How to Cut & Paste Files and Folders in Mac OS X Mountain Lion

Moving files and folders consists of deleting the item from its original location and placing it in a new location.

Drag and Drop

To move items using the Drag and Drop method, click the item you wish to move and drag it to its destination folder. The item will automatically be deleted from its original location. Dragging and dropping an item to an external drive or mounted disk will not delete the original item but rather will simply copy it. If you wish to move a file or folder to an external drive, hold down the Command key before you release the mouse button. The item will then be deleted from the original location.

Copy and Move Items Here

Note that while the Copy and Paste commands work with copying a file or folder, there is not the familiar Cut and Paste commands when moving files and folders that one finds in most Mac applications. The feature does exist – it is just hidden. To move a file or folder from one location to another, choose Edit > Copy from the menu or use the keystroke combinations: Command + C. Then, switch to the location to where you want to move the time. Click Edit on the menu and then hold down the Alt or Option key to display the hidden menu item Move Item Here. You can also press the Command + Option + V keystroke combination.

Selecting Move Item Here (or pressing the Command + Option + V keystroke combination) will delete the item from its original location and move it to the new location. If you copied three items, the hidden menu item would read Move 3 Items Here.

Move Items Here menu item image


To Move a File or a Folder using the Copy and Move Item Here Commands

  1. Select the item you wish to copy.
  2. Select Edit > Copy from the menu.
  3. Open the folder into which you want to place a copy of the item.
  4. Press the Command + Option + V keystroke combination
    Select Edit on the menu, hold down the Alt or Option key on your keyboard and choose Move Item Here from the menu.

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