Glossary Entry: File system

Quick Definition

Regardless of what the media is, computer storage is basically a big blob of ones and zeros. In order to make sense of what these mean or where information is stored, computers first split the big blob into partitions*. Each partition* is then formatted* to use a specific style of data storage, called a file system.

There are a lot of different file systems out there, but they all basically do the same thing. They provide places to store files and means to sort them into folders for easier organization. Some file systems also offer additional features like access permissions, file ownership or compression.

The most common file systems are probably NTFS and FAT, both of which are used by the Windows* family of operating systems*, though the latter is typically usable by everyone.

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