Moving and copying files by using the drag-and-drop method

The most common way to copy and move files and folders is by using the drag-and-drop method, which means that you select one or more files and drag them to another location. For example, you can drag a file to the Recycle Bin to delete the file, or drag a file to a folder to copy or move it to that location.

Illustration showing how to drag files
How to drag files

When you drag a file or folder, exactly what happens depends upon what you drag and where you drag it. Pop-up windows containing information appear when you drag a file over a destination—pay attention to these to find out what will happen when you release the mouse button. You can also refer to the following table to learn more about what happens when you drag files and folders.

Tip

  • If you press and hold the right mouse button while dragging, a menu appears that lets you choose a specific action, such as copying or moving.

Dragging files

When you drag a file This is what happens
When you drag a file

Into a folder on same hard disk

This is what happens

The file is moved to the destination folder.

When you drag a file

Into a folder on a different hard disk

This is what happens

The file is copied to the folder on the destination disk.

When you drag a file

Into the Navigation pane (left pane) of a folder

This is what happens

Nothing. You can't add files to the Navigation pane.

Dragging folders

When you drag a folder This is what happens
When you drag a folder

Into a folder on same hard disk

This is what happens

The folder is moved to the destination folder.

When you drag a folder

Into a folder on a different hard disk

This is what happens

The folder is copied to the folder on the destination disk.

When you drag a folder

Into the Navigation pane of a folder

This is what happens

A link to the folder is added to the Navigation pane, and the link is then available from the Navigation pane of every folder.