Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope

Folder in WindowsA folder, also called a directory, is a special type of file on your computer's file system which contains other files and folders. When you are browsing the files on your computer using a File Manager, such as Windows Explorer, the icon for a folder will typically look similar to the image at the right.

Why are folders important?

Folders help you keep your files organized and separate. If you had no folders on your computer, your documents, programs, and operating system files would all be located in the same place. Folders also allow you to have more than one file with the same file name. For instance, you can have a file called Resume.doc in your My Documents folder, and another file called Resume.doc in a different folder called Resume templates. If all your files were in a single place, every file would need a unique file name.

What type of files can be stored in a folder?

A folder can contain one or more files file of any type and can even store other directories with their own files.

How to use folders

For help with how to use folders, see the following links shown in our related folder pages.

Does a folder have an extension?

No. A folder does not have an extension like a file.

Directory, Operating system terms