Responsibilities of a File Manager


Each file stored in computer memory has specific information that is given by the user. The files stored in the file system can be in various forms like image, audio, video, text etc. All these forms of data have different format extensions. Operating system is responsible for managing the operations of the file that are stored in the computer. The input file data can be stored in primary memory or secondary memory devices to store and retrieve information.

The file is represented in terms of bits, bytes, or any records that can be defined by the author of the file. Each file stored in the system has a logical address or location which is used for storing and retrieval process. All files follow an organized hierarchy in their respective directories, and this makes the user search for a specific file in a faster way. Each File manager has a specific configuration that may vary based on the operating system like MacOS, Windows, or Unix systems.

File manager

File manager is a computer software program that is used to provide a platform to the user, to store and manage their files on the device. This manager is capable of managing a single file or group of files that are inside the system. It performs functions like file creation, opening, editing, and copying from one location to another, deleting the contents or complete file from a location, managing file permissions, and much more.

User files that are stored in directories or folders follow a hierarchical tree structure, where the files are arranged in a directory or folder and contain details about themselves which are called Metadata. Metadata contains information about file creation date, last modified date, access permission, last access date, author name, and file size all these details are provided by the file manager to the files stored in the system.

Responsibilities of File manager

  • File transferring from one location to another, can be made either by copying or moving functions. During this process file manager provides the user with the source and destination location, how many files are transferred while moving/copying a folder, the transfer rate, the remaining number of files yet to be transferred, etc. All these details are displayed to the user by the Graphical file manager.

  • It is responsible for locating new files based on the user storage location or default location wherever the memory is available in the partitions of disk drives by using disk management software activated in the operating system.

  • It provides input and output interaction where users can perform read, write, edit, delete, etc. operations as per their requirements.

  • It manages the file permission or access permission to the users, thereby it decides who can access the content and what operations can be made to the file. All the operating systems provide access permissions to the user files in three modes to do read, write and execute(rwx).

  • This access permission varies in the Linux Operating system it provides access based on three groups such as owner, group, or other users.

  • It provides protection to the files with the access rights predefined by the owner so it does not allow any unauthorized users or hackers to access the files.

  • It allocates the files to the storage device of secondary memory and then loads the file into the main memory for performing any operations from the user end.

  • It supports storing data in secondary devices like hard drives, USB devices, optical disk drives, etc., and provides details of the file information for easier access and storage purposes.

  • It is responsible to organize the files in hierarchical order where the root directory has the child directories and each child directory has several files or sub-directories associated with them

  • It manages the files that are located in secondary storage and does not get deleted when the user switches off from the device.

  • It deallocates the files which are not used for a long time and are not accessed by the user, and updates regarding it to the file allocation table.

  • It supports providing network connectivity through protocols like HTTP, FTP, and SMB. This connection is made possible for the user when they can browse the respective file server.


  • When a group of files is stored under the root directory in a hierarchical manner, then searching for a specific file in it takes longer access time for the file manager to bring it to the user interface menu.

  • When more files are stored the file manager takes time to locate those files after looking up free spaces in the memory units.

  • Files that contain virus, if stored in the directory then the virus may be spread to other files also and this may be a major issue for the file manager to overcome.


The file manager has the responsibility of managing the files in terms of memory allocation/deallocation, disk operations, and input/output functions (read, write, modify, delete, copy, move, etc.). It also provides security to the files by verifying the predefined access permissions to authorized users.

Updated on: 17-Jul-2023


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