Some Handy BATCH and VB Scripts for Organizing Files

Here are four scripts and batch files that come in handy sometimes when you organize or clean-up files and folders on your hard disk. You can use the provided scripts as you see fit. They are provided ???as is??? and are not supported. Also be aware that I will not take any responsibility for any damage or harm that the scripts might cause. You use them at your own risk. You are free to use, copy, modify and delete them (Freeware).

Move Files to Sub Folders Alphabetically

The simple batch script creates the sub folders A, B, C, D ??? Z and 0-9 in the current directory where the batch is executed and moves all files in that same directory to the corresponding sub folder.

For example, all files starting with ???a??? or ???A???, like ??? or ???achim.gif???, will be moved to the sub folder ???A???. All files that do not start with a letter from the English alphabet, such as numbers (???0″, ???1??? ??? ???9???), special characters like ???!???, ???_???, ???$??? etc. and foreign characters like ???????? or ???????? are moved to the sub folder ???0-9???

I wrote in march a post about organizing file collections on your computer and provided also some scripts to help you sort and catalog files. I found a much simpler way of doing the same stuff as the batch script ???!organize.bat??? and the VBScript script ???!folders.vbs???. It does not replace the script ???!dirlist.vbs???, which creates the file index. If you want to use ???!dirlist.vbs??? with this new and shorter script to move files into sub folders by alphabet, simply add the following line of code after line 7 (after ???Move * 0-9??? and before ???goto :EOF???):

wscript !dirlist.vbs

This batch also does one thing slightly different. It moves to the sub folder ???0-9??? not just files that start with a number, but also all other files that do not start with a letter from the English alphabet.


   1: @echo off


   3: for %%f in (a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 0-9) do Call :MoveFiles "%%f"

   4: goto :EOF


   6: :MoveRest

   7: Move * 0-9

   8: goto :EOF


  10: :MoveFiles

  11: if NOT EXIST %1 MD %1

  12: if %1==0-9 Goto :MoveRest

  13: for %%f in (%1*) do move "%%f" %1

Remove Empty Folders and Sub Folders

This little batch file scans the directory that was provided as a parameter and all its sub-directories for empty folders and deletes them, including the provided folder itself, if it is empty as well (or became empty after all empty sub-folders were removed).


   1: @echo off

   2: set Folder="%~1"

   3: if %Folder%=="" @echo Syntax RemoveEmptySubFolders Folder&goto :EOF

   4: if not exist %Folder% @echo Syntax RemoveEmptySubFolders Folder - %Folder% not found.&goto :EOF

   5: setlocal


   7: for /f "tokens=*" %%A in ('dir /ad /s /b %Folder% ^|Sort /Reverse') do (

   8:  RmDir "%%A" 2>NUL

   9: )


  11: RmDir %Folder% 2>NUL

  12: endlocal

Move Files to Folder and Auto Rename Duplicates

This tool requires Windows Script.

This little VBScript moves all files from the source folder, including all files from it???s sub folders to the specified target folder and renames files, if a file with the same name already exists at the destination directory. The rename also works, if you have several files with the same name (such as a file with the same name in several sub directories of the source folder). The renamed file is named FILENAME[X}.EXT, where X starts with 1 and increments by 1 if already another file with the same name exists. For example

1. Source Dir\
2. Source Dir\Sub Folder1\
3. Source Dir\Sub Folder2\

would be moved and renamed to ???Target Dir??? like this

1. Target Dir\
2. Target Dir\file[1].zip
3. Target Dir\file[2]/zip

If you specify the target directory to be the same as the source directory, the script will automatically ignore the files in the source directory root and only process the files in the source directories sub folders. This feature is quite nice, if you want to consolidate all files in a directory tree in the root directory of the tree itself.

If you run the script without any parameters, you will be asked to first specify the location of the source directory (it will show as default value the path to the current directory where the script was executed) and then the target directory (it will show as default value to parent directory of the entered source directory).

Execution of the script without any parameters:

Wscript.exe MoveFilesAutoRenDup.vbs

You can also provide the source and also the destination directories as parameters to the script and you won???t be prompted to enter one anymore.

Execution of the Script with source and destination directory provided as command line parameters:



   1: Dim FSO: Set FSO = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

   2: Dim arguments: Set arguments = Wscript.arguments

   3: Const ForAppending = 8, ForReading = 1, ForWriting = 2

   4: Dim iFilesCount: iFilesCount  = 0

   5: Dim  sSrc, sDest, DC, sExt, sBase, oFOld

   6: Dim sTo, sFrom


   8: if arguments.unnamed.count = 0 then

   9:   sFrom = "N*A"

  10:   Do While sFrom <> "" and FSO.FolderExists(sFrom) = false

  11:   sFrom = InputBox("Move All Files and Auto Rename " & _ 

  12:           Dupes","Enter Source Directory" & _

  13:           ": ", fso.GetAbsolutePathName("."))

