Can't Copy a folder

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by GtrDude, Mar 24, 2016.

  1. GtrDude macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I'm still new to Mac, coming from Windows where cutting, copying or dragging folders to any other folder is a breeze.
    So I'm still getting used to this new OS.
    I have several folders on the desktop that I wanted to copy - of course with all their content - and paste into another folder that's in Documents.

    Seems like the only way I can do this is to highlight each folder separately because:
    1. Highlighting the first folder and holding down Shift and then clicking the last folder doesn't select the whole group, and...
    2. When I click Command + Copy I just hear a short little beep sound and nothing happens.

    Could someone please help me quickly select all the folders without dragging the mouse over them and then copying them, NOT dragging them into a finder window.

    Thanks
     
  2. richard2, Mar 25, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2016

    richard2 macrumors regular

    richard2

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Location:
    England, United Kingdom
    #2
    In Finder, if you wish to select a range of items without drawing a selection rectangle using the mouse, then you must use the list or column views.

    Try the following:

    1. In Finder, press shift-command-D to navigate to the desktop.
    2. Press command-2 to switch to the list view.
    3. Select the first item you wish to copy.
    4. While holding shift, select the last item you wish to copy.
    5. Press command-C to copy the selected items to the clipboard. (Technically, only a reference to the items is copied to the clipboard.)
    6. Navigate to the folder you wish to copy or move the items to.
    7. Press command-V to copy the items or option-command-V to move them.
     
  3. GtrDude thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #3
    Ok, so I can only multi select if I have List View on.
    I get that. Weird as hell but I get it.
    Thanks for this.

    Now, as to the other thing I'm trying to accomplish;
    is there really no way for me to cut (or copy) a bunch of folders directly
    from my desktop and past them into a folder that's in "Documents"?
     
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #4
    So...you're wanting two copies of these folders in your User folder...one in the folder that's in Documents and one on the Desktop?
     
  5. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #5
    yeah, why 2 of the same folders? once you change something in one folder, the other one won't be up-to-date. consider using an alias instead (a pointer to the original folder).

    if you must have 2 copies, just option-drag the folders you want to copy to the new location. you'll see a green circle with a plus sign during the move, and you'll then have the same folders...in both places.
     
  6. GtrDude thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #6
    No I'm not looking to make two copies, although that should also be a breeze.

    What I said is that I'd like to move several folders from the desktop to a folder in "Documents".

    I was wondering why I can't just copy the folders and paste them in the folder in Documents.

    Just weird and undersecretary difficult to only have ONE way to do anything.
    I'm not giving up on the Macs at all, I actually like it enough that I'm considering getting another one.
    But I would still think that copying and pasting a folder should be a very basic computer function.
     
  7. fisherking macrumors 601

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #7
    am confused; is it so hard to drag it from one place to the other?
     
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    #8
    The Mac way is to open two finder windows. Sorry if you're not used to that. Keep doing it until you are.
     
  9. VanNess macrumors 6502a

    VanNess

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #9
    Should be the same in el cap http://osxdaily.com/2011/07/29/cut-and-paste-mac-os-x-lion/
     
  10. GtrDude thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    #10

    It's not hard to drag it from one place to the other. However it's much MUCH easier
    just selecting the folders and cutting them from where they are and THEN navigate
    to the desired location and paste the folders there.

    Just weird that this very basic computing option wouldn't be there.

    Gregg2 explained it just fine.

    This is obviously NOT possible in a Mac whereas in Windows you can do it anyway
    you want to. Drag and drop, Copy and paste, cut and paste. You decide on your
    work method.

    Thanks for y'alls help. Now I know.
     
  11. dsemf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #11
    I am afraid that I have not been following this thread closely.

    So I decided to test things. They all work for me:
    • drag and drop
    • copy and paste (create duplicate) :: command-c / command-v
    • cut and paste (move) :: command-c / option-command-v
    I used a mixture of icon, list and column views.

    DS
     
  12. BrianBaughn macrumors 601

    BrianBaughn

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2011
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    #12
  13. NoBoMac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #13
    What dsemf said re: following and his methods listed working.

    And with regard to having two windows open to move things, instead of windows, do not forget that can have tabs in Finder windows (CMD-t), so can drag/drop between tabs (one less window to clutter the screen).
     
  14. dsemf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2014
    #14
    When I am feeling lazy, I don't even bother with tabs or multiple windows.

    I just drag the item and hover over directories until they spring open and then down the structure to wherever and then drop.

    DS
     

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