Understanding Close in File Operations

In Python, the ‘Close’ operation is used to terminate the connection between a file and the file object, once the operations on a file are complete. It is crucial to close files in order to prevent data loss or corruption and to free up system resources.

After performing operations like reading or writing on a file using the ‘Open’ function in Python, it is a good practice to close the file using the ‘Close’ method.

Here is a basic example illustrating the use of ‘Close’ operation:

1file = open('example.txt', 'r')

In the above snippet, after the file example.txt is opened in read mode and its content is printed, the file is closed using file.close().

Importance of Closing Files

It is not always necessary to close files, as Python automatically takes care of it when a program finishes. However, there are several reasons why you should make it a habit to close files:

  1. Prevents memory leaks: Each open file takes up system resources. If large numbers of files are left open, or if a large file is left open for a long duration, it could potentially lead to performance issues or memory errors.

  2. Ensures all changes are saved: Closing a file ensures that any changes made to it are saved. In case of write operations, until the file is closed, the changes might only reside in the program’s output buffer.

  3. Allows other programs to access the file: Some systems lock files when they are opened by a program, preventing other programs from accessing them. Closing files when they’re no longer needed allows other programs to use them.


Always remember to handle files in a manner that ensures the files are closed after the operations are performed. This is particularly crucial in the production environment where failure to close files can lead to serious issues.