities.invokeLater(new Runnable() {

public void run() {





This was an example on how to select file selection mode in file chooser.

Byron Kiourtzoglou

Byron is a master software engineer working in the IT and Telecom domains. He is an applications developer in a wide variety of applications/services. He is currently acting as the team leader and technical architect for a proprietary service creation and integration platform for both the IT and Telecom industries in addition to a in-house big data real-time analytics solution. He is always fascinated by SOA, middleware services and mobile development. Byron is co-founder and Executive Editor at Java Code Geeks.
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