There are two categories used by Microsoft® Windows® NT, files and folders.
How Windows Stores Your Files
A File is a computer program - MS Works, MS Word, MYOB etc, or something produced by a computer program - a letter, an invoice, a budget, a data file etc.
Folders are devices used by Microsoft® Windows® NT to organise your files.
A folder can contain files and/or other folders. Think of the folders as manilla folders and files as pieces of paper.
When you install a program onto a computer running Microsoft® Windows® NT, folders are created as part of the installation process to organise all the files and folders belonging to that program. You will find lots of files and folders on your computer that you did not create. They belong to the programs installed on your computer (this includes Microsoft® Windows® NT).
You can also create folders to put your files into. You can create them on floppy disk or on hard disk. The aim is to organise your files - you should only have a small number of files in each folder. If you have many files in a folder, it is probably time to create some sub-folders to move these files into.
A disk or hard disk has a root folder on it, usually indicated by the symbol \. For example, C:\ means the root folder of the C drive. You can not see this root folder. What you see are the folders created in this root folder, either by yourself or by Microsoft® Windows® NT.
When you open a folder, you are going down one level in this tree. When you press the Up one Level button, you are going up one level in this tree. You can add a folder to store your files at any level in this tree.
What you will see in the Folders pane of Windows Explorer is a sideways version of this filing system.
Folder names can be 255 characters long. They can not include the following characters: /(forward slash) \(back slash) :(colon) *(star) ?(question mark) "(quotation marks) <(greater than) >(less than) and | (pipe).
The complete path to a file can not be greater than 255 characters. File names can not contain the following characters: /(forward slash) \(back slash) :(colon) *(star) ?(question mark) "(quotation marks) <(greater than) >(less than) and | (pipe). The path is where you would go from the root directory to find this file. If the file names are longer than eight characters, or contain spaces, the path name should be enclosed in quotation marks. An example of a path name is: "C:\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Accessories\Notepad.exe".