Specifies the number of files that MS-DOS can access at one time.

The FILES and FILESHIGH commands can only be invoked from Config.sys.



xThe number of files that can be accessed at one time. x can be from 8 to 255, with a default value of 30 (Win95) and 60 (Win98).


  1. By default, the line
    fileshigh=30 (Win95) or
    fileshigh=60 (Win98)
    is used by Windows on startup. It is only necessary to include a "fileshigh= " line in config.sys if an alternative value is required and/or when working without Windows loaded ("pure" Dos mode).

  2. In the days of Dos6 a value of 30 has been recommended as a good general purpose figure, so 60 should be plenty for most situations. Some Dos programs such as compilers and databases may require several hundred files to be open at any time but in such cases the setup program will likely introduce the required entry in config.sys.

  3. The value set for FILES may not be the only determining factor in how many files a program can have open at a time, and the design of the programs being used may be a limiting factor.

  4. Each FILE specified requires about 50 bytes of memory.

    If the DOS command is used to manage the upper memory blocks (it usually is), the default value for FILES are automatically loaded high.

This page last revised:
November 4, 2001.