When you drag a file or a folder from one location to another in File Explorer, it will offer you to move it or copy it depending on whether you are dragging it to another folder on the same drive, or to another drive. If you would like to customize the default action, it is possible. In this article, we will see how it can be done.
To change the default action temporarily, you can use keyboard modifier keys. Without changing any settings, the following actions can be performed:
- Hold the Ctrl key while you are dragging a file or a folder to copy it.
- Hold the Shift key while you are dragging a file or a folder to move it.
- Hold the Alt key while you are dragging a file or a folder to create a shortcut.
If you prefer to change the desired action permanently without using any modifier keys, you need to apply a simple Registry tweak.
- Open Registry Editor.
- Go to the following Registry key:
- Create a new 32-bit DWORD value here named DefaultDropEffect. If you are running 64-bit Windows 10, you still need to create a 32-bit DWORD value. Set its value data as follows:
- 0 - no action will be performed,
- 1 - by default, the dragged file or folder will be copied,
- 2 - the dragged object will be moved,
- 4 - a shortcut will be created for the dragged file or folder.
- Repeat the same tweak under the key
- Now try to drag a file or folder to some other location. In my case, it will be copied.
You are done. You can always revert this tweak by deleting the DefaultDropEffect value. And of course, you can still use modifier keys to change the action. Or you can simply use the right mouse button to drag and drop and Windows will show you a context menu asking you what you want to do.
To avoid Registry editing for this tweak, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It allows you to set the default drag-n-drop action with just one click! Check the appropriate option under Behavior\Default Drag-n-Drop action: