No record found in this category.

Understanding Information and Directories in Home windows

An understanding of recordsdata and directories is a necessity in case you repeatedly use computer systems in the present day.  You should turn into aware of the methods of making, eradicating, and copying recordsdata and directories to your most well-liked working system.  This temporary tutorial will cowl the Home windows 95/NT household of working methods. 

This primer can be supposed for these switching to the Home windows OS from one other OS.  If so, you may skip the primary few paragraphs and jump here.


What's a File?

Each doc that you've saved in your exhausting drive is named a file.  Everytime you write a paper in a phrase processor and reserve it, you've gotten simply created a file.  Equally, each Excel spreadsheet is a file.  So is each Entry database.  So is each JPEG or GIF picture.  So is each MP3 music track.  For those who create an internet web page and name it ‘my_resume.html’, then you've gotten simply created a brand new file which have to be saved in your exhausting drive, a floppy disk, or another storage system in your pc. 

What's a Folder?

Consider your disk drives as giant submitting cupboards. Nonetheless, consider them as giant submitting cupboards that haven't any drawers and none of these manila folders inside.  As an alternative, every time you've gotten a paper or doc you want to file away, you simply toss it instantly into your giant cupboard.  After just a few hundred paperwork have been tossed haphhazardly contained in the this cupboard, you'll after all uncover that discovering anybody doc inside that enormous pile of papers is time-consuming and troublesome.  As an alternative, what most of us do is to label a sequence of manila folders after which place them inside our file cupboard.  You may hold a folder devoted to educational transcripts, one other for tax papers, one other for outdated poetry you’ve written, and one other to carry the warranties that got here together with your new PC.

The identical factor applies to your exhausting drive.  In Home windows, a folder (additionally known as a listing) is analogous to the yellow folders individuals use in submitting cupboards.  You may create a folder in your drive known as “school_essays”, and one other known as “scanned_photos”, and maybe one other known as “215_homework”.   Over time you'll come to build up plenty of completely different folders, however you can be glad you probably did since discovering and organizing your paperwork will probably be considerably simpler. 

The truth is, you'll discover that there are already numerous directories which have been created for you.  When a brand new program is put in in your machine, it can often create a number of new folders by which to retailer the related recordsdata. 

Home windows Explorer

So let’s start by inspecting the methods by which we are able to instantly entry recordsdata and directories in Home windows. The 2 commonest approach for doing so is through ‘My Pc’, represented by a or comparable icon.  Nonetheless, I extremely suggest utilizing Home windows’ Explorer.  Explorer offers you far more environment friendly management over your recordsdata and directories.  The truth is, I’d suggest inserting a shortcut instantly in your desktop.  (It's attainable that one is already there). 

Create a shortcut for Explorer on the desktop

  1. Proper-click on an empty a part of the desktop.  (Proper-click = click on the correct mouse button).
  2. Select “New”, then “Shortcut”
  3. Kind “explorer.exe”
  4. Home windows will immediate you for a “pleasant” title.  Kind “Home windows Explorer” or one thing comparable. 

Now while you double-click (click on twice quickly) on the Explorer icon, you will note one thing comparable (however not equivalent) to the next:

Now as if usually the case, a lot confusion arises from the plethora of choices obtainable.  With Explorer, there are a number of completely different views you may select.  In case your Explorer seems to be considerably completely different from mine, do the next:

Change views in Explorer

  1. With Explorer open, click on on “Instruments”, then “Folder Choices”
  2. Search for the choice that claims one thing to the impact of “Use Home windows Traditional Folders” and test it. 

Afterward you could select to make use of on of the opposite views, however for my part, the usual (“traditional”) view is essentially the most environment friendly one. 

What are all these + indicators subsequent to the folders?

It is not uncommon to have folders within folders.  By clicking on the + signal, you may see the folders contained inside the present folder.  For instance, you could create a folder known as ‘Faculty Papers’.  Inside that folder you'll have just a few different folders containing paperwork pertaining to every course.  (For instance, ‘Chemistry’, ‘English’, ‘Biology’).  Discover the + subsequent to the ‘English’ folder.  This tells you that that folder comprises different folders. 

Clicking on the + subsequent to the ‘English’ folder reveals the sub-folders of: ‘Essays’, ‘Poetry’, and ‘Prose’.  Discover that while you click on on the +, it turns to a – signal. 

Create a folder

The phrases “folder” and “listing” imply the identical factor and are sometimes interchanged.

As mentioned earlier, creating folders for your self is extraordinarily useful for organizing all your recordsdata.  Let’s create a listing (“listing” is one other phrase for “folder”) on our exhausting drive (C:\) that we'll name “temp”.  Each time I'm working with a pc, I at all times create a “temp” listing for myself the place I retailer recordsdata for the quick time period.  (I.e. Information that I don’t wish to hold for any size of time).  Periodically, I'm going by way of and simply delete all of these junk recordsdata out of my ‘temp’ folder.  For those who don’t wish to have a temp folder, that’s high-quality, you may simply delete it afterwards.  (See the process following this one). 

