How to use file chooser in Kivy

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by dot icon Updated: Sep 13, 2023

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Kivy applications need a Kivy File chooser to manage files and directories. The interface is easy to use. Users can browse, select, and interact with files and folders.

The Kivy File chooser makes it easier for users to manage files and input/output data. File choosers come in various forms, each catering to specific requirements. File choosers can be either simple drag-and-drop options or more complex interfaces. They have different features and levels of complexity. Kivy's FileChooser module has classes like FileChooserIconView, FileChooserController, and FileChooserListLayout. These classes help developers choose the right file chooser layout for their app.  

A Kivy File chooser boasts a range of features that streamline file management:  

  • Sorting: The ability to sort files based on attributes like name, size, or date.  
  • Filtering: Providing options to filter files based on file type or extensions.  
  • Multi-Selection: Allowing users to select multiple files or folders for bulk operations.  
  • Progress Indicator: Displaying loading progress during file operations.  

A Kivy File chooser finds application in various contexts:  

  • Simple File Management: Users can open, save, or copy files to and from their local storage.  
  • Data Entry: Users can upload data files or images to add content to the application.  
  • Complex Tasks: Handling tasks like batch processing or importing/exporting data.  

Tips for Effective Usage of a Kivy File Chooser:  

  • Explore Features: Familiarize yourself with sorting, filtering, and multi-selection capabilities.  
  • Customize Interface: Adapt the file chooser's appearance to match the application's design.  
  • Utilize Layout Views: Use synced layout views for a consistent experience.  

Avoiding Common Mistakes:  

  • Incorrect Organization: Ensure files are well-organized to simplify navigation and selection.  
  • Neglecting Unicode: To prevent encoding issues, account for Unicode characters in file paths.  

Critical Points in Using a Kivy File Chooser:  

  • Versatile Tool: A Kivy File chooser simplifies file management and enhances user interaction.  
  • Layout Flexibility: Choose from different layouts to suit your application's needs.  
  • User-Friendly Design: Use sorting, filtering, and progress indicators for a smooth experience.  


The File Chooser in Kivy is useful for managing files in Kivy apps. Developers can easily create applications that handle file tasks. They can choose from different layouts, features, and customization options. The Kivy File chooser helps developers in the Kivy framework manage files easily. It offers simplicity and flexibility, enhancing the user experience.  


  1. Copy the code using the "Copy" button above, and paste it into a Python file in your IDE.
  2. Remove the first 22 lines of code. Modify the code appropriately.
  3. Run the file to check the output.

I hope you found this helpful. I have added the link to dependent libraries and version information in the following sections.

Dependent Libraries

kivyby kivy

Python doticonstar image 15962 doticonVersion:2.2.0doticon
License: Permissive (MIT)

Open source UI framework written in Python, running on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS


            kivyby kivy

            Python doticon star image 15962 doticonVersion:2.2.0doticon License: Permissive (MIT)

            Open source UI framework written in Python, running on Windows, Linux, macOS, Android and iOS

                      Environment Tested

                      I tested this solution in the following versions. Be mindful of changes when working with other versions.

                      1. The solution is created in Python3.11.
                      2. The solution is tested on kivy 2.2.1 version.


                      1. What is the file chooser layout in the Kivy framework?  

                      The file chooser layout in the Kivy framework helps you select and arrange files and folders in an app. Kivy provides different file chooser layouts, such as FileChooserIconView, FileChooserController, and FileChooserListLayout. These layouts determine how files and folders look and work in the interface. 


                      2. How do I use the File Chooser module to select a local file?  

                      To use the File Chooser module in the Kivy framework to select a local file, you can follow these steps:  

                      • Import the required modules. 
                      • Define the App class and its build method. 
                      • Run the application. 

                      You can make a basic Kivy app with a FileChooserListView design. Users can pick a file.  


                      3. What are the advantages of using a File System view instead of an input box for file selection?  

                      The advantages of using a File System view instead of an input box for file selection include:  

                      • Enhanced User Experience: Users will find it easier to locate and select files in the File System. It's easier than typing file paths.  
                      • Contextual Information: File System views show users icons, sizes, and modification dates. This helps users understand their selections better.  
                      • Simplified Navigation: Users can easily find and choose files from various folders. They don't need to memorize or type in file paths.  


                      4. How can I get the full file path from a selected Python file?  

                      To get the full file path of a chosen file in Python, use the selection feature of the FileChooser.   


                      5. Are there any restrictions on which types of files the Kivy File Chooser can access?  

                      Inherently, Kivy File Choosers do not restrict access to specific types of files. To select specific files, you can use the FileChooser module. It allows you to apply filters and restrictions. By defining file filters, developers can limit the types of files users can interact with. They can use wildcard patterns or custom extensions. Displaying only relevant files can prevent accidental selections and improve the user experience.  


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