OS File/folder limits (Win/Mac)

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As you read this don't forget these are limits - you don't need to work up to them (unless you like stressing your computer). Large individual files or very large numbers of files in a folder require a powerful computer is you don't want to be watching the spinning cursor.

Finder/Explorer is never too happy reading really large folders. Consider splitting a large folder's files into smaller sub-folders, especially if you regularly need to access the content from Finder/Explorer windows.

Operating systems All versions of Windows and DOS Windows .NET Server 2003, Windows XP, Windows 2000, Windows 98, Windows 95 OEM Service Release (OSR) 2 Windows .NET Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000 support NTFS 4 and 5 (previous version of Windows NT support NTFS 4 only) Pre OS 8.1 OS 8.1 or later, OSX
Maximum volume size 4GB 2TB (although Windows XP lets you format only up to 32GB but can read larger volumes) You can use 64KB clusters to achieve a 256TB volume (any volumes larger than 2TB must be dynamic, not basic) OS6-7 = 2GB
OS7.5 = 4GB
OS7.5.2 = 2TB
2TB (up to 21 volumes allowed)
Minimum volume size Floppy disk 512MB 10MB ? ?
Maximum file size 4GB 4GB Size of volume 2GB 2TB
Maximum files per volume approx 65,536 4,177,920 4,294,967,295 32,767 per folder, 64,000 per volume. Suggested 1200 per folder 32,767 per folder, >2Bn per volume. Suggested 1200 per folder
Maximum files per volume root folder 512 files or folders * 65,534 files or folders * n/a ? ?

* If you use long filenames, you will reduce the number of files per folder.

Question: OS File/folder limits (Win/Mac) [FAQ00002.htm]
Last Update:- 01 June 2006

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