How to Copy and Move Files and Folders on Mac OS X Snow Leopard

You may find the files and folders on your Mac Snow Leopard aren’t where you want them to be. Snow Leopard makes copying and moving files and folders a simple drag and drop experience. You can copy and move just one file at a time or move several at once:

  • To copy a file or folder from one window to another location on the same drive: Hold down the Option key and click and drag the icon from its current home to the new location. (Note: You can drop files and folders on top of other folders, which puts the copy inside that folder.) If you’re copying multiple items, select them first and then drag and drop the entire crew.

    Instead of cluttering your Desktop with tons of files, create a folder or two on your Desktop and then store those items within those folders. If you work with the contents of a specific folder often, drag it into the Places heading in the Sidebar (the column at the left side of any Finder window), and you can open that folder from the Finder with a single click no matter where you are! (Alternatively, drag the folder to the Dock and drop it there, and you can open it with a single click from anywhere.)

  • To copy items from one window to a location on another drive: Click and drag the icon from the window to a window displaying the contents of the target drive. Or, in the spirit of drag-and-drop, you can simply drag the items to the drive icon, which places them in the root folder of that drive.

  • To move items from one window to another location on the same drive: Simply drag the icon to the new location, whether it be a window or a folder. (To move items to a different drive, hold down the Command key while dragging.)

Mac OS X Snow Leopard provides you with a number of visual cues to let you know what’s being copied or moved. For example, dragging one or more items displays a ghost image of the items, and when you’ve positioned the mouse pointer over the target, Mac OS X highlights that location to let you know that you’re in the zone. If you’re moving or copying items into another Finder window, the window border is highlighted to let you know that Mac OS X understands the game plan.

In case you move the wrong to the wrong location, press Command+Z to undo the previous action.

If the item that you’re dragging already exists in the target location, you get a confirmation dialog. You can choose to replace the file, leave the existing file alone, or stop the entire shooting match.

Decide whether to replace a file.
Decide whether to replace a file.
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