Learn how you can print the contents of a folder then save it to a text file using the command line in Windows 10.
Printing the directory structure of a folder—including the filenames and subfolders—is one of those simple tasks that should be easy in Windows 10. The good news is that it is easy once you know how to do it. However, it requires using the Command Prompt. But once you learn this simple command, you can quickly and easily generate file listings of folder contents that you can print or edit as you see fit.
First, we’ll show you how to print the contents of a folder using built-in Windows 10 functions. Then, we’ll show you an even easier way using some third-party software.
Print the Contents of Folders in Windows 10 Using the Command Prompt
If you want a printed listing of what’s inside a folder, here’s what you do.
- Open the Command Prompt. To do that, click Start, type CMD, then right-click Run as administrator.
- Change the directory to the folder you want to print the contents of. To do that, use the cd command—for example, “cd c:\users\adacosta\documents”.
- Type the following command and hit Enter: dir > listing.txt
This will generate a basic text file listing the contents of the directory. The filename you save can be anything you want. You can call it listing.txt, files.txt, folder.txt, or whatever.
This is what it looks like:
If you want to go a step further, you can print the contents of subfolders by issuing the following command: tree “c:\directory_name” > “c:\file_name.txt” /A /F
There you have it, all the information you need about what’s stored in your folders.
How to Use Karen’s Directory Printer
Looking for a graphical tool that can do the same thing? I would recommend Karen’s Directory Printer; I used it many years ago to generate print logs of files each week. It’s straightforward to use but features a jam-packed interface. All you need to do is select the direct directory, choose the attributes you want (file size, date created, extension) then click Print.
Hopefully, Microsoft will make this a more easy task to perform. They have been known to surprise us in the past, such as updating apps like Paint and WordPad. Even the Command Prompt has gotten updates in recent times. Until then, this is the best you’ve got.
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