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File Library

The File Library Module aggregates all files within the Directus Project into one consolidated library. It is a full-featured Digital Asset Management (DAM) system for storing, organizing, browsing, and transforming your various files and assets.

File Library

More Documents on Folder and File Management

This is a non-technical, no-code guide to the File Library Module. Please note there is documentation on programmatic Folder and File management via the API.

How it Works

Required Knowledge

Familiarity with the Collections Page will be helpful but not necessary.

The File Library acts as one big Folder to store all uploaded Files. Sub-folders can be created within the File Library to help Files stay organized. Folders and File information are stored in regular Collections, which means User and Role access permissions are fully configurable and granular on both Folders and Files. Multiple files can be uploaded at once through the app and also programmatically via the API. Any type of file can be uploaded, not just images. When a Folder is selected from the Navigation Bar, the File Listing Page is presented. This page has all the same features and functionalities as the Collections Page.

  1. Select a Folder. There are two options:
    • Choose desired Folder from the Navigation Bar.
    • Click create_new_folder in the Page Header, name your folder, and click "Save".
  2. Click add in the Page Header. A popover will appear.
  3. Upload your file. You have 3 options:
    • Drag a file from your desktop to the popup.
    • Click the popup area to manually select a file from your device.
    • Click more_vert in the popover and choose "Import from URL".
  4. Optional: Click the File Display to open the File Details Page and fill in information as desired.


When a file is clicked in the File Listing Page, the File Details Page appears. This is a custom form for viewing assets and embeds, with core Fields included out-of-the-box (see below), and the ability for Administrators to add additional custom Fields. This page has the same features and functionality as the Item Page.


Action Buttons

Notice the following Buttons in the Header:

  • check – Saves any edits made to the file.
  • tune – Please see Edit an Image to learn more.
  • save_alt – Downloads the file to your current device.
  • drive_file_move – Moves selected File(s) to another Folder.
  • delete – Permanently removes the File and its metadata. This action is permanent and cannot be undone.

Deleting Files Linked to Items

By default, Directus will not allow you to delete a File until you remove it from any and all related Items. However, this behavior can be reconfigured so that Files automatically update when the image is deleted by setting the relational constraint of your File Field to SET NULL or CASCADE when the File is deleted.

File Details

The Files Collection comes pre-configured with the following Fields out of the box. New Fields can be created and customized as needed in Settings > Data Model. However the pre-configured Fields cannot be changed or deleted.

File Details

  • Preview – A preview of the image or file.
  • Title – A title for the File.
  • Description – A description of the File.
  • Tags – Keywords used for search-ability.
  • Location – An optional location (e.g. where a photo was taken).
  • Storage – Which storage adapter is used to store the file asset.
  • Filename (Disk) – LOCKED. This is the actual name of the file in storage.
  • Filename (Download) – Allows you to set the name of the file when it is downloaded.

File Sidebar

The file sidebar also includes the following details, which are not editable and serve as metadata.

File Sidebar

  • Type – The MIME type of the file, displayed in the App as a formatted media type.
  • DimensionsImages only. The width and height of the image in pixels.
  • Size – The file-size the asset takes up in the storage adapter.
  • Created – The timestamp of when the file was uploaded to the Project.
  • Owner – The User that uploaded the file to the Project.
  • Modified – The timestamp of when the file was last modified.
  • Edited By – The User that modified the File.
  • Folder – The current parent folder that contains the File.
  • Metadata – Metadata JSON dump of the File's EXIF, IPTC, and ICC information.

Edit an Image

Rotate, crop, flip, or adjust aspect ratios of an image.

  1. From the File Library, click a file to open its detail page.
  2. Click the tune button in the top right to open the image editor.
  3. Make your changes and click check in the top right to save the updates.

Irreversible Change

Edits overwrite the original file on disk. This can't be reversed.

Upload a File

We covered the File Library's three upload methods in How it Works. Keep in mind that files can also be added through different Interfaces as well. For example, Users can upload an Avatar image when they fill in their User Details. Similarly, Items with an Image Field will have a file upload Interface on the Item Detail page. Files can also be uploaded programmatically via the API.

Replace a File

When a file is replaced, its existing info and all relationships are kept.

  1. Click the Image Preview on the File Detail page. A popup will appear.
  2. Upload your file. You have 3 options:
    • Drag a file from your desktop to the popup.
    • Click the popup area to manually select a file from your device.
    • Click more_vert in the popover and choose "Import from URL".