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There is as yet no Windows included application or option to print a listing of the contents of a folder or drive. I'll look at how else we can do it.
Windows 7 Starter: How can I print directories of the various USB Drives showing folders and files? My old program of PowerDesk was a beauty but not for Windows 7.
You know, after all this time I'm actually surprised that a better solution for this isn't already part of Windows. It's a common request that predates Windows 7.
As you've seen a solution is often to use some third party program to do it.
And that may still be perhaps the best solution.
But I'll also show you what you can do without any additional software in Windows.
Perhaps the quickest way to get a listing of any folder - be it on your hard disk or your external USB drive - is to use the Windows Command Prompt, available in every edition of Windows.
Typically you'll find it in the Start menu, Accessories sub-menu as Command Prompt.
As you can see when we start the command prompt it opens with C: as the "current drive", and \Users\LeoN as what's called the "current directory" or folder.
The first step is to change that to be the drive or folder whose contents you want to print. I'll use a USB drive placed in I: as my example.
I typed in "i:" (without the quotes) and pressed enter. That tells the command prompt to make I: the current drive. The root folder of I:, "\" is by default the current folder.
The DIR command, for directory is used to get a listing of the files in the current folder:
You could, of course, copy/paste that somewhere, or perhaps even use Print Screen to get an image, but there's a better way:
This time the output of the DIR command was "redirected" using the ">" operator, placing it into a file called "c:\t\directory.txt" - in otherwise a file "directory.txt" in the "\t" folder on the "c:" drive.
That's a plain text file, and thus we can open it in notepad:
And of course Notepad has a File Print option.
In the example above I have only one folder, and only six files.
To get a longer listing we might do things just a little differently.
The CD command tells the Command Prompt to change the current directory, and the "/d" option tells it to change the current drive at the same time in a single command. We've changed to Windows' system32 folder; we'll find lots of files and folders there.
Again the DIR command gets us our directory listing, but there are options specified: "/b" meaning "bare" - only the filename will be listed, and "/s" meaning "subdirectories" - in addition to listing the files in the folder, all subfolders and all files in the subfolders will be listed.
This is a pretty long list, so it's redirected to c:\t\directory2.txt, which we can once again open in notepad:
That's a list of 13,572 files, which printed to 297 pages.
The DIR command has a number of additional options for the information it displays - just type DIR /? to get a list.
Not unsurprisingly there are several third-party solutions to printing the contents of folders as well. One of the most popular is Karen Kenworthy's Directory Printer.
As you can see it has a wide range of options for printing (or saving to disk) the list of files and/or folders on your USB drive or any other drive you might want to record.
And it's free.
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