A directory is another name for afolder.File systemsuse directories to organizefileswithin astorage device, such as anHDDorSSD. For example, system files may be located in one directory, while user files may be stored in another.

While directories often contain files, they may also contain other directories, orsubdirectories. The user folder, for instance, may include directories such as Documents, Pictures, and Videos. Each of these directories may contain files and other subdirectories. This resulting directory structure, represented visually, would look like an upside-down tree. The top-level directory of avolumethat contains all other directories is aptly labeled theroot directory.

The location of an individual file or folder within a directory can be represented by adirectory path, such asC:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\. As you browse through your file system, whenever you open a subdirectory, it is called "moving down a directory." If you open the folder that contains the current directory, it is called "moving up a directory."

Directory vs Folder

The terms "directory" and "folder" can be used interchangeably. However, folders are technically the visual representation of a directory. In other words, a folder is aniconwith a name that represents a directory in the file system.