5 Ways to Print Folder and Directory Contents in Windows
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Years ago, I had collected a massive folder filled with over 100 different ebooks, and one of my friends casually asked if I could send over a list of all those titles. It sounded so easy, but I hesitated. Was I supposed to type them all up by hand? I almost did, but I wanted an easier option.

No way I was going to type up that many titles. My days are busy enough already!

Fortunately, solutions do exist. Whether you’re a home user or part of a business 15 Microsoft Word Business Templates to Keep You Productive 15 Microsoft Word Business Templates to Keep You Productive Templates can save you time, keep you organized, and increase your office productivity. We've compiled 15 Microsoft Word templates for everyday business processes, ranging from meeting agendas to task lists. Read More , you may one day need to print a list consisting of a directory’s entire contents — and when that day comes, the following methods will save you a boatload of time. In this article, we’ll show you five different ways to print folder contents as a list.

1. Command DOS

This is one of many command-line commands Essential Windows CMD Commands You Should Know Essential Windows CMD Commands You Should Know The bleak interface of the command prompt is your gateway to advanced Windows tools. We show you essential CMD commands that will let you access them. Read More that are easy to remember and easy to perform:

  1. Start the Command Prompt by opening the Power Menu (Windows key + X) and selecting Command Prompt. Use the cd command to navigate to the directory you want to print. (Learn more about the cd command! 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know 15 CMD Commands Every Windows User Should Know The command prompt is an antiquated, but powerful Windows tool. We'll show you the most useful commands every Windows user needs to know. Read More )
  2. Type dir > print.txt.
  3. Press Enter and exit the Command Prompt.
  4. In File Explorer, navigate to the same folder and you should see a print.txt file. This is a plain text file that can be opened in Notepad (or any other text editor 10 Essential Productivity Tips for Visual Studio Code 10 Essential Productivity Tips for Visual Studio Code Visual Studio Code blows Sublime Text out of the water. It's free, open source, and lightning fast. Read what else you must know about Microsoft's genius text editor. Read More ) and then printed.

2. Setting a Contextual Menu

A print directory feature can be added to the right-click context menu for any folder. This sends the folder content list directly to the printer. For Windows 10, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Notepad (or your preferred text editor).
  2. Paste the following:
    @echo off
    dir %1 /-p /o:gn > "%temp%\Listing"
    start /w notepad /p "%temp%\Listing"
    del "%temp%\Listing"
    exit
  3. Save the file as %WinDir%\Printdir.bat, which will place it in the root Windows system directory. (If you can’t due to permissions, save it wherever you want and then manually move it to the C:/Windows directory.)
  4. Close Notepad.
  5. Launch Notepad again to create a new file.
  6. Paste the following:
    Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
     
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Shell]
    @="none"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\Shell\Print_Directory_Listing]
    @="Print Directory Listing"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Print_Directory_Listing\command]
    @="Printdir.bat \"%1\""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory]
    "BrowserFlags"=dword:00000008
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\Print_Directory_Listing]
    @="Print Directory Listing"
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory\shell\Print_Directory_Listing\command]
    @="Printdir.bat \"%1\""
    
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\AttachmentExecute\{0002DF01-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
    @=""
    
    [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Classes\Directory]
    "EditFlags"="000001d2"
  7. Save the file as %UserProfile%\Desktop\PrintDirectoryListing.reg, which will place it on your desktop.
  8. Go to your desktop and double-click on the PrintDirectoryListing.reg file. This will modify the Windows Registry, which can be risky! If you’re worried, first back up the Registry How to Back Up and Restore the Windows Registry How to Back Up and Restore the Windows Registry Editing the Registry unlocks some cool tweaks, but can be dangerous. Here's how to back up the Registry before making changes so they're easily reversed. Read More .
  9. Right-click inside a folder and select Print Directory Listing to directly print the list.

3. Karen’s Power Tool

Karen’s Directory Printer is a GUI tool with rich features, but our main concern is its ability to print the names of files alongside other bits of data, such as file size, extension, date and time of last modification, and attributes.

5 Ways to Print Folder and Directory Contents in Windows print folder contents karens directory printer

The printed list of files can be sorted by name, size, date created, date last modified, or date of last access. The list of files can also be filtered to only include files that meet certain criteria, and the resulting list can be formatted or highlighted (but only to a limited degree).

