File Handle

What Does File Handle Mean?

A file handle, in the context of computing, is a temporary reference number that an operating system assigns to a file requested by a user to be opened. The system calls, accesses and interacts with the file through that reference number throughout the session until the user terminates the file or the system session.


Techopedia Explains File Handle

A file handle removes the trouble of remembering the name of a file that is currently opened in the system by assigning it a temporary reference number through witch it can be accessed by the operating system itself. This practice not only saves processing time, but also memory of event log happenings. It is important to understand that a file handle is only an internal reference to a file; the user still sees the file by its name. In operating systems such as DOS or Windows, the maximum number of files that can be handled simultaneously can be set by typing a FILES= statement in CONFIG.SYS.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…