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The logical subdivision of a storage device, which gives the user the illusion of a paper file folder with endless capacity (the shape of a folder icon is a paper folder). Folders are created by both software and users, and all of storage is a hierarchy of folders. Each folder contains files (documents, songs, photos, etc.) and other folders (subfolders), all of which expand to accommodate content, limited generally only by the capacity of the drive.

The operating system creates default folders (documents, music, photos, etc.) upon installation, and applications create folders for their own operations. Users can create folders ad infinitum.

Most applications save to the default folders; however, with extended use, the folder can contain many files, all of which are presented to the user in a single list. If the files are broken up into folders, it is easier to keep track of things. In addition, business users need to organize in hierarchies. Knowing how to create, delete, move and copy files and folders is essential to master the computer.

Folder Terminology (Directories)
The folder metaphor was introduced on the Xerox Star in 1981; later popularized by the Mac and Windows. In the Unix, Linux and DOS environments, a folder is a "directory," and the terms "folder" and "directory" are used synonymously. It is not uncommon for people to interchange the two terms in the same sentence. See files vs. folders, file and Win Folder organization.

Folders on the Desktop
The file folder is the analogy. This excerpt from a Mac desktop shows two files (top) and two folders (bottom).

The Manila Folder Metaphor
The manila-colored paper file folder is the icon used to represent folders in Windows.
References in periodicals archive ?
Peter Bright, technology editor, Ars Technica: "With Controlled folder access, certain directories can be designated as being 'protected,' with certain locations, such as Documents, being compulsorily protected.
The xFlow Personnel File is a specialized feature of the new folder solution.
Get into the main folder (XYZ folder) and highlight the folder with apps to be hidden (ABC folder) so that you can move it.
Wise Folder Hider provides Windows users with easy, top secure, completely free file protection and technical support.
One of the primary causes of digital dust is the lack of adequate network drive folder structures.
When you have selected the type of folder you want to use, open the folder and select the View (Details, in this case) from the "Change your view" menu at the top of the folder window.
My Secret Folder is called My folder, which means it appears like any other common folder stored on an iPhone.
I was also impressed by the response from Troy Deck, principle of Wingspan Technologies, whose DocWay Virtual Folders product is available as a "web part" for SharePoint and which allows Documentum users to create virtual folder views.
Select one of the predefined Search Folders, or select the Create a Custom Search Folder option, and fill in the criteria as appropriate.
Having all application programs in one folder makes them easier to locate and back up.
From the desktop computer, create a CD for each folder that is being loaded to the MSD.
With this approach, I don't have to stand up and go to one of the file cabinets to retrieve a folder.