The Secret To Copying Files Instead of Moving

Dear Computer Lady,

I have many, many (like thousands probably) embroidery designs on my desktop.

I got a laptop a year or so ago and copied and transferred these designs to the laptop.

I have since got a lot of new designs (probably a couple hundred or so) and now I want to keep the original on the desktop and make a copy and put on the laptop. Is there a free program out there that would allow me to keep the files in the desktop and copy them to the laptop?

I am using Windows 10 on the desktop and for some reason when I left click on a file and drag it to a new folder it won’t give me the option to “copy” or “move”. It just moves it period. If I right click then sometimes I can get this option. Is that the only way to get the option?

Thank you so much for all your help.
It is very much appreciated. Cathy

Dear Cathy,

There are actually a few rules that Windows uses to determine when to move a file and when to copy a file.

If you drag a file from one location to another on the same drive (like your C: drive) it will move the files.

If you drag a file from one drive to another drive (like from the C: drive to a USB stick E:) it will copy the files.

You can override this default behavior by dragging with your right mouse button instead of the left mouse button and when you finish dragging and release the mouse button, you will get a menu asking if you want to copy or move the files. This will work every time you drag with the right mouse button instead of the left.

You can also use a keyboard shortcut to make a copy. If you hold down the Ctrl key while dragging, it will always make a copy instead of moving them, even if you drag it to a new location in the same folder.



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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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