How to Copy a List of Files in a Windows Folder Into an Excel List

Techwalla may earn compensation through affiliate links in this story.
Image Credit: Hemera Technologies/ Images

Whether it's a folder full of music, photos or documents, there may be times when you would like a list of file names in a directory. While File Explorer lets you view and sort files in folders in a variety of ways, it does not offer a way to generate or export a list to a file or another application. Therefore, if you would like to paste a the structure and file names included with a folder, you'll need to create a special batch file to generate the list first.


Step 1

Press the "Wind0ws-R" to open a Run dialog box. Type "cmd" in the box and press "Enter" to open a command prompt windows.

Step 2

Type "cd" at the command prompt, and then press "Enter." Type the full path to the folder that you would like to list, (e.g. "cd c:\users\Maggie\music") and press "Enter."

Step 3

Type "dir /b > list.txt" at the command prompt window and press "Enter." This command creates a file called "list.txt" in the folder. Close the command prompt window.


Step 4

Open "list.txt" in Notepad. Each line in the text file is the name of one of the files in the folder you selected.

Step 5

Click anywhere in the list, and press the "Ctrl-A" to select all the text in the list. Press "Ctrl-C" to copy the text to the Windows Clipboard.

Step 6

Open Excel. Click in the upper-left cell (A1), and then press "Ctrl-V" to paste the list into the Excel spreadsheet.

Step 7

Press the "F12" key to bring up the "Save" dialog, and then save the list to the folder of your choice.