I'm looking for a program that will let me group folders together in a folder depending on the prefix.

So if I have folders, A-B-C-1 and A-B-C-2, since they both have prefix A then they will be placed in a folder.

Is there a program for Windows or OS X that will allow this?

2 Answers 2


You could use the built-in PowerShell 3.0 tool in Windows (8+?). Open PowerShell 3.0 and choose a prefix filter, search path, and a destination directory. Example of a command:

Get-ChildItem -Directory -Recurse -Path "C:\Users\John\Desktop" -Filter "A-*" | foreach {Move-Item -Path $_ -Destination "C:\Users\John\Documents\Destination-folder" }

Analysis of the command

Get-ChildItem -Directory

Gets the directories in the specified location


Also checks sub-directories' sub-directories'... You can leave this out if you only need to check directories in one folder.

-Path "C:\Users\John\Desktop"

Specifies the path you want to search for directories in

-Filter "A-*"

Only selects directories starting with "A-" (This is your prefix). The * is a wildcard which tells PowerShell not to care about what the rest of the directory name.


The "pipe" character sends the output of the first command (Get-ChildItem) to the next command (for further processing)

 foreach { }

Classic for-loop that does a specified action on each item (aka each directory from Get-ChildItem)

 foreach {Move-Item -Path $_ -Destination "C:\Users\John\Documents\Destination-directory" }

Move the item "$_" (a variable that represents each item (directory) Get-ChildItem sends) to the specified destination directory.


You could do this quite quickly with a simple python script - assuming that you have all of the folders in a single location to start with, something like, (untested):

import os
import collections

folder = os.path.curdir  # Or somewhere else?
dirlist = [d for d in os.listdir(folder) if os.path.isdir(os.path.join(folder, d))]
outmap = collections.defaultdict(list)
for name in dirlist:
    pre = name[:1].upper() # 1 is prefix length & make case independent
    if pre.isalnum() and len(name) > len(pre):  # Skip existing and specials
        outmap[pre].append(name)  # Add to the list for that prefix

for k, dirlist in outmap.iteritems(): 
    newdir = os.path.join(folder, k)  # This could be elsewhere
    for d in dirlist:
        os.renames(os.join(folder, d), os.join(newdir, d))

The above should work nicely on OS-X, Linux & Windows but you will need to install python on Windows. Free, Gratis & Open Source.

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