Webopedia on Google+Webopedia on TwitterWebopedia on FacebookTech Bytes Blog
Main » TERM » D »

directory

directory tree

)(1) An organizational unit, or container, used to organize folders and files into a hierarchical structure. Directories contain bookkeeping information about files that are, figuratively speaking, beneath them in the hierarchy. You can think of a directory as a file cabinet that contains folders that contain files. Many graphical user interfaces use the term folder instead of directory.

Computer manuals often describe directories and file structures in terms of an inverted tree. The files and directories at any level are contained in the directory above them. To access a file, you may need to specify the names of all the directories above it. You do this by specifying a path.

The topmost directory in any file is called the root directory. A directory that is below another directory is called a subdirectory. A directory above a subdirectory is called the parent directory. Under DOS and Windows, the root directory is a back slash (\).

To read information from, or write information into, a directory, you must use an operating system command. You cannot directly edit directory files. For example, the DIR command in DOSreads a directory file and displays its contents.

(2) In networks, a database of network resources, such as e-mail addresses. See under directory service.







TECH RESOURCES FROM OUR PARTNERS
DID YOU KNOW?
13 Twitter Tips and Tricks to Tweet Like a Pro

From celebrity tweets to hosting live Twitter chats, our favorite Twitter tips will have you tweeting like a pro in no time. Read More »

Interesting Times: Transformation in the IT Channel

Business transformation will remain the buzzword of the moment as channel firms continue to assess the direction of their companies in the age of... Read More »

11 Tips to Boost Your Wi-Fi Signal

It's not just your lawnmower and household tools that your neighbor won't return. Our top picks include everything from updating device firmware... Read More »

QUICK REFERENCE
29 Free Android Apps for Cash-Strapped Students

From wacky alarm clocks to lecture hall tools and after class entertainment, these Android apps are a good fit for a student's life and budget. Read More »

Network Fundamentals Study Guide

A network is a group of two or more computer systems or devices, linked together to share resources, exchange files and electronic communications.... Read More »

Computer Architecture Study Guide

This Webopedia  study guide describes the different parts of a computer system and their relations. Read More »