How to Find the Root of a Folder on the Web


Web pages load from files stored in a standard directory-tree structure on a server. The domain name forms the base of the website address. Additional directories under that domain house the files for different sections of the site. Each folder can contain many items. To load from the contents of an individual folder, you may need to navigate to its root. Most website visitors simply view page content without regard to the storage location from which the files load. If you're looking for specific content, understanding how to navigate the directory tree of a website can save you time.

  • Determine which folder's root view you wish to explore. For example, contains a folder called "hello" which contains another folder called "goodbye."

  • Click in your Web browser's URL field, or location line. This data entry field at the top of the browser window also displays the address of each Web page you view.

  • Place your cursor at the end of the desired folder name in the URL. Move the cursor to this position with the arrow keys on the keyboard or with a single mouse click. The cursor's blink should appear immediately after the forward slash at the end of the folder name.

  • Press "Delete" to remove all the typed characters to the right of the blinking cursor. Your edit removes everything after the name of your desired folder and the forward slash that follows it.

  • Press "Enter." The browser loads the contents from the folder. If the files include a valid HTML page, that page loads; if not, you see a list of the contents of this folder.

Tips & Warnings

  • Many sites automatically substitute a specific page when you attempt to view the contents of a folder. Alternatively, you may see an error message signaling that you do not have authorization to view the contents of a folder. This common precaution helps prevent hackers from gaining access to files not intended for public view. Some sites display the root folder view as an easy way to share a large directory of information.

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  • Photo Credit Christopher Robbins/Photodisc/Getty Images
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