  1. On the left facet of Explorer, choose the C:\ drive by clicking on it. (It might already be chosen).  You'll then discover that the correct facet of Explorer displays all the recordsdata and folders saved inside the C:\ listing.
  2. Click on on File, New, and select “Folder”.  Home windows will then immediate you for a reputation to your folder.  Kind “temp” and press return.  (If a folder with that title already exists, Home windows would require you to decide on a unique title).

Discover that on the right-side, a brand new folder has been created with the title “temp”.  Additionally discover that the folder seems on the left facet as properly.  For those who click on on the left-side folder, you'll discover that the correct display screen comes up empty.  It is because you haven't but put any folders or directories inside that “temp” folder. 

Deleting a folder

To delete a folder, merely right-click it after which select ‘Delete’. 

If there are recordsdata at the moment inside that folder, Home windows will warn you earlier than permitting you to delete the folder.  (Generally, Home windows will first drive you to delete all the recordsdata inside earlier than deleting the folder itself. 

Renaming a folder

Proper-click the folder and select ‘Rename’.

Disk Drive

A disk drive could be the exhausting drive in your pc (often notated as “C:\”), your floppy disk drive (“A:\”), a Zip drive, CD-Rom, or Tape drive.  There are a number of other forms of storage media as properly. 


What you see when there aren't any packages (home windows) at the moment open in your display screen.  Here's a partial view of my desktop:


Up to date: 05/21/2018 by Pc Hope

Tree directory displayed by the MS-DOS tree command.

listing is a location for storing recordsdata in your pc. Directories are present in a hierarchical file system, corresponding to Linux, MS-DOS, OS/2, and Unix.

Pictured is an instance of output from the Home windows/DOS tree command. It exhibits all of the native and subdirectories (e.g., the "massive" listing within the "cdn" listing). When taking a look at this overview, the current directory is the root directory of the C: drive. It is known as the "root" listing as a result of there's nothing beneath it, and the opposite directories "department" from it. In case you are utilizing an working system with a number of consumer accounts, the listing may additionally be known as a home directory.

In a GUI (graphical consumer interface) corresponding to Microsoft Windows, directories are known as folders. Nonetheless, a listing and folder are synonymous.

Overview of a listing and path

Beneath is an instance of what a listing path would seem like in MS-DOS.

Within the image, C: is the drive letter and the present listing is System32, a subdirectory of the Home windows listing.

Overview of a Linux listing path

Beneath is an instance of what a listing path might seem like in a Linux or Unix variant.


Within the above instance, the present listing is bin, and it's a subdirectory of the usr listing. The start forward slash is the foundation listing.

How do I record or view directories?

To see directories and recordsdata within the present MS-DOS listing, use the dir command. In Linux to view directories and recordsdata within the present listing, you'd use the ls command.

  • See the dir command web page for additional data and examples on this command.
  • See the ls command web page for data and examples on this command.


Each of the above instructions even have switches that may be added to them to solely view directories and never directories and recordsdata.

How one can change a listing

To vary a listing in MS-DOS, Linux, Unix, and most different command line working methods, use the "cd" command.

  • How to change a directory or open a folder.
  • How to change or rename a file, folder, or directory.
  • MS-DOS and Windows command line cd command information.
  • Linux and Unix cd command information.

How one can make a listing

To make a listing in MS-DOS, Linux, Unix, and most different command line working methods, use the "mkdir" command.

  • MS-DOS and Windows command line mkdir and md command information.
  • Linux and Unix mkdir command information.
  • How to create a directory or folder.

How one can delete a listing

To take away a listing in MS-DOS, use the "rmdir" command. In Linux and Unix, use the "rm -r" command.

  • How to delete a file, directory, or folder.
  • MS-DOS and Windows command line rmdir information.
  • How to remove a full directory in Linux.

What's the goal of a listing?

A listing is used to retailer, manage, and separate recordsdata and directories on a pc. For instance, you can have a listing to retailer photos and one other listing to retailer all of your paperwork. By storing particular kinds of recordsdata in a folder, you can shortly get to the kind of file you wished to view. In different phrases, if solely photos have been in a photos listing, it is simpler to discover a image than a listing containing all kinds of recordsdata.

Directories are additionally used as a spot to retailer packages. For instance, while you install a program, its recordsdata are saved in a novel listing that will include subdirectories and tens, a whole bunch, or hundreds of recordsdata associated to that program. By storing a program in its personal listing, it helps stop recordsdata with the identical title from getting overwritten, modified, or deleted by different packages.

What kind of recordsdata could be saved in a listing?

A listing can include a number of files of any kind and might even retailer different directories that include recordsdata.

Invalid listing characters

Beneath is an inventory of reserved characters that can't be used when making a file or listing on most working methods. When creating directories, if any of those characters are used, you will obtain an error or encounter different issues.

\ / : * ? " < > |

How are recordsdata completely different than a listing?

A listing is an space on the pc containing different directories and recordsdata and helps hold the pc organized. Information could be contained inside a listing and include data utilized by the working system or different packages on the pc. See our file web page for additional data on recordsdata.

Does a listing have an extension?

No. A listing doesn't have an extension like a file.