How to Create and Modify Computer Folders

This explains how you create computer folders. Folders are created automatically, or semi-automatically with your input, or by you, manually. There are various opinions to create your personal folders; these steps show the basics.


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    Have a place to put them. You usually create personal folders in one of a few places, such as your desktop, or inside existing default folders called "My Documents" or "Documents". As your first step, find one of those default folders.
    • Use the Search feature if you don't know where the folder is. You will need to know in the future.
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    Create a new folder inside “My Documents” or “Documents”, naming it "mytest". (There are different ways for you to create folders, but they have the same basic result.)
    • Computers upgrade, or you may use different computers, but you can always use the Help feature. If you want options on how to create a new folder, open the computer “Help” or “Help and Support”, and type “new folder” in the search box.
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    Find the “mytest” folder you just created.
    • It’s easy to temporarily misplace folders. If that happened here, open Search and look for “mytest”.
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    Later, you may want to know when a folder was created, the size of the files inside, whether it is Read Only, and change permission who may see inside it. To see folder properties on Windows right-click the folder and select “Properties”. On Macintosh, click once on the folder, then from the top menu select "File > Get Info". You've got the basics! Close the properties pop-up window.


  • Give your new folders expressive names that help remind you what’s inside them. Try names such as “Summer Vacation 2013”, “School Photos”, “My Diary”, “Letters”, “Music downloads”, and “My files from the old computer”.
  • Do not rename folders that came with your computer. This is not where personalization is encouraged.
  • When installing new software, accept the default locations for new files and folders. Do not think up clever names that seem meaningful to you! Again, this is not the place for personalization.
  • Your computer is organized into folders, also called "directories". The desktop, confusingly, is both a place to put folders, and a place for "shortcuts", which simply point to folders and files that are tucked away elsewhere. Shortcuts can be deleted without harm, but folders cannot, all the files inside them will vanish.
  • People are full of advice how to maintain your computer. Some of it, such as using a firewall and an anti-virus program? Those are critical. Other things, such as organizing your personal folders, scheduling backups, setting permissions, and making “meaningful” directory structures are largely a matter of opinion or individual needs. Listen politely, nod, and smile. Security on a computer is essential. A highly-organized personal directory system is not.
  • Before you indulge your urge to set up your personal folders and files in neat groups on your desktop, be aware there are ways this work might be undone, and set back to the default, with all the icons crammed into the upper left of the window. Don't invest too much time.

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Categories: File Manipulation