Karen’s Directory Printer can be included in the right-click context menu, and also works for networked computers. The file list can be sent directly to the printer or saved as a text file.

Download: Karen’s Directory Printer (Free)

4. Directory List & Print

Directory List & Print is a simpler and smaller solution than Karen’s Directory Printer. The generated lists can be copied to the clipboard and pasted in other programs, or they can be directly inserted into programs like Word and Excel with a single click.

5 Ways to Print Folder and Directory Contents in Windows print folder contents directory list print

Since the data is separated by tabs, it can even be free-pasted into Excel as a table How to Convert Delimited Text Files to Excel Spreadsheets How to Convert Delimited Text Files to Excel Spreadsheets Use Microsoft Excel to import data from a text file into a worksheet. The Text Import Wizard helps you import data from delimited text and organize it neatly. Read More !

Along with file attributes, Directory List & Print can control the display of file names with or without file extensions. It also provides options for sorting the resulting list and integrating into the right-click context menu. The Pro version can include even more advanced data, such as checksums, media dimensions, meta file properties, and more.

Download: Directory List & Print (Free, $22 Pro)

5. JR Directory Printer

JR Directory Printer is the lightest of the three third-party apps in this article, coming in at a download size of just 173KB. It’s portable, so it doesn’t even need to be installed.

5 Ways to Print Folder and Directory Contents in Windows print folder contents jr directory printer

To launch it on Windows 10, you’ll have to run it in compatibility mode:

  1. Right-click on JDirPrinter.exe and select Properties.
  2. Under the Compatibility tab, check Run this program in compatibility mode and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3).

It’s easy to use after that. Select the folder you want to list, choose whether you want to recurse (“include”) all of its subfolders and whether you want to lowercase filenames, then click Start. It’ll create and open a file called DirPrint.txt, which you can edit or copy for elsewhere.

Other options (under the Display tab) include file size in KB/bytes, attributes, and custom file length. It’s very lightweight and simple, but it’s meant to be.

Download: JR Directory Printer (Free)

How Do You Print Directory Contents?

Windows may not have the native ability to print out folder contents in a user-friendly way, but thanks to the workarounds and all the freeware, it’s actually a snap.

Do you know any other utility to print the contents of a folder? Let us know your way if it differs from any of the above.

Originally written by Saikat Basu in October 2009.

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  1. Southcoaster
    July 9, 2017 at 5:29 am

    I use TreeSize Free, it's a free download (there is a Pro version but I haven't needed it) which allows you to analyze your disk space usage or in this case, list the directory and print a report. Great program, very useful for everyday tasks and printing directories.

  2. rkson
    April 29, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Thanks, this helped me

  3. Sharon Atterbury
    December 23, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    I go to windows explorer and right click on the file path and select copy address as text. I then paste it into my web browser and enter and I have a list of the files and/or folders. I have even copied that and dropped it in Word.

    • Will
      January 20, 2017 at 2:06 am

      How do you paste it into a web browser, e.g. Firefox? Please show steps.
      Thanks,
      Will

    • Ruedi Gruetzli
      October 11, 2017 at 6:49 pm

      This is the most simple an efficient way!
      Here it is again for those who didn't understand the first explanation: Right click into the address line of the folder, choose Copy, open your browser, right click into the address line and choose Paste.
      Some people might find it hard to use, though, That is because they have set their folder setting so that the address line (folder path) doesn't show up in the folder title.
      To use this trick, either change your Options (available under "File" in your folder).
      Or click on Start in your folder and choose "Copy path".

  4. Arun Doss
    December 1, 2016 at 10:08 am

    All this methods are mostly not simple. My suggestion is to:

    1. Select all the files in folder (you can also avoid if you don't want some files) , then press "Shift+Right Click" and select copy as path.

    2. Paste the vales in excel sheet, select the path of the folder excluding file name and copy it.

    3. Now open "Find and Replace" and paste the Folder Path in find box and leave Replace empty and click "Replace All".

    You will get your list of files in excel then you can transfer it anywhere you want.

    • Saikat Basu
      December 2, 2016 at 11:53 am

      Wonderful. The only gap I can see is that this process does not handle directories and sub-directories. So, the process becomes more manual. But -- definitely -- this is the best quickfire solution to remember.

