File vs. Folder

Comparison between File and Folder

These two terms are used in computer environment; they are commonly encountered when one is using Windows based operating system. Most people get confused when using these two terms. In essence all the data in the hard drive is either contained in the file or a folder. The main difference between them is that while file stores data that may include text, film or music, folders are used to store files and other folders, they are usually big in size as they contain files and other folders.


It is an assortment of data on a particular division. This can be a file of a specific type. Word documents have written text on them, they are also called text files. Other various examples of text files include; PDF, web pages and RTF.JPEG, GIF, BMP and Photoshop documents are good examples of picture files. Audio files in computer system include; WMV, WAV, MP3 and AIF. MPEG, WMV, MOV and FV are just but a few video files that are available.

Files can be created, saved, opened, moved or even deleted. They can be moved from one folder to another. Files can also be downloaded from the networks and internet. Various icons denote different files and they are used to identify them. Files are opened by double clicking them.


Folders are essentially places where files of various types can be stored. They can also contain folders within them. They are of vital role to an organization as they help much in organizing files. Photos can be stored in a folder known as photos and videos stored in another called videos, but all these two can be stored in one folder called My Credentials.

Distinction between File and Folder

Folders are also referred to as directories and are meant to arrange files in your PC. The major disparity amid the two is that while the folders do not occupy space in the hard drive, files occupy sizes ranging from bytes, kilobytes to gigabytes in the case of large files. Systems without folder often become impossible to be managed. Folder are the basic organizing units of computers for easy storage and retrieval of information whenever the need arise.

Photos downloaded from an online source are all files; somebody can refer to the folder that is containing the photo as a file. This is totally an obscene term in the computer environment.


  • Folders contain files and other folders in them.
  • Both are terms used in computer vocabulary.
  • Folders are also known as directories and are meant to organize files.
  • Files vary in size ranging from few bytes to gigabytes whereas folders have no size,