How to create a directory or folder

Updated: 07/12/2017 by Computer Hope

FolderThere are many different ways to create a folder, subfolder, directory, and subdirectory on a computer depending on the operating system or where the directory is being created. Below are the steps on how to create a directory and folder in all major operating systems.

Creating a folder in Microsoft Windows

My Computer or Windows Explorer

  1. Open My Computer or Windows Explorer
  2. Open the drive or folder in which you'd like to create the new folder; for example, the C: drive. If you do not want to create a folder in the root directory, browse to the location of your choosing.
  3. On the menu bar, select File and then Folder. You can also right-click with your mouse on a blank portion of the folder, click New and then Folder, as shown in the image below.

Note: If you do not see the menu bar at the top of Windows Explorer, press the Alt key and it should become visible.

New Windows Desktop folderWindows Desktop

  1. Navigate to the Windows Desktop.
  2. Right-click with your mouse on any blank portion of the Desktop.
  3. In the menu that appears (like that shown in the picture to the right), click New and then Folder.
  4. A new folder will appear. Type the name of the folder you want to use and then press Enter.

Create a new folder using a shortcut key

While in Windows Explorer you can press Ctrl+Shift+N to create a new folder without using the mouse.

Windows command line

See the following MS-DOS and Windows command line users section for information about creating a directory in the Windows command line.

Creating a directory in MS-DOS and the Windows command line

Tip: It is more appropriate to use "directory" instead of "folder" when referring to the command line.

To create a directory in MS-DOS or the Windows command line, use the md or mkdir MS-DOS command. For example, below we are creating a new directory called "hope" in the current directory.

mkdir hope

You can also create multiple new directories in the current directory by using the md command. In the next example, we are creating three new directories, called "user1", "user2", and "user3", in the current directory.

md user1 user2 user3

To create a directory in the parent directory, without first moving into that directory, you can use the command below. This example moves back one directory to create the "example" directory.

md ..\example

To create a subdirectory in a different directory without moving into it, use a command similar to the example below, which creates a "test" directory in the hope directory.

mkdir hope\test

Tip: Once a directory has been created you can use the cd command to change the directory and move into that directory.

To make a directory in another drive without moving into that drive you could use a command similar to the example below, which creates an "example" directory on the F: drive. The drive letter "f:" can be substituted from any drive letter.

md f:\example

Related pages

Create a directory with a batch file

A batch file is a series of commands that can be entered in the command line. Therefore you can use any of the examples given in the above section on how to create a folder in the MS-DOS and Windows command line in the batch file to create a new folder.

Creating a directory in Linux, Unix, and their variants

Tip: It is more appropriate to use "directory" instead of "folder" when in a command line.

Note: You must have the permissions to create a directory outside of your home directory.

To create a directory in Linux, Unix, or any variant, use the mkdir Linux and Unix command. For example, below we are creating a new directory called hope in the current directory.

mkdir hope

Tip: Once the directory has been created you can use the cd command to change the directory and move into that directory.

Tip: If you want to change the permissions of a directory after it has been created use the chmod command.

Creating a folder and directory in Microsoft Windows 3.X

File Manager

  1. Open File Manager
  2. Open the folder in which you'd like to place the new folder and in the menu at the top of File Manager, select File and then new folder.

MS-DOS

See the above MS-DOS users section for information about creating a directory in MS-DOS.

Creating a folder in macOS X

Desktop Folder

  1. Navigate to the macOS desktop.
  2. Right-click (tap two fingers on the mouse) any blank space on the desktop.
  3. Select New Folder from the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Name the folder and then press Return.

Create a folder in a directory

  1. Open Finder and navigate to the directory in which you'd like to create the folder.
  2. Click on File in the upper left-hand corner of the screen.
  3. Select New Folder in the drop-down menu that appears.
  4. Name the folder, and then press Return.

Tip: Users may also press the shortcut key combination Command+Shift+N to create a new folder.

Additional information