Creating a List of Files in a Directory

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 5, 2019)

7

I've got a directory that contains a ton of graphics files. I was preparing a report that, in one part, needed to list all of the filenames for those files. I didn't want to type all the filenames in from scratch, so I relied on a tried-and-true trick from the DOS days in order to get the filenames into a text file.

  1. Press Win+E to display a Windows Explorer window (Windows 7 and Windows 8) or a File Explorer window (Windows 10).
  2. Using the controls in the window, navigate until you can see the contents of the directory. (In my case, I navigated to the directory that contained all the graphics files.)
  3. In the Address Bar of the window, delete whatever is there, type CMD, and then press Enter. Windows opens a command-prompt window that already points to the directory you displayed in step 2.
  4. Type the following command line and press Enter:
  5. dir /b > myfiles.txt
    
  6. Close the command-prompt window.

That's it. You should note a new file (myfiles.txt) in the directory, and it contains all of the names of the files in the directory. (If you don't see the myfiles.txt at first, press F5 to refresh what is shown in the Explorer window.) In my case, all I did was to copy the filenames and insert them into the report I was preparing—much easier than typing everything!

 This tip (12707) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is five minus 0?

2019-08-06 08:04:13

Alex B

Thank you Allen, I had previously written this off since most of my files are on network drives. Works a treat, thanks to your clarification.

@Bill
Thank you for you tip as well, that's a neat trick.


2019-08-05 12:50:26

Roy H

So many thanks. While I’m familiar with the command line syntax, I did not know that I could type CMD directly into the Address Bar and land into the intended subdirectory.


2019-08-05 12:00:32

Bill

I used the method you described for years. I recently learned another method. You may wish to try selecting the files in Windows Explorer and then shift + right clicking on one of the selected files. This will bring up the option to "Copy as path". Choosing this option puts the file list into the clip board and you can then paste them into an application.


2019-08-05 10:35:32

Allen

If you map the network (LAN) drive to a drive letter, then this approach will work just fine. I do it all the time, having my network drive mapped to the Z: drive on my system.

-Allen


2019-08-05 10:31:06

Tim Hoogenboom

How about this functionality for files on a LAN?


2019-08-05 08:18:33

Alex B

Sadly does not work on a Network drive :(


2019-08-05 08:07:11

Len Richards

dir /b finds evertyhing ..... perhaps you could possibly add commands to limit to only folders or get a list of the contents of the folder
one example is much of a Windows Tip


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