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In computers, a folder is the virtual location for applications, documents, data or other sub-folders. Folders help in storing and organizing files and data in the computer. The term is most commonly used with graphical user interface operating systems.
Folders in computer science function similarly to real-world physical folders. Folders can store and organize different types of applications, files or libraries. Folders can also contain other folders, which in turn could contain other folders or files. Due to the manner in which folders organize and store data within the file system of the storage media, folders are also known as file directories or simply directories. There is no limit on the number of folders or sub-folders that can be created. Upon opening a folder, one can see how the data or files are organized.
Although folders can contain large amounts of data, they do not take up any disk space. The reason for this is because folders are pointers to file locations within the file system of the computer. Most operating systems, upon right clicking the folder, provide information on the folder along with its properties. Folders can also be hidden from users, just as files can.
Folders provide a useful aid in organizing the data found in the system according to the user preferences. It also helps in searching for data, if properly organized.