SharePoint Online: Create a Folder using PowerShell

Requirement: Create a Folder in SharePoint Online Document Library.

Folders are used to organize files in SharePoint, similar to what we do on our computers. When it comes to managing files, creating folders in SharePoint Online is the most efficient option and makes it easier to find what you’re looking for. A typical SharePoint folder is a container for all the files and sub-folders you create in your document library. There are many ways to create a new folder in SharePoint Online. Let’s see the most common methods used when creating folders on the SharePoint Online site. You can add a folder to the SharePoint Online list or library by following the below steps:

How to Create a Folder in SharePoint Online?

Folders can be created in any list or library in SharePoint Online where the “New Folder” feature is turned ON. By default, folders are enabled in libraries, whereas in lists, they are disabled. Like folders in Windows Explorer, SharePoint Folders are used to organize files into a structure. So, how to create a folder in SharePoint? Creating a folder in a SharePoint library is simple and straightforward.

To create a folder in SharePoint Online, follow these steps:

  1. Login to your SharePoint Online site, and navigate to your document library where you want to create a folder in the web browser.
  2. On the ribbon, click on the Files tab (Items tab, if it is a list, instead of a library).
  3. Click on the “New Folder” button.
    create new folder sharepoint online
  4. In the “Create a new folder” window, enter the folder name and click Save!
    sharepoint online create folder powershell

Now you can see your new folder in the Document Library. Similarly, in the modern experience, you can create a new folder by clicking on the “New” button in the toolbar and then “Folder”.

create folder in sharepoint online using powershell

Type in a name for the folder and click “Save”. Your folder has been created! Once you have created the folder, you can add files to it.

Folder or Metadata? Which one should you choose?

The answer is both! A SharePoint folder is a container for all the files and sub-folders that you create in your document library. This makes it easier to store all your document files and sub-folders. Metadata is information about the file itself, such as its name, size, and last modified date. You can add metadata to any file by clicking on the Details tab and entering information into the fields.

Please note, creating a folder is less preferred compared with adding a meta-data column to classify data in SharePoint!

Permissions to create a Folder in SharePoint Online library: You need at least “Contribute” Permissions on the document library in which you want to create a folder!

How to enable the “New Folder” option?

By default, Folder creation is enabled on the SharePoint Online document libraries. What if the New Folder option is grayed out? If the New Folder button isn’t available, you can enable it.

  1. Navigate to the List or Library setting >> click Advanced settings.
  2. In the Folder section, click the “Yes” option to make the “New Folder” menu item available.
  3. Click OK to save your changes.

Now, you should get the “New folder” in the SharePoint list. Let’s see how to create folders in SharePoint Online with PowerShell.

How to add a SharePoint folder to file explorer?
You can also create a folder in Explorer View! Just open the library in File Explorer and create a new folder by simply right click >> New >> Folder

SharePoint Online: Create a Folder using PowerShell

Instead of manually creating folders in your SharePoint Online document library, You can use PowerShell to do this in a few lines of script. Let us create a folder in the SharePoint document library using PowerShell CSOM:

#Variables for Processing
$SiteUrl = "https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/marketing"
$ListURL="/sites/marketing/Shared Documents"
$FolderName="Reports"
$UserName="[email protected]"
$Password ="password goes here"
 
#Setup Credentials to connect
$Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($UserName,(ConvertTo-SecureString $Password -AsPlainText -Force))

Try { 
    #Set up the context
    $Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteUrl) 
    $Context.Credentials = $credentials
  
    #Get the List Root Folder
    $ParentFolder=$Context.web.GetFolderByServerRelativeUrl($ListURL)

    #sharepoint online powershell create folder
    $Folder = $ParentFolder.Folders.Add($FolderName)
    $ParentFolder.Context.ExecuteQuery()

    Write-host "New Folder Created Successfully!" -ForegroundColor Green
}
catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
} 

Create Sub-Folder at the given path using PowerShell:

We can add a folder or sub-folder to any existing library or folder using PowerShell.

