Dir is a Windows command that is used to list the files from command prompt. This article explains the options and syntax for different use cases.
Dir command can list files based on various filters like file extension, file name prefix/suffix, creation time/access time/modified time, file attributes like hidden/read-only/system, file size etc.
- A simple
dircommand without any other arguments lists all the files/subfolders that exist in the current folder.
- Lists the subfolders/files names in bare format.
This command prints the file names. No other file meta data like file modified time, file size etc are not displayed.
- List the files in the current folder and also the ones in the subfolders recursively.
Using wild cards with dir
Dir command accepts wild cards to display information only for the files that match the pattern specified. The below examples illustrate different use cases where we can use these wild cards
- List files of certain type or based on extension
For example to list all jpeg files in the current folder, we can run the below command.
To list all excel files
We can even specify multiple extension in dir command to list files of any of the types. To list all files created with Office applications like Word, Excel, Powerpoint etc we can run below command.
dir *.docx *.xlsx *.pptx
- List files beginning/ending with specific pattern
List all files in the current folder whose names begin with ‘Picture-‘
dir /S Picture-*
List directory contents based on file or directory
dir command can list the file names and also the subfolders names. We can be selective and say that we want only names of the files to be listed or only the names of the subdirectories to be listed.
- List only directories
- List only files
Find files based on file attributes
We can filter out which files should be listed in the
dir command output based on read-only, system, hidden archive file attributes.
- For example, to list read-only files in the current directory, the command is:
- Similarly to display hidden files
- For the opposite case of looking for files where an attribute is not set, we can append
'-'to the attribute code. For example, to print the file names without archive attribute set, we can use the below command.
- Exclude Read-only files from the listing.
- Exclude hidden files from listing.
- Exclude system files from listing
Print metadata of files using dir command
- Find out who owns a file
c:\>dir /Q 1.txt 05/03/2015 01:12 AM 151,906 BUILTIN\Administrators 1.txt
The above result of dir indicates that file 1.txt is owned by Administrators group.
- Get created time of a file
- Find last accessed time of a file
- Find last modified time of a file