What Is the Master File Table or MFT and What Does It Contain?

The Master File Table, or MFT, is a database containing at least one entry for every file and directory on a New Technology File System, or NTFS logic volume. Each recorded entry holds the attributes that inform the operating system on how to manage the files and directories that correspond to the record.

The first 16 records of the MFT are reserved for special data by the NTFS. The entries in the MFT contain detailed information about a file or directory such as size, type, date and time of creation, permissions and data content. To access a complete list of MFT attributes, a user should click on the "View" option of an open folder that has at least one file or subfolder.