How to List All Files That Are on a Hard Drive

By Joanne Mendes

Many software programs promise to create lists of all the files on your computer. However, you can quickly create a list of all the files--both hidden and unhidden--on your computer's hard drive without purchasing expensive software programs. By using the right commands, you can create a file list that can be sorted by directory, category, file type, date or size. The file list can be saved as a text file which can be easily exported into a spreadsheet program.

Step 1

Click "Start." Type "cmd" in the Run box and press "Enter."

Step 2

Type "dir" in the DOS command window and press "Enter."This brings up the main directory of the files on your computer.

Step 3

Type "dir/s" to bring up a listing of all the folders and files on the hard drive. This will be a large list and will take a minute or two to compile. Once compiled, it will stream quickly through the command window. Type "dir/p" to pause each screen so you can view the list.

Step 4

Sort the files by name by typing "dir/add specific directory name here/o/n." Sort the files by date by typing "dir/add specific directory name here/o/d." Sort the files by size by typing "dir/add specific directory name here/o/s."

Step 5

Save the file list in a text document by typing "dir/s > add specific directory name here.txt."

Tips & Warnings

  • Type "dir/?" to bring the directory menu that includes the command phrases needed to refine your file search. You will find various commands that allow you to search and sort files in various ways.
  • Do not add the quotation marks or periods when typing commands into the DOS command window.