      Thanks Arun.

  5. Robert
    May 14, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    Hi there! To print folder contents, you can use the FolderMill (http://www.foldermill.com/). This program recognizes many file formats and automates printing.

  6. Joe B
    February 21, 2015 at 7:12 pm

    Would there be a way to make a hybrid of #1 & #2 ? It would be great to rightclick in a directory and select MakeList.txt so that it would create the dir /b > file in the current directory.

  7. Edmenje
    January 15, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    I've been using a 44Kb portable prog called DriveZ available from many sites. It copies the list to the clipboard so it can then be pasted into your favorite text editor.

  8. Pinos
    November 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Great tool to print directory contents, i use print directory.

    Find Here : http://www.print-directory.com

  9. Oguz Karadeniz
    October 22, 2009 at 5:38 am

    I have tried most of the applications listed here, but none did the trick for me, so I have created a personal tool called (oguz-karadeniz.blogspot.com/2009/10/filelist-version-10-release.html) FileList.

    It's free to use and I hope you guys will like it.

  10. Sarah Kirby
    October 8, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    I've been using the DOS tree command for years. But, I'm going to given Karen's Directory Printer a try.

    For help with DOS commands - open the DOS command utilty from Run by typing "cmd" then enter the the command followed by a ? - e.g. tree ?

    To use the tree command you need the 8 character filename, which I find using "dir /x /p" (/x shows the short names, /p puts one screen of data at a time, press the space bar to show the next page - great for big folders)

    my final command looks like this:
    tree c:\dir /f /a > text.txt

  11. Binaryman
    October 6, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    I use Directory Report http://www.file-utilities.com
    It can print/save-to-a-file the basic file attributes (size, date, owner, CRC) plus DLL, AVI, MP3, MSI and WAV attributes

  12. kapil
    October 6, 2009 at 1:48 am

    u can open the desired folder in firefox or chrome and them copy paste the contents in notepad or an excel file

  13. eternalko
    October 5, 2009 at 2:23 pm

    To avoid problems with unicode file names like german:
    Shöne früh Kröte.pdf
    or russin:
    привет землякам.pdf
    or any other one should use

    cmd /u
    Like (u)nicode
    and then maybe:
    dir d:\folrer\PDF\ /s /b >d:\folrer\filelist.txt

  14. fritz43
    October 5, 2009 at 1:12 pm

    A great site!

    It would be even greater if print versions of these very useful articles were available. Thanks in advance!

  15. DT
    October 5, 2009 at 11:26 am

    when will i learn that there’s a simpler way to do everything! ive contently been typing directory contents when needed but not thought how wasted the task has been since now thinking about it! thx man

  16. lalpasha
    October 5, 2009 at 11:14 am

    I use dirhtml from dirhtml.enware.info/index.html. It generates a html file of the listings, best part is after you open the generated file in the browser. Search is easier and of course double click the file to launch it. Dirhtml is open source and also comes with numerous options to include or exclude file attributes. + Portable version also available.

    • Saikat
      October 5, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      Thanks for the info...

  17. edwardthay
    October 5, 2009 at 5:02 am

    I had try to use Directory List & Print and JR Directory Printerbut but it doesnt work well.

  18. Etherel
    October 4, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    Is there a way to make a print.txt document, using command line, that only lists the names of the files without dates or sizes? Or is there a way to make a batch file that will first create this .txt directory listing, and then edit that .txt document to remove the extra stuff?

    • Albert
      October 4, 2009 at 8:38 pm

      Use dir /b > print.txt. The /b means bare. Use dir /? for more options.

      • Saikat
        October 5, 2009 at 2:42 pm

        Thanks Albert for helping out with this one.

  19. henk
    October 4, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    when will i learn that there's a simpler way to do everything! ive contently been typing directory contents when needed but not thought how wasted the task has been since now thinking about it! thx man

  20. Bob Constans
    October 4, 2009 at 1:49 pm

    I have used Karen's Directory Printer for years now and it has become THE indispensable index tool for me. I use it to keep track of what e-books I have (25000+) and all my other digital media. To check if I have a particular title, rather than using a file-search app, I just open my most recent directory list in a notebook app and use the Search function there - it's faster; easier to scroll up & down to see what other books by the author; and easy on resources.