    
#Set up the context
$Context = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteUrl) 
$Context.Credentials = $credentials

#sharepoint online powershell create folder in document library
$Folder=$Context.Web.Folders.Add("Shared Documents/Reports/V2")
$Context.ExecuteQuery()

Write-host "Folder Created at: " $Folder.ServerRelativeUrl -ForegroundColor Green
How many folders can you have in SharePoint Online? Technically, up to 30 million files and folders! More info: SharePoint Limits

SharePoint Online: PowerShell to create a folder in the document library

Let us wrap it inside a function and create a folder in SharePoint Online using PowerShell.

#Load SharePoint CSOM Assemblies
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.dll"
Add-Type -Path "C:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Web Server Extensions\16\ISAPI\Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.Runtime.dll"
 
Function Create-Folder()
{
    param(
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$SiteURL,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$false)][System.Management.Automation.PSCredential] $Cred,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$LibraryName,
        [Parameter(Mandatory=$true)][string]$FolderName
    )

    Try {
        $Credentials = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.SharePointOnlineCredentials($Cred.Username, $Cred.Password)

        #Setup the context
        $Ctx = New-Object Microsoft.SharePoint.Client.ClientContext($SiteURL)
        $Ctx.Credentials = $Credentials

        #Get the Library by Name
        $List = $Ctx.Web.Lists.GetByTitle($LibraryName)

        #Check Folder Exists already
        $Folders = $List.RootFolder.Folders
        $Ctx.Load($Folders)
        $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()

        #Get existing folder names
        $FolderNames = $Folders | Select -ExpandProperty Name
        if($FolderNames -contains $FolderName)
        {
            write-host "Folder Exists Already!" -ForegroundColor Yellow
        }
        else #powershell sharepoint online create folder if not exist
        {
            #sharepoint online create folder powershell
            $NewFolder = $List.RootFolder.Folders.Add($FolderName)
            $Ctx.ExecuteQuery()
            Write-host "Folder '$FolderName' Created Successfully!" -ForegroundColor Green
        }
    }
    Catch {
        write-host -f Red "Error Creating Folder!" $_.Exception.Message
    }
}

#Call the function to delete list view
Create-Folder -SiteURL "https://crescent.sharepoint.com" -Cred (Get-Credential) -LibraryName "Project Documents" -FolderName "Active"

This PowerShell creates the directory if it does not exist. Let’s see how to create a SharePoint folder using PnP PowerShell.

Create a Folder in SharePoint Online using PnP PowerShell

Use the Add-PnPFolder cmdlet to add a folder in SharePoint Online. Here is the SharePoint Online PowerShell to create a folder in a document library:

#Config Variables
$SiteURL = "https://Crescent.sharepoint.com"
$FolderName= "Team Projects"
$SiteRelativeURL= "/Shared Documents" #Site Relative URL of the Parent Folder

#Get Credentials to connect
$Cred = Get-Credential

Try {
    #Connect to PnP Online
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Credentials $Cred
    
    #sharepoint online create folder powershell
    Add-PnPFolder -Name $FolderName -Folder $SiteRelativeURL -ErrorAction Stop
    Write-host -f Green "New Folder '$FolderName' Added!"
}
catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
}

What if the folder exists already? Here is how to create a folder in SharePoint Online so that you can better organize your data. The Resolve-PnPFolder cmdlet checks if the folder exists. If not, it creates a new one with the following command:

#Set Parameters
$WebURL = "https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/marketing"
$FolderURL = "Project Documents/2018"

#Connect to PnP Online
Connect-PnPOnline -Url $WebURL -Credentials (Get-Credential)

#Create Folder if it doesn't exist
Resolve-PnPFolder -SiteRelativePath $FolderURL

Bulk Add Multiple Folders from A-Z

Want to create folders A to Z in a SharePoint Online document library or folder? Here is the PowerShell script to make multiple folders in one go:

#Config Variables
$SiteURL="https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/Retail"
$FolderSiteRelativeURL = "Invoices V2"

Try {
    #Connect to PnP Online
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Interactive

