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Moving And Deleting Multiple Files

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014 by | Filed Under: Computer Terms, File & Disk Management, I've Always Wanted To Know...

Dave asks:

I find it a pain to copy, paste, and delete files one by one. Is there a way to make it easier?

Hi Dave!

It is very easy to move and delete multiple files at once. There are even multiple ways to do this.

Let’s start with a little vocabulary.

Highlight – Clicking on a file or picture so that it is selected, usually outlined in blue or black.

Copy – When you copy something, whether it is text or pictures, you keep the original but make another one, much like a copy machine.

Cut – When you cut something, it removes the word or file from the original location, like when you cut something out of a piece of paper.

Paste – Allows you to place whatever you copied or cut to a new location.

Drag and drop – Clicking on a file and holding the left mouse button, allowing you to move a file from one place to another.

OK, let’s say we want to copy multiple files from one folder to another. To start, my suggestion is to have both folders open side by side.

Then, you need to highlight all the files you want to copy. If they are all in a row, you can simply drag your mouse over them.

However, my favorite trick to copy multiple files is to click on each file I want while holding down the Control (CTRL) key on the keyboard. This allows you to highlight multiple items even if they are not right beside each other.

Once your chosen files are highlighted, then you need to copy or cut the files. Again, if you want to keep the files in both locations, choose copy. If you want them to only go to the new location, choose cut. Now is where there are a few ways to complete our task. First, you can use the copy/cut and paste commands. Keeping the files highlighted, point to one of the files with your mouse cursor and RIGHT click so that your options menu comes up. (If you left click, you will have to go through and highlight all those files again because it will only select one file!)

You can then click on copy or cut. Please note, your files may seem to be gone if you click cut, but they are actually saved to your clipboard. Move to the new folder you want your files in, right click in any blank space, and click paste.

Another way to move your files is to have all your files highlighted, then click and hold the mouse to drag the files. Simply drag all the files at once to the new folder, and then let go of the mouse button.

If you click and drag using the RIGHT mouse button, you will get an option of whether you want to Move here (cut) or Copy here.  Otherwise, the files only move to the new folder, such as using the cut command.

Now all your files are in the new place. If you need to delete multiple files at the same time, you can use the same process, but instead of dragging or copying, just delete the files. If you don’t feel comfortable using the cut command because you feel you may lose your files, you can always go back and use the multiple delete method.


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