Do you work with a lot of files? I do. And it’s hard and tedious to keep everything organized. At weloty, we’re currently we’re transcribing over 200 research interviews files for a client and an easy way to keep tabs on each file  is to copy all the file names into an Excel sheet and use that to keep tabs of the files as they go through our workflow.

With over 200 files, it’s very tedious to copy and paste each filename into an Excel sheet. Fortunately there is an easy way to copy all file names in a folder using MS DOS. Why would you want to use MS DOS? If you’re as old as I am: nostalgia.  It takes me back to the days of 5 ¼ and 3 ½ floppy disks. The good old days. Enough of that, he’s what you need to do.

Step 1: Open Command Prompt

Go to start-accessories and you’ll find Command Prompt. There are other (easier?) ways to access command prompt, for instance using the run command. But you’ll find command prompt in your accessories folder regardless of the Windows Operating System you are using.

Step 2: Navigate to the folder

Using DOS command, navigate to the folder you wish to copy all of the filenames. This is probably the most difficult part for a novice. When you execute Command Prompt, also known as CMD, you get a black blank screen with something like this:


To go to a folder (directory) we use CD command, so:

C:\Users\[you]> CD [folderpath]


C:\Users\iman> CD C:\iman\music and press enter…will take you to the music folder in the iman folder.

If you want to move to a folder in another drive, for instance F drive, first navigate to the file by typing the drive letter plus colon, so:

C:\Users\[you]> F:  navigates you to the F: drive.

Step 3: Type the following command

DIR  > [filename.xls]


C:\Users\ DIR > list.xls  …saves all the names of the files in users folder into an Excel spreadsheet named “list” in the Users (parent) folder. You can change the .xls extension to .txt or .doc and the command will save the file into a Notepad and Word documents respectively.   There are a number of attributes that you can add to the DIR command to suite your preferences. For instance, if you need just the only the filenames you can use:

DIR/B  > [filename.xls]

You can sort the filenames alphabetically:

DIR/B/O:N  > [filename.xls]

And include all the names of the files in subfolders:

DIR/B/O:N/S  > [filename.xls]

Remove the directory path:

DIR/B/A-D/ O:N/S  > [filename.xls]

Finally save the Excel file to different folder:

DIR/B/A-D/ O:N/S  > [folderpath\filename.xls]

Here is a list of attributes you can use:

/A      Displays all files with specified attributes.

attribs   D  Directories   R  Read-only files         H  Hidden files

S  System files  A  Files ready to archive  –  Prefix meaning “not”

Several attributes may be combined e.g. /A:HD-R

/O      Lists files in sorted order.

N  By name (alphabetic)       S  By size (smallest first)

E  By extension (alphabetic)  D  By date & time (earliest first)

G  Group directories first    –  Prefix to reverse order

Several attributes may be combined e.g. /O:GEN-D

/S      Displays files in specified directory and all subdirectories.

/B      Uses bare format (no heading information or summary).

/L      Uses lowercase.

Here’s a short video tutorial:


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Posted in: Windows.
Last Modified: August 28, 2018

37 thoughts on “Copy all File Names in Folder to Excel

  1. moncler scontati

    Thank you very much. This really helped me with my work. I appreciate your help. Thanks a lot.

  2. Anil Pandey

    Really great thing dear. You are awesom.

    Anil Pandey

    1. Kongo Post author

      My pleasure Anil, glad you found the post useful.
      All the best.

  3. Vivek

    Thanks for the wondferful post…Saved hours for me …

  4. Paul Corthouts

    Do you know how to do this trick on a Mac?
    “Copy all File Names in Folder to Excel”
    You have no idea how much this would help a bunch of people that I know!!! I’m videographer since 1988 and it’s a huge work to archive all my footage now that we transfer everything to digital.

    1. Kongo Post author

      Sadly I don’t. But I am sure someone that knows their way around mac’s terminal can figure it out. From what I remember it is very similar to cmd…Sorry I couldn’t be of more help Paul.
      Btw I am scripting a software that can perform this trick for you. I’ll see if I can easily create a Mac version…

      1. Kongo Post author

        … A good friend, who uses a Mac on a more regular basis than I do, tells me this is relatively easy to accomplish natively. Step 1. Select all the files you want to copy the names to Excel on OSX. Step 2. Choose Edit > Copy. Open TextEdit and Paste. Then copy and paste the names from TextEdit to Excel or Numbers. And that’s it. Not sure this will work with sub-folders though.

        Let me know if that helps.

          1. Kongo Post author

            Try It has a lot of great courses on CMD command language.

  5. Waqqar Ahmad

    Amazing, Worked perfectly
    Thanks a bunch

  6. Nania

    Good day, I have a folder with over 10 000 songs on, would like to copy all the song names and all the other info as well, like artist name, album etc, to an excel spreadsheet. All the info on the web only allows me to copy the song name (first column of a windows folder) but not the rest of the columns, do you maybe have an answer?
    Thank you!

    1. DanJPet

      I have the same issue. Exactly same. Any help Kongo?
      BTW, I dont know DOS, but is this possible?

  7. Stephen

    dir /s /b: generates a list of all folder paths and file paths. Is there a way to filter out folders from that list, so only filepaths are extracted?

    1. Kongo Post author

      Stephen, I don’t know how to do that in CMD.
      If anyone else does, please chip in.
      But it’s easy enough to remove the folder paths in Excel, using find or replace or converting the text into columns and deleting the folder path columns.
      Hope that helps.

  8. sixdiamonds

    Thank you very much….this saves a lot of time….I am not new to MS-DOS but I lost touch with it…. Thanks to your post, It felt good using DOS commands.

    1. Kongo Post author

      Yeah, it does. Love DOS, and use it all the time. The ping command is great for troubleshooting my network connections, and I use the cipher command to delete sensitive data…

  9. David

    I googled this issue, expecting to find a tool of some sort to do it.
    Of course, I should have realized, Windows is just DOS…
    beep boop assuming manual control

  10. Keegan R

    Super helpful! The only thing I had to look up to add to this was how to do this for a network drive. I just added the network path to the end and it worked like a champ. dir /o:S “\\network\drive\here” > filenames.txt

  11. Nerissa

    thanks a lot, this is so useful, especially when I keep forgetting what files I have got on which drive!
    my only question is, not all file names are written in English. Some of them are written in Japanese, some in Chinese and some in other characters. Is it possible that the proper names can be shown, rather than ???????

    1. Kongo Post author

      Try and change the CMD console font to NSimSun font or SimSun-ExtB, that should render the Chinese/Japanese characters.

  12. Burak

    Did wonders but it created the file.txt in the folder I was working on instead of the Users folder.

    Thanks a lot. this saved a ton of trouble.

    1. Kongo Post author

      My pleasure. You can set the filepath where you want the txt to be saved…, by default it saves the file in the same folder.

  13. Javier

    I can’t believe this post is 7 years old. I’m in Argentina, and downloading a ton of pdf invoices with key data on the filename. Googled it, and this is the first search result. If I could, I’d post a screenshot of how big this shows with the step by step. Great work. Congrats, and thanks a lot.

    1. Kongo Post author

      Javier, it was a pleasure to share the knowledge. I learned this trick in 1996, when I got interested in computers and we didn’t have Windows, only MS-Dos.

  14. Sourabh Maheshwary

    This is so helpful!! Thank you so much for making it so easier and good explanation!

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