    #Create Folder
    $Array = 65..90
    ($Array).ForEach({
        $Char = [char]$_
        Add-PnPFolder -Name $Char -Folder $FolderSiteRelativeURL
    })
 
}
Catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
}

This script creates folders from A to Z in the given document library:

create multiple folders in sharepoint online using PowerShell

What if you want to create Folders for each Month? From January to December:

#Parameters
$SiteURL="https://crescent.sharepoint.com/sites/Retail"
$FolderSiteRelativeURL = "Shared Documents"

Try {
    #Connect to PnP Online
    Connect-PnPOnline -Url $SiteURL -Interactive

    #Create Folder for Each Month
    $Array = 1..12
    ($Array).ForEach({
        $FolderName = (Get-Culture).DateTimeFormat.GetMonthName($_)
        Add-PnPFolder -Name $FolderName -Folder $FolderSiteRelativeURL
    }) 
}
Catch {
    write-host "Error: $($_.Exception.Message)" -foregroundcolor Red
}

How do I create a bulk folder in SharePoint Online? If you want to create multiple folders in bulk from a CSV file, use: SharePoint Online: PowerShell to Create Multiple Folders in a Document Library from a CSV

Can you make folders private in SharePoint Online?

Yes! You can break the permission inheritance of a Folder and share it privately with specific users in SharePoint.
More info: Restrict access to a folder in SharePoint Online

How do I upload a folder to SharePoint Online?

You can upload a folder with all its files and subfolders by dragging and dropping it into a SharePoint Online document library. File Explorer view and PowerShell methods can also help upload a folder and its contents.
More info: Upload folder to SharePoint Online using PowerShell

How do I find the URL of a SharePoint folder?

To get the direct URL of a folder in SharePoint: Navigate to the document library where the folder is located >> Select the folder >> On the information panel, scroll to the bottom. Click on the little copy icon next to “Path”. This gives you the direct link to the folder.

How do I add a link to a SharePoint folder in Explorer?

You can add your frequent SharePoint Online folder to “Quick Access” in file explorer for easy access.
More info: How do I add a folder to SharePoint in Explorer?

How do I delete a folder from my SharePoint Online?

To delete a folder from your SharePoint Online, go to the list or document library of that Folder. Select the folder you want to delete and click on Delete from the command bar. You can also use PowerShell to remove a folder in SharePoint Online.
More info: Delete a Folder in SharePoint Online

Salaudeen Rajack

Salaudeen Rajack - SharePoint Expert with Two decades of SharePoint Experience. Love to Share my knowledge and experience with the SharePoint community, through real-time articles!

8 thoughts on “SharePoint Online: Create a Folder using PowerShell

  • Anyway to create folders with powershell for sharepoint site pages?

    Reply
    • The “New Folder” option is disabled in the “Site Pages” library by default! You can enable it by going to Library settings >> Advanced Settings >> and set the Make “New Folder” command available? to “Yes”

      Reply
  • Error handling doesn’t work with Add-PnPFolder.

    Add-PnPFolder : A file or folder with the name https://XXXX.sharepoint.com/sites/XXX/SBU DBA/Applied Materials/AMAT Eng Projects T and M already
    exists.
    At line:6 char:8
    + $a=Add-PnPFolder -Name “AMAT Eng Projects T and M” -Folder “SBU D …
    + ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    + CategoryInfo : WriteError: (:) [Add-PnPFolder], ServerException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : EXCEPTION,SharePointPnP.PowerShell.Commands.Files.AddFolder
    New Folder ” Added!

    Reply
  • any idea why created folder wont appear on the Sharepoint list?
    Folder created manually from Ribbon shows correct.
    In debugger i list all folders : created by csom and manualy are listed in array.
    Cant see the difference in those Folder objects.

    Any idea?

    Reply
    • That could be because of your View settings! Edit the List view, under folders, Set the Option to “Show items inside folders” instead of “Show all items without folders”

      Reply
    • I have the same problem like the anonymous

      Reply
    • Even I am facing the same issue, other folders are visible which were created manually

      Reply

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