Moving a Folder or File

Moving a Folder or File
Mac Tip #91/05-March-2003

Sometimes you end up with a folder or a document in the wrong place and you want to move it. Sometimes too it can seem a bit confusing about whether this file will be moved or copied.

Here’s how it works.

To move a file you just drag it out of one folder and into another.

Now, provided both folders are part of the same volume it will be moved. If the folders are on different volumes it won’t be moved, but instead copied.

So, what’s a volume? Commonly it’s a disc or device.

What this means in English: If you just have a normal hard drive which displays as one icon on your desktop and you drag a file around on it, that file will be moved not copied.

If you insert a floppy disc, a CD or DVD capable of storing information, a Zip disc, an iPod, a media card via a card reader, a networked computer or many other devices then you have more than one volume. If you drag that file from your own hard drive to one of those devices then it will be copied not moved.

If you do it the other way and drag from that other device (eg drag from a backup CD or a networked computer) then again that file will be copied not moved.

Special tip for the “Tenners”: you can now use Copy and Paste on icons to copy (not move) a file to another folder on your own computer. Just select the icon and choose Copy from the Edit menu. Move to a new folder and choose Paste from the Edit menu. Now you have the same file in two places. You can even paste it into the same folder, where it will add “copy” into the name.

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