  14:   Loop

  15:   if sFrom = "" then

  16:      WScript.Quit(1)

  17:   End if

  18: else

  19:   sFrom = arguments.unnamed.Item(0)

  20: end if

  21: if not FSO.FolderExists(sFROM) then

  22:    WScript.Quit(2)

  23: end if


  25: if arguments.unnamed.count = 1 then

  26:   sTo="N*A" 

  27:   Do While sTo <> "" and FSO.FolderExists(sTo) = false

  28:   sTo = InputBox("Move All Files and Auto Rename Dupes","Source Directory: " & _ 

  29:         vbcrlf & sFrom & vbcrlf & "Enter Destination Directory" & _

  30:         ": ", FSO.GetParentFolderName(sFrom))

  31:   Loop

  32:   if sTo = "" then

  33:      WScript.Quit(1)

  34:   end if

  35: else

  36:   sTo = arguments.unnamed.Item(1)

  37: end if

  38: if not FSO.FolderExists(sTo) then

  39:    WScript.Quit(2)

  40: end if


  42: Set oFold = FSO.GetFolder(sTo)

  43: if lcase(sTo) <> lcase(sFrom) then

  44:   ShowFiles oFold.Path

  45: end if

  46: ShowSubFolders oFold


  48: Wscript.echo iFilesCount  & " files moved"

  49: '========================================

  50: Sub ShowSubFolders(Folder)

  51:   Dim SubFolder

  52:   For Each Subfolder in Folder.SubFolders

  53:     ShowFiles Subfolder.Path

  54:     ShowSubFolders Subfolder

  55:   Next

  56: End Sub

  57: '----------------------------------------

  58: Sub ShowFiles(sPath)

  59:   Dim oFile, oFolder

  60:   iFolderCount = iFolderCount + 1

  61:   Set oFolder = FSO.GetFolder(sPath)

  62:   iFilesCount = iFilesCount + oFolder.Files.count

  63:   For each oFile in oFolder.Files

  64:     sDest = FSO.BuildPath(sTo, oFile.Name)

  65:     sExt = FSO.GetExtensionName(sDest)

  66:     sBase = left(oFile.Name,len(

  67:     DC = 1

  68:     Do While FSO.FileExists(sDest) = true

  69:       DC = DC + 1

  70:       sDest = FSO.BuildPath(sTo, sBase & "[" & DC & "]." &  sExt)

  71:     Loop

  72:     sSrc = FSO.GetAbsolutePathName(FSO.BuildPath(sPath,oFile.Name))

  73:     FSO.MoveFile sSrc, sDest

  74:   Next

  75: End Sub



Determine the Short Path (8.3 DOS Name) of the Current Directory

This tool requires Windows Script.

If you still use some old 16bit or DOS applications that do not support the long file names of FAT32 and NTFS, then you know that in order for those tools to work, the short 8.3 DOS Name of directories and files must be used with the application. The dos command ???DIR /X??? provides that information, but only for the current directory. If you need to know the short name of the entire path to a sub directory a couple levels down from the drive root, this approach becomes pretty cumbersome.

Here is a little script that helps with that. You can execute it from the command prompt at the directory where you want to know the short name by typing:

wscript.exe c:\tools\shortpath.vbs

I assume that the script was saved in the directory c:\tools, if you saved it somewhere else, change the command accordingly.??

You can also add it to Windows Explorer as a shell extension like in this example below. How to install the script as a shell extension in Windows XP is explained in the last paragraph of this post.


Example for the Long Path in Windows 32 bit:

C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft

Short 8.3 DOS Path Equivalent (on my computer, might differs from yours)


The script returns the short path in an input box that you can easily copy and paste it from there into your application or document.


Here is the source code of the script.


   1: Dim oFso: Set ofso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")

   2: Dim arguments: Set arguments = Wscript.arguments


   4: if arguments.unnamed.count = 0 then

   5:   Path = ofso.GetAbsolutePathName(".")

   6: else

   7:   Path = arguments.unnamed.Item(0)

   8: end if


  10: Set tmpf = ofso.GetFolder(Path)

  11: PathShort = tmpf.ShortPath

  12: Set tmpf = Nothing


  14: a = InputBox("8 Character DOS Short Path","Path:", PathShort)

  15: Set oFso = Nothing

Using the Tools from the Command Prompt

You can run all of the provided scripts and batch files from the DOS command prompt. To open a command prompt on your computer, click on ???Start??? and then on ???Run???. Type ???cmd??? and then press ???Enter???. If you copied the batch files to a location that is included in the Windows %Path% environment variable, such as the Windows system directory (usually c:\Windows) or the System32 directory (usually c:\Windows\System32) then you do not have to provide the path to the BATCH files in order to be able to execute them. You can simply type the name of batch file and Windows will find it automatically and execute it.

