Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to tag different file types (i.e. .pdf, .epub, .iso, .bin, folders,..) using the same descriptive fields. For example i would like a metadata field "type" which would be "eBook" on pdf- and epub-files, "CD-Image" on iso- and bin-files.

I read about Alternate Data Streams (ADS) to make this possible. Does anyone know a good program for Windows 7 to tag different files and search for them? It is important for me, that the metadata is NOT stored in a separate database. I move the files a lot and need to stay flexible (ADSs 'stick' to the files).

Any ideas?

share|improve this question
I don't think NTFS supports file or folder meta-data – user Mar 29 '12 at 20:55
NTFS supports Alternate Data Streams. But I don't know a program which uses ADSs for tagging purposes. – Pwdr Mar 30 '12 at 13:35
It does not look like anything has changed in Windows 8... – Pwdr Dec 4 '12 at 0:27

This is about a free and open source solution to the problem, available at

I started out with the same requirements as Pwdr. What the linked solution does is to allow you to use Explorer to see and edit tags, comments, etc that are stored in ADS. It also works with Windows search.

I think that Microsoft almost shipped this in Vista, because all the plug points are there in both Explorer and NTFS. The key piece that I provide is one 17 K DLL ( 64-bit) to connect the dots. They seem to have backed off because although everything works great as long as the file is on an NTFS drive, but the metadata is lost when you send the file as an e-mail attachment, or move it to a different file system. As a mitigation, my solution includes a capability to export the ADS metadata to an XML file, and re-import it elsewhere.

share|improve this answer
I downloaded this and have had success adding metadata to more types of files. It doesn't appear to work for Folders though. – AndyM Apr 30 '14 at 13:37 There are discussions to add Folders, but nothing has come of them yet. – AndyM Apr 30 '14 at 13:45

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .