How to Get a List of File Names from a Windows Folder?

I’m stuck doing the DOS dance:
cd \folder
dir > list.txt

Is there a “Windows” kind of way to get a list of file names from a folder (directory?) Does Windows Explorer have a neat way to do this?

(Ooh, how about Prt Scr, paste to a jpg, and OCR! Yeah! Er… No…)

I don’t believe there is any built in Windows way of doing this (and it’s less likely than ever that we’ll get one, since Windows is nudging users away from the notion of organising things neatly in folders themselves). There are freeware utilities for it though.

Make it into a .bat file?

If you do it to OneNote, it will OCR the text for you. First you paste the image into OneNote, then you copy it again, then you right-click and select Paste and ‘Keep Text only’.

There was actually a thread on this last week: . From that thread, the only built-in Windows-y way of doing it that I know is:

  • highlight the files in any window
  • shift-right-click
  • select Copy as Path
  • paste file list into any document

This gives you the entire path, though, not just the file/folder name.

Getting the filename came up a couple years ago. Somebody suggested pathcopy. It’s an add in shell for explorer. Select files, right click, then pick copy filename. Open Notepad and paste.

you can also do folder paths. I use this a lot creating mp3 playlists.

With Win 7, right click on the install program and under compatibility tell it to run as admin. It needs admin rights to install properly.

I guess I’ll stick with what I’m doing, as it works, and isn’t too awfully complex.

I agree with Mangetout that Microsoft is moving away from common sense and into odd directions. I’m old enough to like the native file structure, and I dislike (and distrust) libraries and albums and crap.

Thanks, all!

Is “libraries and albums and crap” to do with Windows 8?

Because (and please correct my ignorance here) I thought that in Windows 7 the presentation may look like libraries and albums and crap, but the underlying structure is still the same, and you can make it look like a file folder by changing the View.

So what am I missing (if it’s a Windows 8 phenomenon then that’s what I’m missing)?

In both, libraries are really more like tags that can span multiple folders. Or meta-folders, if you prefer.

For example, the Music library by default might point to c:\users\you\music, but can also include d:\music, s:\soundtracks. When you open that library, Windows lists the stuff in all three folders.

I have to do it at work sometimes, and this is how. I have a .bat file on my desktop that I just copy into any folder I want a listing for and run it. The result is a text file with the info I want.

Download JR Directory Printer

Didn’t know you could “Copy as path” multiple files. Thanks for that tip!

I realize this is probably not much use to the OP since he’s obviously in Windows, but someone may find this useful: in linux if you select files (or subfiles) in a folder, ctrl-c, open text editor and paste in there, it will paste the paths of the files. (This is in Mint, haven’t checked in other distros)

missed edit window - that should be subfolders not subfiles, lol.

I used to use a DOS program called LIST.COM, but it no longer works for 64 bit computers. I now use ZBList ( which allows me to scroll file lists and save the file list to a file.

Shit if I can remember this. Betty’s tools. Or something like that. I have ‘print directory listing’ in my right-click menu. It’s a very simple thing from … someone. Someone much more helpful than I. Hold on…
ETA: I’m not as much of an idiot as I thought (though mostly). It’s Karen’s power tools. Don’t think she’s updated thihngs in ages, but follow this link:

Why are you using DOS instead of PowerShell?

Get-ChildItem c:\a\ > list.txt

I use Directory Report

Karen Kenworthy is dead
So no more updates from


Did i miss something?