How to Move (not Copy) Files from External HD?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by SAdProZ, Apr 14, 2016.

  1. SAdProZ macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2005
    Normally: when you drag a file from an external drive to the Desktop (for example), the file will copy (meaning the file remains on the external HD AND the desktop)

    Is there a way to JUST drag the file and it moves, rather than copies? (like an option, or a keyboard shortcut?)
  2. aristobrat macrumors G5

    Oct 14, 2005
    Drag, and before you drop, pressing the OPTION key should toggle a green + icon on your cursor. If it's there, then it'll do a copy operation when you drop. If it's not there, it'll do a move operation.
  3. dadudeness macrumors regular


    Oct 31, 2007
    Or cmd+c to copy and cmd+alt+v to paste
  4. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Yes, if you select the edit menu and hold down the "Option/alt" key you'll see the change in the copy and paste commands that cause it to move finder items instead of copying.
  5. SAdProZ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2005
    Thanks to all three of you. This little trick will improve my workflow greatly. Thanks again!
  6. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I've found that the "usual keyboard tricks" by which to move files (instead of copy them) are often flaky -- in that sometimes they work, and other times they don't.

    Sometimes it's just easiest to copy the files you intend to move, then verify that the copy was good, and then delete the originals.

    Another way that DOES work is to use PathFinder's "move" option.

    I can't understand why Apple didn't put a "Move..." command into the Finder's File menu. Would make things much easier.
  7. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    source directory: right click copy
    destination directory: right click then hold down option and click move
  8. dwfaust macrumors 601


    Jul 3, 2011
    Hold the command key (⌘) while you drag the file from the external drive to the target location.
  9. SAdProZ thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2005

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