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How to Cut and Paste Files and Folders on Mac

MacOS High Sierra

If you have recently switched from Windows to macOS, you might be facing a lot of problems while working with new macOS. The most obvious problem is how to cut and paste files and folders. CMD + X to cut and CMD + V to paste work for cutting and pasting text but it doesn’t work with files and folders. If you right-click (or Command + click) a file on a macOS, you will only see copy option. There is no cut option unlike in Linux and Windows. Then how to cut and paste files and folders without? Most of the people end up doing copy-paste and then delete their old copy by moving them to Trash.

Also see: How To Open Task Manager on MacOS

Cut and Paste Files and Folders on Mac

In this article, I will tell you how to cut-paste Files and Folders using keyboard shortcuts. Yes, it exists.

The macOS follow a different approach. In place of offering cut and paste, it offers copy and move. So, you need to copy and move.

Using Keyboard Shortcuts

Here are the keyboard shortcuts to cut-paste files and folders.

  • To copy, use: CMD + C
  • To move, use: CMD + OPT + V

Now let me explain it to make things clear.

Select the file or folder that you want to copy and press CMD + C to perform the copy. Now open the destination location where you want to keep the file and then press CMD + OPT + V to move the file you copied.

It will move the file or folder you selected to the desired location by cutting it from the original folder.

Also see: How to Print Screen on a Mac

Using TrackPad

If you do not want to use keyboard shortcuts, you can also use Trackpad to do this. Here are the steps for doing cut-paste using Trackpad.

Right click on the item that you wish to cut and select Copy, Now go to the destination where you want to move the file. Now right click anywhere, and hold the Option (⌥) key on your keyboard. Now in Paste option will automatically converted into the Move option.

Cut and Paste Files and Folders on Mac

Click on Move and it will move all the copied files or folders to the new place.

These ways work on any number of files or folders you want to move to a new place. Now you know how to cut and paste on a Mac. You don’t need to first copy and then remove the original file. You can also use drag and move using Trackpad to move a file or folder to a new place. But keyboard shortcuts are always faster.

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Deepanker Verma is the founder of Techlomedia. He is a tech blogger, developer and gadget freak.


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