# Accessing Files

Every file managed by the platform is uploaded to the configured storage adapter, and its associated metadata is tracked within the directus_files system collection. Any requested file transformations are handled on the fly, and are only saved to storage.


# Accessing an File

The location of your actual file originals is based on the project's configuration, but you can consistently access them via the API using the following URL.

example.com/assets/<file-id>
example.com/assets/1ac73658-8b62-4dea-b6da-529fbc9d01a4

Direct File Access

While you may technically be able to expose your storage adapters root filesystem and access your raw files through there, it is recommended that you always use the Directus API. This is the only way that you can take advantage of file permissions and other built-in features.

Original File Original File Used — 602KB and 1800x1200


# Downloading a File

To download an asset with the correct filename, you need to add the ?download query parameter to the request and the download attribute to your anchor tag. This will ensure the appropriate Content-Disposition (opens new window) headers are added. Without this, the download will work on the same domain, however it will have the file's "id" as the filename for cross-origin requests.

# Example

<a href="https://your-directus.com/assets/<file-id>?download" target="_blank" download="Your File.pdf">Download</a>

# Requesting a Thumbnail

Fetching thumbnails is as easy as adding a key query parameter to the original file's URL. In the Admin App, you can configure different asset presets that control the output of any given image. If a requested thumbnail doesn't yet exist, it is dynamically generated and immediately returned.

# Preset Transformations

# Custom Transformations

Alternatively, if you have "Storage Asset Transform" set to all, you can use the following parameters for more fine grained control:

  • fit — The fit of the thumbnail while always preserving the aspect ratio, can be any of the following options:
    • cover — Covers both width/height by cropping/clipping to fit
    • contain — Contain within both width/height using "letterboxing" as needed
    • inside — Resize to be as large as possible, ensuring dimensions are less than or equal to the requested width and height
    • outside — Resize to be as small as possible, ensuring dimensions are greater than or equal to the requested width and height
  • width — The width of the thumbnail in pixels
  • height — The height of the thumbnail in pixels
  • quality — The optional quality of the thumbnail (1 to 100)
  • withoutEnlargement — Disable image up-scaling
  • format — What file format to return the thumbnail in. One of jpg, png, webp, tiff

# Advanced Transformations

For even more advanced control over the file generation, Directus exposes the full sharp API (opens new window) through the transforms query parameter. This parameter accepts a two-dimensional array with the format [Operation, ...arguments].

# Quality vs Filesize

The quality parameter can be any integer from 0-100. Qualities closer to 0 have lower filesizes, but also poor image quality due to compression artifacts. Values closer to 100 have larger filesizes, but better image quality. Below are four possible qualities (200x200 cover) to visually compare the balance between compression and filesize.

25% 50% 75% 100%
25%
4KB
50%
6KB
75%
8KB
100%
38KB

# Preset

example.com/assets/<file-id>?key=<key>

# Custom

example.com/assets/<file-id>?fit=<fit>&width=<width>&height=<height>&quality=<quality>
example.com/assets/1ac73658-8b62-4dea-b6da-529fbc9d01a4?fit=cover&width=200&height=200&quality=80

# Advanced

?transforms=[
	["blur", 45],
	["tint", "rgb(255, 0, 0)"],
	["expand", { "right": 200, "bottom": 150 }]
]

# The File Object

id uuid
Primary key of the file

storage string
Storage adapter used for the file.

filename_disk string
Name of the file as saved on the storage adapter.

filename_download string
Preferred filename when file is downloaded.

title string
Title for the file.

type string
Mimetype of the file.

folder many-to-one
What (virtual) folder the file is in. Many-to-one to folders.

uploaded_by many-to-one
Who uploaded the file. Many-to-one to users.

uploaded_on datetime
When the file was uploaded.

modified_by many-to-one
Who updated the file last. Many-to-one to users.

filesize number
Size of the file in bytes.

width number
If the file is a(n) image/video, it's the width in px.

height number
If the file is a(n) image/video, it's the height in px.

duration number
If the file contains audio/video, it's the duration in milliseconds.

description string
Description of the file.

location string
Location of the file.

tags array
Tags for the file.

metadata object
Any additional metadata Directus was able to scrape from the file. For images, this includes EXIF, IPTC, and ICC information.

{
	"id": "4f4b14fa-a43a-46d0-b7ad-90af5919bebb",
	"storage": "local",
	"filename_disk": "4f4b14fa-a43a-46d0-b7ad-90af5919bebb.jpeg",
	"filename_download": "paulo-silva-vSRgXtQuns8-unsplash.jpg",
	"title": "Paulo Silva (via Unsplash)",
	"type": "image/jpeg",
	"folder": null,
	"uploaded_by": "0bc7b36a-9ba9-4ce0-83f0-0a526f354e07",
	"uploaded_on": "2021-02-04T11:37:41-05:00",
	"modified_by": null,
	"modified_on": "2021-02-04T11:37:42-05:00",
	"filesize": 3442252,
	"width": 3456,
	"height": 5184,
	"duration": null,
	"description": null,
	"location": null,
	"tags": ["photo", "pretty"],
	"metadata": {
		"icc": {
			"version": "2.1",
			"intent": "Perceptual",
			"cmm": "lcms",
			"deviceClass": "Monitor",
			"colorSpace": "RGB",
			"connectionSpace": "XYZ",
			"platform": "Apple",
			"creator": "lcms",
			"description": "c2",
			"copyright": ""
		}
	}
}

# List Files

List all files that exist in Directus.

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Returns

An array of up to limit file objects. If no items are available, data will be an empty array.

