5 Ways to Print / Print Folder and Directory Contents in Windows

By | January 1, 2022

Need to print a list of files in a folder or directory? Here are several ways to do this, including CMD solutions and third-party apps.

Whether you’re a home user or part of a business, one day you may need to print a list of the entire directory’s content and when that day comes, the following method will save you a lot of time.

In this article, we’ll show you five different ways to print the contents of a folder as a list.

DOS command

This is one of the many important command line commands that are easy to remember and perform:

  • Type command prompt in the Start menu search bar, and select the most suitable to open Command Prompt. Now, right click and select Run as administrator.
  • Use command CD to navigate to the directory you want to print. For example, to navigate to your Documents folder, you must enter cd C:UsersYourUserNameDocuments, change yourusename in your own name.
  • Type dir > print.txt, then press Enter and out of Command Prompt.
  • In File Explorer, navigate to the same folder, and you will see the files print.txt. This is a plain text file that can be opened in Notepad (or any other text editor) and then printed.

Setting the Contextual Menu

You can add the print directory feature to the right-click context menu for any folder. This sends a list of folder contents directly to the printer. For Windows 10, follow these steps:

  • Launch Notepad (or a text editor of your choice).
  • Paste the following:
    • @echo off
    • dir %1 /-p /o:gn > "%temp%Listing"
    • start /w notepad /p "%temp%Listing"
    • del "%temp%Listing"
    • exit
  • Save file as %WinDir%Printdir.bat, which will be placed in the Windows root system directory. (If you can’t because of permissions, save it wherever you want and then move it manually to the C:/Windows directory.)
  • Close Notepad.
  • Launch Notepad again to create a new file.
  • Paste the following:
    • [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryShell]
    • @="none"
    • [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectoryShellPrint_Directory_Listing]
    • @="Print Directory Listing"
    • [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTDirectory
    • hellPrint_Directory_Listingcommand]
    • @="Printdir.bat "%1""
    • "BrowserFlags"=dword:00000008
    • hellPrint_Directory_Listing]
    • @="Print Directory Listing"
    • hellPrint_Directory_Listingcommand]
    • @="Printdir.bat "%1""
    • [HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftWindowsShellAttachmentExecute{0002DF01-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
    • @=""
    • "EditFlags"="000001d2"
  • Save file as %UserProfile%DesktopPrintDirectoryListing.reg, which will be placed on your desktop.
  • Go to your desktop and double click on the file PrintDirectoryListing.reg. It will change Windows Registry, which can be risky! If you’re concerned, back up the Registry first.
  • Right click inside the folder and select Print Directory Listing to directly print the list.

Karen’s Power Tool

Karen’s Directory Printer is a GUI tool with rich features. However, our main concern is its ability to print the filename along with other bits of data, such as file size, extension, last modified date and time, and attributes.

The list of printed files can be sorted by name, size, date created, date last modified, or date last accessed.

The file list can also be filtered to include files that meet certain criteria, and the resulting list can be formatted or highlighted (but only to a certain degree).

Karen’s Directory Printer can be included in the right-click context menu and also works for network computers. The file list can be sent directly to the printer or saved as a text file.

Download: Karen’s Directory Printers for Windows 10 (Free)

Directory List & Print

Directory List & Print is a simpler and smaller solution than Karen’s Directory Printer.

The resulting list can be copied to the clipboard and pasted in another program, or it can be directly inserted into programs such as Word and Excel with a single click.

Since the data is tab-separated, it can even be freely inserted into Excel as a table.

Together with file attributes, Directory List & Print can control the appearance of file names with or without file extensions. It also provides the option to sort the resulting list and integrate it into the right-click context menu.

The Pro version can include more advanced data, such as checksums, media dimensions, meta file properties, and more.

Download: Directory List & Print for Windows 10 (Free, $22 Pro)

JR Directory Printer

JR Directory Printer is the lightest of the three third-party apps in this article, coming with a download size of just 173KB. It is portable, so there is no need to install.

If you face problems launching it on Windows 10, you should run it in compatibility mode:

  • Right click on JDirPrinter.exe and select Properties.
  • Under the Compatibility tab, check Run this program in compatibility mode and select Windows XP (Service Pack 3).

Easy to use after that. Select the folder you want to list, choose whether you want to repeat (include) all its subfolders and whether you want the file names to be lowercase, then click Start.

This will create and open a file named DirPrint.txt, which you can edit or copy elsewhere.

Other options (under the View tab) include file size in KB/bytes, attributes, and custom file length. It’s very light and simple, but it’s meant to be.

Download: JR Directory Printers for Windows 10 (Free)

How You Print Directory Contents

Windows may not have the native ability to print the contents of a folder in a user-friendly way, but thanks to these solutions and all the freeware, it’s actually easy.