Moving multiple files to external HDD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PCMacUser, May 25, 2007.

  1. PCMacUser macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #1
    Hi Guys,

    This may seem stupid, but I can't figure out how to highlight and move multiple files from my local hard drive to an external drive. Is this simply not possible with Apple's OS? Seems too ridiculous for that to be the case.

    I can move individual files by Command+dragging the file, but it won't let me do that with multiple files. I can move the parent folder, with the contents, but that's not what I want to do, since I only want some of the files within it. What I've been doing so far is highlighting and copying the multiple files and then deleting the originals afterwards. But this is a major time waster for me.

    Any ideas? This must be possible... how could they make an OS that doesn't allow this?
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    Click and hold the mouse button down and drag to make a box around the files / folders you want then just drag them to the hard drive you want to copy them too.

    If you want to copy only specific files / folders just shift click on the ones that you want and drag them to the hard drive icon as already mentioned.
     
  3. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #3
    He wants to move, not copy.

    No, it can't be done, but you can create an Automator script to do it.

    Windows does the same if you drag and drop files to different partitions, external drives or network drives. It creates copies, but it does allow right click and cut-and-paste.
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #4
    Well then just copy and delete. It is not such a major issue especially as the files / folders stay selected after they have been copied. So just copy them then just right click on the original and select move to trash. No biggie.
     
  5. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #5
    But with Windows, you can drag with the right mouse button, and then it brings up a little window asking if you want to copy or move. It would be good if they could 'borrow' this idea for OS X. :)

    I'll look into the Automator script, since this is something I need to do a lot. Thanks for your help.
     
  6. PCMacUser thread starter macrumors 68000

    PCMacUser

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2005
    #6
    It's a productivity thing I suppose. For the type of work I'm needing to do it's a real hassle.
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #7
    If speed is such an issue, look into writing a simple shell script. As long as you have a standardised way of naming your files and a standard approach to folders then it should speed things like this up drastically.

    Using the GUI is rarely the fastest method of achieving something like this.

    For instance if you wanted to move all files begining with ted just use this command :

    You can do some pretty smart things using the command line if you spend the time to look into it.
     
  8. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Actually I do this all the time, it is very possible. I'm always moving files over my network between my iBook and Windows machine.

    I select multiple files by holding down the cmd button.
    Then I drag the selection to the destination window,
    and while holding down the command button I release the mouse button.

    This performs a move rather than a copy.
     
  9. atchan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #9
    The solution

    Contrary to marketing hype, it is not easier. Drives me up the wall Mac is better than PC... but I digress.

    Anyway, after many frustrating attempts and cursing.

    1. You highlight all the files you want moved while holding shift or control if the files are not consecutive.
    2. Click Hold and drag over to the destination.
    3. Let go of the shift key BUT before you let go of the mouse, hold down the "Command" (Apple logo key).
    4. Let go of the mouse button.

    You have now moved files, without having to know unix scripting (Yeah, mom can do that on a mac, she learned that in school). I loved the part in the thread about "Not needing to do this".

    Hope this helps. Now about not seeing the 1TB drives....
     
  10. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #10
    Gee, not only are you awakening a nearly 2 year-old thread, but giving the same exact solution that has already been presented.
     
  11. atchan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #11
    Gosh, you're right. In my frustration in trying to do something simple, I stopped after the scripting comment, figured it out and thought I'd share it step by step with the snarky comments.
     
  12. philosopherdog macrumors 6502a

    philosopherdog

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    #12
    It is an old thread I realize. The trick is simple. Just start dragging the files you've highlighted and then once you start dragging them hold the command key. If you try to hold the command key first and then click it will deselect the file in question. No need to use a script.
     
  13. Doozer13, Dec 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010

    Doozer13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    #13
    ***NEVERMIND, MY PERMISSIONS WEREN'T SETUP SO EVERYTHING WAS COPYING INSTEAD OF MOVING***

    I'm trying to move files in different folders on an external drive connected to my MacMini.

    I've been following the simple directions; select my files/folders, hold command, drag them to the new location window, release my mouse button while still holding command, but it always tries to make a copy instead of just moving.

    Any trouble shooting ideas? Can this not be done with folders on an external drive?
     

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