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What is the difference between a file and a folder?

Answer: All the data on your hard drive consists of files and folders. The basic difference between the two is that files store data, while folders store files and other folders. The folders, often referred to as directories, are used to organize files on your computer. The folders themselves take up virtually no space on the hard drive. Files, on the other hand, can range from a few bytes to several gigabytes. They can be documents, programs, libraries, and other compilations of data.

For more information on files and folders, check the Sharpened.net Glossary definitions for both files and folders.

Published: July 12, 2004 — by Per Christensson

Answer from the PC Help Center