# REST API

GET /files
SEARCH /files

Learn more about SEARCH ->

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Query {
	files: [directus_files]
}
# Example
query {
	files {
		id
		filename_disk
	}
}

# Retrieve a File

Retrieve a single file by primary key.

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Returns

Returns a file object if a valid primary key was provided.

# REST API

GET /files/:id
# Example
GET /files/0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Query {
	files_by_id(id: ID!): directus_files
}
# Example
query {
	files_by_id(id: "0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d") {
		id
		filename_disk
	}
}

# Upload a File

Upload/create a new file.

To upload a file, use multipart/form-data as the encoding type, instead of JSON.

The file contents has to be provided in a part called file. All other properties of the file object can be provided as parts as well.

Order Matters

Make sure to define the non-file properties first. This ensures that the file metadata is associated with the correct file.

You can upload multiple files at a time by repeating the payload with different contents, for example:

--__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="title"

Example
--__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="file"; filename="paulo-silva-vSRgXtQuns8-unsplash.jpg"
Content-Type: image/jpeg

// binary data

--__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="title"

Another Title
--__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="file"; filename="mae-mu-GFhqNX1gE9E-unsplash.jpg"
Content-Type: image/jpeg

// binary data

In JavaScript, this can be achieved using the native FormData class:

import axios from 'axios';

const fileInput = document.querySelector('input[type="file"]');
const formData = new FormData();

formData.append('title', 'My First File');
formData.append('file', fileInput.files[0]);

await axios.post('/files', formData);

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Returns

Returns the file object for the uploaded file, or an array of file objects if multiple files were uploaded at once.

POST /files
// Request

Content-Type: multipart/form-data; charset=utf-8; boundary=__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Length: 3442422

--__X_BOUNDARY__
Content-Disposition: form-data; name="file"; filename="paulo-silva-vSRgXtQuns8-unsplash.jpg"
Content-Type: image/jpeg

ÿØÿàJFIFHHÿâICC_PROFILElcmsmntrRGB XYZ Ü)9acspAPPLöÖÓ-lcms
descü^cprt\wtpthbkpt|rXYZgXYZ¤bXYZ¸rTRCÌ@gTRCÌ@bTRCÌ@descc2textIXXYZ öÖÓ-XYZ 3¤XYZ o¢8õXYZ b™·
ÚXYZ $ „¶ÏcurvËÉc’kö?Q4!ñ)2;’FQw]íkpz‰±š|¬i¿}ÓÃé0ÿÿÿۄ

# Import a File

Import a file from the web

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Request Body

url Required
The URL to download the file from.

data
Any of the file object's properties.

# Returns

Returns the file object for the imported file.

# REST API

POST /files/import
# Example
// POST /files/import

{
	"url": "https://source.unsplash.com/random",
	"data": {
		"title": "Example"
	}
}

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Mutation {
	import_file(url: String!, data: create_directus_files_input!): directus_files
}
# Example
mutation {
	import_file(url: "https://source.unsplash.com/random", data: { title: "Example" }) {
		id
	}
}

# Update a File

Update an existing file, and/or replace it's file contents.

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Request Body

You can either submit a JSON object consisting of a partial file object to update the file meta, or send a multipart/form-data request to replace the file contents on disk. See Upload a File for more information on the structure of this multipart/form-data request.

# Returns

Returns the file object for the updated file.

# REST API

PATCH /files/:id
# Example
// PATCH /files/0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d

{
	"title": "Example"
}

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Mutation {
	update_files_item(id: ID!, data: update_directus_files_input!): directus_files
}
# Example
mutation {
	update_files_item(id: "0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d", data: { title: "Example" }) {
		id
		title
	}
}

# Update Multiple Files

Update multiple files at the same time.

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Request Body

keys Required
Array of primary keys of the files you'd like to update.

data Required
Any of the file object's properties.

# Returns

Returns the file objects for the updated files.

# REST API

PATCH /files
# Example
// PATCH /files

{
	"keys": ["b6123925-2fc0-4a30-9d86-863eafc0a6e7", "d17c10aa-0bad-4864-9296-84f522c753e5"],
	"data": {
		"tags": ["cities"]
	}
}

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Mutation {
	update_files_items(ids: [ID!]!, data: update_directus_files!): [directus_files]
}
# Example
mutation {
	update_files_items(
		ids: ["b6123925-2fc0-4a30-9d86-863eafc0a6e7", "d17c10aa-0bad-4864-9296-84f522c753e5"]
		data: { tags: ["cities"] }
	)
}

# Delete a File

Delete an existing file.

Destructive

This will also delete the file from disk.

# Query Parameters

Supports all global query parameters.

# Returns

Empty response.

# REST API

DELETE /files/:id
# Example
DELETE /files/0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Mutation {
	delete_files_item(id: ID!): delete_one
}
mutation {
	delete_files_item(id: "0fca80c4-d61c-4404-9fd7-6ba86b64154d") {
		id
	}
}

# Delete Multiple Files

Delete multiple files at once.

Destructive

This will also delete the files from disk.

# Request Body

Array of file primary keys

# Returns

Empty response.

# REST API

DELETE /files
# Example
// DELETE /files

["d17c10aa-0bad-4864-9296-84f522c753e5", "b6123925-2fc0-4a30-9d86-863eafc0a6e7"]

# GraphQL

POST /graphql/system
type Mutation {
	delete_files_items(ids: [ID!]!): delete_many
}
# Example
mutation {
	delete_files_items(ids: ["d17c10aa-0bad-4864-9296-84f522c753e5", "b6123925-2fc0-4a30-9d86-863eafc0a6e7"]) {
		ids
	}
}