How do you 'move' a file and not copy it?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Sirious, Nov 23, 2015.

  1. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

    Joined:
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    United Kingdom
    #1
    Been using Mac for a few years now and sometimes I often want to transfer files from my Mac to my USB.

    I noticed that it actually copies the file into the USB rather than moving it - so I have to delete the original after (using drag and drop).

    Can this behaviour be changed? I just want a simple move-to-USB, like on Windows.
    I know that having a copy created is better, but just want to quickly get on my way without fiddling with the trash and what-not.

    Thanks
     
  2. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #2
    Try holding the Command key while dragging. You'll know you're moving instead of copying because the green + will go away.
     
  3. Sirious thread starter macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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    #3
    Wow, I can't believe it was that simple!
    Thank you very much
     
  4. chown33 macrumors 604

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    Sailing beyond the sunset
    #4
    There's also Copy (Edit -> Copy), followed by a Paste Special (Edit, hold down alt/option key, Paste becomes Paste Special).

    Google search terms: Finder paste special
     
  5. MacBH928 macrumors 68030

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
    #5
    I have a similar kind of question. I want to copy files but keep all the metadata of the file(Date Created, Date modified) .

    how can I do this? alt+drag and drop will work? or copy and paste?
     
  6. Gregg2 macrumors 603

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    Milwaukee, WI
    #6
    I thought it was the Option key. Command-click = right click, n'est pas?
    Now I'm gonna hafta check it out at home...
     
  7. dejo Moderator

    dejo

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    #7
    No, it's definitely the Command key. I checked before I posted just to be certain. As for right-click, that's control-click.
     
  8. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030

    Darth.Titan

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    Austin, TX
    #8
    Option-drag does the opposite of what the OP wants. It forces a copy when moving a file on the same drive.

    For the record, you can also command-option drag to create an alias of the file you're dragging.
     
  9. SnowLeopard OSX macrumors 6502a

    SnowLeopard OSX

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    #9
    Click and drag the file where you want to move it while holding command. For me, it's control because I switched out the command and control functions.
     
  10. Dana Cline macrumors newbie

    Dana Cline

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    #10
    i press the Option key,,if the OP means like the window. The file still in original folder after dragging to other places. Control + click = right click.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors G5

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    This is one of my gripes with the Finder.
    There is no "move" command for files or folders (as there is a "copy" command).

    I've found that sometimes the "command key" trick works, and sometimes it doesn't.

    Usually the only certain way to do it is to copy first, then to delete the old file/folder once you know the replacement is "in place".

    Or, use a "finder replacement" app that DOES have a "move" command.
    For this, I like "Pathfinder".
     
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

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    #12
    First, which OS version are you referring to?

    Second, try the following:
    1. In Finder, select several files.
    2. Press ⌘C.
    3. Open a folder on another drive.
    4. Click the Edit menu to show it.
    5. Observe the "Paste ..." menu item.
    6. Press the ALT/OPTION key.
    7. Does the "Paste ..." menu item change? To what?

    When I do the above on a 10.8 OS, the word "Paste" changes to "Move".
     
  13. MacBH928 macrumors 68030

    MacBH928

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    May 17, 2008
  14. TioP macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Location:
    California, US
    #14
    I am still running Snow Leopard and had something related to this question ... but only 'related'. Because the original question as-is makes no sense. I fail to figure out how the asking user (Sirious) expects to move an object to another medium (USB drive) without copying it. The only way that you can do this is copying and then deleting the original. That effects a 'move' semantics, but the copy is unavoidable. Effectively, you can truly move objects (that is WITHOUT COPYING THEM as an intermediate step) only within the same medium (the hard disk, e.g.). This amounts (or should amount, I should say) to replicating the (source) directory entry of the object to the target/destination directory, then deleting the entry in the source directory, all done atomically, so that the file system doesn't get corrupt. NO DATA MOVEMENT IS INVOLVED.

    To me, as a rarely-Mac-user, this very question sounds fascinating. UNIX has the 'mv' command that does exactly what I described when source and destination are different directories (semantics change, of course when 'mv' is used as 'rename' within the same directory). That exists since the first UNIX systems, somewhere in 1972 or 1973. Here we have, 45 years later, MacOS that has similar functionality only in 10.9 !!!. At least that is what I understand from the various posts here.

    Kind of pathetic, I think. Makes me understand better why I am just an occasional Mac user.
     

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