Check For A File And Then Move It (Python)

File Check and Move starts to look better

Imagine that you have a folder that you periodically check for a file (i.e. a network share where colleagues drop a file throughout the day) and when the file exists you have to move it and log when it was moved.

I’m looking to tackle this today using Python. I’ve set myself the following outcomes that I want from the program:

  • read variables from a config file
  • check for a particular file
  • rename and move that file –
  • email the file to a particular address
  • log that is has moved the file (inc date/time and name)
File Check and Move – initial ideas

After a little playing with the initial ideas during my lunch break, I got home and added in more detail.

File Check and Move starts to look better

I temporarily added a time delay to the beginning of the program to show the log file entries.

If you want to see the program it is available on my GitHub (

My folder set up for testing my program looks like this:

File Check example folder structure


# geektechstuff
# Python program to check if a file is in a folder and then carry out actions
# libraries to import
# date/time for timestamp
from datetime import datetime
# OS to interact with operating system
import os
# shutil to copy/move file
import shutil
# smtp lib to send email
import smtplib
# variables
file_name = “test.txt”
file_location = os.path.expanduser(“~/Desktop/respond_to_file_project/folder_to_check/”)
mv_file_name = “”
mv_file_location = os.path.expanduser(“~/Desktop/respond_to_file_project/files_that_have_been_found/”)
log_file_location = os.path.expanduser(“~/Desktop/respond_to_file_project/”)
log_value = “”
# settings for email, read from a file called “email_settings” located in same directory as program
from email_settings import smtp_server, port, login_user, login_pass, from_address, to_address
smtpObj = smtplib.SMTP_SSL(smtp_server, port)
smtpObj.login(login_user, login_pass)
# program
time_stamp =‘%Y-%m-%d %H-%M-%S’)
for filename in os.listdir(“.”):
if filename == file_name:
print(“File Found”)
mv_file_name = time_stamp+”_”+file_name
print(“File moved and renamed”, mv_file_name)
# send email
email_msg = “File detected, moved and renamed: ” +mv_file_name
email_msg = str(email_msg)
smtpObj.sendmail(from_address, to_address,
‘From: FROM_EMAIL_ADDRESS\nSubject: File Detected ‘+ mv_file_name+’\n\n’+ email_msg)
log_value = 1
print(“No file found matching”, file_name)
log_value = 2
# write to a log file
if log_value == 1:
withopen(‘log_file.txt’,’a’) as filehandle:
filehandle.write(time_stamp+” File detected”+”\n”)
log_value = “”
elif log_value == 2:
withopen(‘log_file.txt’,’a’) as filehandle:
filehandle.write(time_stamp+” File not detected”+”\n”)
log_value = “”