What Is a Folder?

Folder is a graphical user interface metaphor that mostly overlaps with the concept of the directory, as it is usually a collection of references to files and other folders/directories. However, while a directory always refers to a specific path in the file system hierarchy, a folder is a graphical container that can be used to organize the system in a user-friendly way. For example, one folder may show the relevant directory contents, while another may contain file search results, email messages, shortcuts to settings etc.