Folders have metadata such as name, date modified, permissions, etc. Is it possible to fill up a whole drive with only empty folders?


According to to this reddit comment and article, yes.

In case someone in the future sees this and the comment is deleted, here is what it said word-for-word.

According to this article each folder record is 1KB each. So a 500GB disk could only contain 500,000,000 folders at max. The real number would be slighty lower, since their is some additional metadata that needs to be stored.

  • 1
    Note that this is specific to Windows, or rather the filesystem being used (NTFS in this case). Other OSes and file systems use different ways of storing directories. – slhck Jul 17 '18 at 6:46
  • Note: Its NOT 1k, its 1 cluster or allocation unit. This varies on the file system, NTFS is 4k by default but anything from .5k to 64k(in increments of powers of 2) is fair game for many file systems. In the FAT16 days a sector could hold 16 directory entries per sector. Now a days with long file names the ratio could be even lower. Therefore the max is probably a lot lower than 500M. Even if you use short filenames 11 characters are reserved. Some file systems,FAT32, have a backward compatibility so there are potentially 2 directory entries for each file. – cybernard Jul 27 '18 at 2:43

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.