How to Retrieve File Path from Process ID in Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will master the art of extracting the file path associated with a process ID using Python. By leveraging the psutil module, you’ll gain insights into system-specific process management capabilities.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

When delving into Python process management, there arises a need to fetch the file path linked to a specific process ID. To tackle this challenge effectively, we delve into system-specific modules and functions that grant access to the operating system’s process management features. By querying system information tied to processes, we establish a seamless connection between a process ID and its corresponding file path.


import psutil

def get_file_path_from_pid(pid):
        process = psutil.Process(pid)
        file_path = process.exe()
        return file_path
    except (psutil.NoSuchProcess, psutil.AccessDenied, psutil.ZombieProcess):
        return None

# Example usage
pid = 1234  # Replace 1234 with the desired process ID
file_path = get_file_path_from_pid(pid)
if file_path:
    print(f'The file path associated with PID {pid} is: {file_path}')
    print(f'Unable to retrieve the file path for PID {pid}')

# Copyright PHD


To achieve our goal, we employ the psutil module in Python, offering an interface for accessing running processes and system utilization data. The function get_file_path_from_pid accepts a pid as input and endeavors to fetch the executable path of the specified pid-identified process. Exceptions like NoSuchProcess, AccessDenied, or ZombieProcess are gracefully handled within our function.

The function initializes a psutil.Process object using the provided PID. Subsequently, we extract the executable path of the process utilizing .exe() method. Upon success, this path is returned; otherwise, None is yielded.

    1. How do I install the psutil module? You can install psutil via pip by executing ‘pip install psutil’ in your terminal or command prompt.

    2. Can I retrieve other information about a process using its PID? Absolutely! Besides obtaining the file path as demonstrated here, you can gather details like CPU utilization, memory consumption, parent/children processes relationships, etc., leveraging various functionalities provided by psutils.

    3. What happens if I provide an invalid/non-existent PID? When supplying an invalid or non-existent PID as input to our function, it may raise a NoSuchProcess exception which we handle appropriately.

    4. Is it possible that my program lacks permissions to access certain processes? Yes! Depending on your operating system configurations and user privileges assigned to your script/application; AccessDenied exceptions might arise when attempting to access specific processes’ information.

    5. Can I run this code on any operating system? Absolutely! The Psutils library is cross-platform compatible – enabling seamless usage on Windows/Linux/MacOS systems for tasks similar to these!

    6. How does Psutils differ from Subprocess module in Python? Psutils primarily focuses on retrieving runtime information concerning local/system-wide resources such as CPU/memory/processes whereas Subprocess deals more with spawning new processes or managing input/output/error streams of subprocesses generated by your program.


In conclusion…

For further exploration and comprehensive documentation on programmatically interacting with running processes in Python, visit

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