Windows 7 - Five Ways to Move or Copy Files or Folders
By Stephen Bucaro
At its core, the PC is a device for working with and storing files. Two common things
done with files is to move them or to copy them. Did you know that Windows provides at
least five different ways to copy or move a file or folder?
1. Drag with left mouse button
In Explorer, place the mouse pointer over the file or folder name then press and hold
the left mouse button while dragging it from source to destination. If the source and
destination are on the same drive, Windows will move it. If the source and destination are
on different drives, Windows will copy it. If you want to move rather than copy to a
different drive, hold down the [Shift] key while dragging.
2. Drag with right mouse button
Place the mouse pointer over the file or folder name then press and hold the right
mouse button while dragging it from source to destination. When you release the right
mouse button over the destination, a popup menu will appear. In the popup menu select
Copy here or Move here.
3. Use the Context Menu
Right-click on the file or folder name and in the popup menu that appears select Cut
or >Copy. Then right-click on the destination and, in the popup menu that appears,
select Copy or Paste.
4. Use the Explorer Toolbar
Click on the file or folder name to highlight it, then press the [Alt] key to display
the File toolbar. In the File toolbar, select the Edit menu. In the Edit
menu, select Copy to folder... or Move to folder.... A new window will appear
that you can use to navigate to the destination and then click on the window's [Copy] or
5. Use the Explorer Navigation Pane
You can use left or right mouse button drag inside the Explorer window if you have it
configured to show all files and folders. However, this is not the default setting. To
configure Explorer, in the toolbar select Organize then Folder and search options.
In the Folder Options dialog box that appears, in the Navigation pane section
of the General tab, check the [x] Show all folders and [x] Automatically
expand to current folder check boxes. Click on the [OK] button.
This allows you to navigate to make the file or folder name visible in the right pane,
then navigate in the left pane to make the destination visible. Then use a right or left
mouse button drag to copy or move the file or folder to the destination.
When you install software on your PC, it creates folders and files and records their
locations in the Windows registry. Moving an applications files or folders is a dirty
trick to play on the application, and in return it will play a dirty trick on you - it
will fail to operate.
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