master file table (MFT)

The master file table (MFT) is a database in which information about every file and directory on an NT File System (NTFS) volume is stored... (Continued)

The master file table (MFT) is a database in which information about every file and directory on an NT File System (NTFS) volume is stored. There is at least one record for every file and directory on the NTFS logical volume. Each record contains attributes that tell the operating system (OS) how to deal with the file or directory associated with the record.

Detailed information about a file or directory such as the type, size, date/time of creation, date/time of most recent modification and author identity is either stored in MFT entries or in space external to the MFT but described by the MFT entries. For a complete list of MFT attributes, click on "View" in an open folder containing at least one file or subfolder and then click on "Choose Details." You can select which attributes you want made visible by checking or unchecking the boxes in the left-hand column of the resulting pop-up window.

This was first published in February 2007

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