Although whats seems simple to more experienced users this is probably the most common question I am asked by computer users especially the older generation who were not raised to use computers. While cutting and pasting documents and files is a simple procedure it can take a little getting used to if it is something you have not done before.
You can use copy and paste to make duplicates of files or folders or use cut and paste to move documents, pictures, music, videos around you computer into folders. This helps keep you documents in order.
While both are very similar both cut and copy do different things and it is important you use the right one for the task you want to perform. First let’s take a look at how to copy and paste files on your computer.
How to Copy and Paste
Copy and paste is the process of copying a file and putting it in another place. This process does not remove the original copy it makes a duplicate in the location you choose.
1. Find the file or folder you wish to copy.
2.Hover over the file and click the right mouse button. You will see a menu drop down with a number of options. Select copy by clicking it with your left mouse button. You have now copied that file or folder to your clipboard.
3. Go to the location you wish to copy the files to and again press the right mouse button but this time anywhere in the folder. You will again see a menu list come up but this time you want to select paste.
4. This will copy the file or folder you selected to the folder/location of your choice but leave the original where it was.
How to Cut and paste
Cut and paste has one major difference to copy and paste as it removes the original file and puts it in a new location. By using cut and paste there is no duplicate made you are actually moving the file from one location to another. The process is more or less identical to copying a file.
- Find the file or folder you wish to move.
- Hover over the file and click the right mouse button. You will see a menu as before. Select cut by clicking it with your left mouse button. You have now cut that file or folder
- Go to the location you wish to move the files to and again press the right mouse button anywhere in the folder. You will again see the menu list come up but this time you want to select paste
- This will move the entire file or folder to the new location removing it from the original location.
There are easier ways to copy and paste files and folders and that is by using keyboard shortcuts.
1. Click the file you want to copy or cut and press the following key combinations on your computer (press both keys together)
CTRL C – This will copy the file or folder
CTRL X – This will cut the file or folder
2. Once you have made your choice go to the location you wish to copy or move your files to and use CTRL P to paste the files or folders.