File Handling in C

File handling is a crucial aspect of programming, enabling applications to interact with external data storage in a structured manner. In the realm of C programming, mastering file handling allows developers to read from and write to files, making it an essential skill for creating applications that work with persistent data. In this article, we’ll explore the concepts of file handling in C, including reading, writing, opening, and closing files.

File handling in C involves operations related to files on a computer’s storage system. This encompasses tasks like creating, opening, reading from, writing to, and closing files. Files can store various types of data, from text to binary information, and C provides tools to manipulate and manage these files efficiently.

In the below PDF we discuss about File Handling in detail in simple language, Hope this will help in better understanding.


Opening and Closing Files

Before performing any file operations, you need to open the file. 

FILE *file_pointer = fopen("filename.txt", "mode");

The “mode” specifies the intended operation, such as “r” for reading, “w” for writing, “a” for appending, and more.

Once you’re done with file operations, you should close the file using the fclose() function:


Reading from Files

To read data from a file, you can use functions like fscanf() or fgets(). Here’s an example using fgets() to read lines from a text file:

#include <stdio.h>

int main() { FILE *file = fopen("data.txt", "r"); if (file == NULL) { printf("File could not be opened."); return 1; } char line[100]; while (fgets(line, sizeof(line), file) != NULL) { printf("%s", line); } fclose(file); return 0; }

Writing to Files

To write data to a file, you can use functions like fprintf() or fputs(). Here’s an example using fprintf() to write text to a file:

#include <stdio.h>

int main() {
    FILE *file = fopen("output.txt", "w");
    if (file == NULL) {
        printf("File could not be opened.");
        return 1;

    fprintf(file, "Hello, World!\n");
    fprintf(file, "This is a sample file handling example.\n");

    return 0;

Related Question

File handling in C programming involves operations to read, write, open, and close files. It enables programs to interact with external data stored on a computer’s storage system.

You can open a file using the fopen() function. For example: FILE *file = fopen(“data.txt”, “r”);. The second argument specifies the mode, such as “r” for reading or “w” for writing.

The “r” mode in file handling signifies that the file is being opened for reading. This allows you to read data from the file.

You can close a file using the fclose() function. For example: fclose(file);.

Binary file handling involves working with files that contain non-textual data, such as images or executable files. Functions like fread() and fwrite() are used for reading from and writing to binary files.

You can use functions like fprintf() or fputs() to write data to a file. For example, fprintf(file, “Hello, World!\n”); writes the text to the file.

You can use functions like fscanf() or fgets() to read data from a file. For instance, fgets(line, sizeof(line), file) reads a line from the file into the line array.


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