How to list the contents of an NSURL

On the iOS simulator we have the luxury of peeking inside our virtual devices with the Finder. We can do this by heading over to the Finder, holding down Option and clicking Go. This will bring up the Library, in which you can navigate to Application Support / iPhone Simulator / 7.0 / Applications / followed by a weird string. One of those will contain your app and all its directories.

But on a real device we’re not so lucky. Has a file really been copied the way we intended it to? NSFileManager to the rescue! Here’s how to read out the contents of a directory at an NSURL:

NSArray *contents = [[NSArray alloc]init];
contents =[[NSFileManager defaultManager]contentsOfDirectoryAtURL:yourURL includingPropertiesForKeys:nil options:nil error:nil];
NSLog(@"%@", contents);

contentsOfDirectoryAtURL returns an NSArray (of NSURLs) which you can loop through and display any way you like. If you have a file path instead, you can use contentsOfDirectoryAtPath instead.

Jay is the CEO and founder of WP Hosting, a boutique style managed WordPress hosting and support service. He has been working with Plesk since version 9 and is a qualified Parallels Automation Professional. In his spare time he likes to develop iOS apps and WordPress plugins, or draw on tablet devices. He blogs about his coding journey at and