Make sure that you are in the right directory when you call the batch script. If you open a command prompt the way I described it above, you are usually located at your users home directory (usually c:\documents and settings\USERNAME, where USERNAME is the name of the current Windows user). You would have to navigate to the right directory using the ???CD??? command (type ???help cd??? and then press ???enter??? to open the help documentation for the ???CD??? command)


To execute a VBScript script from the command prompt, you have enter first ???wscript.exe???, followed by the path and the file name of the script, even if the .VBS file is located in a directory that is included in the %Path% environment on your computer. ???wscript.exe??? is a tool, which is located in the Windows System32 directory (usually c:\Windows\System32) and processes the VBScript code. Unlike with .BAT files, Windows is not capable of executing VBScript code directly. If you get an error that ???wscript.exe??? was not found, then you have not Windows Script installed on your system (it is usually installed by default). You can download and re-install the Windows Script components from the Microsoft web site here.


To open quickly a command prompt in the folder that you selected in Windows Explorer, add a the ???Command Prompt Here??? Explorer Extension to your System Registry. If you do not know how to do it manually with the Regedit.exe tool from Windows, copy the code below and save it to a file with the name ???CmdHere.reg???.


   1: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


   3: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Command &Promt Here]


   5: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Command &Promt Here\command]

   6: @="cmd.exe /k cd \"%1\""

Double-click on the file and Windows should ask you if are sure that you want to import the contents of the file CmdHere.reg into the system registry. Acknowledge with ???OK??? and the extension will be installed and ready to use.


Add Tools to Windows Explorer Context Menu for Folders

The Paragraph before already showed you how to create a Windows Explorer shell extension for the Folders context menu, but let me show you some specific examples for the tools that I provided in the first segment of this blog post.

I assume that you copied all the scripts and batch files to a folder called c:\tools. If you want to use a different folder or file name for the scripts, simply adjust the .REG file samples below. Notice the two back slashes (???\???) instead of one? The second one is necessary to escape the ???\??? of the path name, that the script will not interpret it, but take it as a literal string value. If you forget to change a single back-slash to a double-back-slash, an error will occur if you try to execute/import it. You do not have to specify the path to the batch script at all, if you copied it to a?? directory that is included in the %PATH% environment of Windows, such as the Windows directory and the System32 directory of the system.

You can also create one .REG file to install all the scripts and batch files to the Explorer context menu. Make sure that the line ???Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00??? only appears once in the file at the very top and not multiple times, because that would cause errors, if you try to import it to your registry database.

Here is an example for the registration of the MoveToAlphabetSubFolders.bat

The ???Move to A-Z??? that you see in the code below is the Label for the context menu. If you want it to say something different, replace the two instances in the code with your label text.

The other script ???RemoveEmptySubFolders.bat??? requires as parameter the folder name and location to process.
To execute the batch script for the current folder selected in the context menu, add the parameter “%1??? to the command. Line 6 of the .REG file below would look like this. Notice the ???\??? before the (???), like for the ???\??? of the path is it necessary to ???unescape??? the double-quotes character to prevent interpretation of the character.

@=”C:\\tools\\RemoveEmptySubFolders.bat \”%1\””


   1: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


   3: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Move to A-Z]


   5: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Move to A-Z\command]

   6: @="c:\\tools\\MoveToAlphabetSubFolders.bat"

Here is the example for one of the VBScript tools. Notice that the command starts with wscript.exe followed by the location and name of the script. This is necessary, because Windows does not execute VBS scripts automatically like it does with BAT (Batch) scripts.


   1: Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00


   3: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Short Path]


   5: [HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory\shell\Short Path\command]

   6: @="wscript.exe c:\\tools\\shortpath.vbs"

You can download all BATCH files, VBScript files and REG files from this post as one ZIP compressed archive:


Also included in the archive are the .REG files: MoveFilesAutoRenDupInst.reg and RemoveEmptySubFoldersInst.reg to install the other two scripts to the Windows Explorer context menu; the .REG file InstallAll.reg to register all 4 scripts and the ???Command Prompt Here??? extension to Windows Explorer and UnInstallAll.reg to remove all 5 extension from Windows Explorer.


Carsten aka Roy/SAC

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Categories: Tools
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Published on: May 9, 2009

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