Suction: consolidate files in a folder structure into the parent directory


Suction is a small free utility that can consolidate all files in several directories recursively and deposit them into a single parent directory. It can install an entry in the right-click context menu for quick action on folders.

Do you believe in synchronicity? That’s when, for example, you may be feeling depressed and randomly come upon a book at a yard sale that really speaks to you and makes you feel a lot better. Or you decide to quit your job but the day before you do it they tell you that they’re laying you off with 6 months severance pay.

The reason I mention this is because I had a whole bunch of folders (43 folders to be exact) full of freeware that I downloaded over the past 12 months that I wanted to consolidate into a single folder. I was thinking about how best to do this and it so happened that I came upon this program by pure chance.

Here’s what you need to know about Suction:

  1. Portable; unzip and run
  2. Integrates into Windows’ context menu: from the about section
  3. Two ways to use it; (1) run suction.exe and then drop all the folders you want to “unify” onto the program dialog, or (2) if the context menu entry is enabled, right click on the folder containing all the other folders you want to process.
  4. Works recursively: all files within potentially complex folder structures will be scooped up and deposited in the parent directory.
  5. De-duplication option: this setting (which you can toggle in the about section) removes dupes have the same name and content. Different versions of the file that have the same name, however, will NOT be deleted but rather will have a numbered suffix added to their filename (e.g. name-1, name-2).
  6. Deletes all empty folders: once the consolidation of the files is over and done with. It should also display the number of suctioned files (if it does not do this then the consolidation has not been performed properly).
  7. Use with care: once you consolidate your files there is simply no way to go back to the previous structure. This can be an especially hard lesson if you mistakenly right click “suction” on a folder and watch as the contents are flattened when you don’t want them to be and the directory structure removed.

The verdict: nice, small, and lightweight, and can really save you a lot of time. The only thing I found is that the program will at times NOT perform the consolidation if you move folders onto it, but will do it if you move the root folder onto it instead (but I am guessing this will be rectified in future versions).

Version tested: 1.0.6

Compatibility: WinAll

Go to the program page to download the latestoar version (approx 180K).