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Video: Add Copy To and Move To commands to Explorer context menu in Windows 7

Bill Detwiler shows you how to put the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands on the Windows 7 right-click menu with a quick registry edit.

By default, the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands aren't available on the Explorer context menu in Windows 7. During this episode of TR Dojo, I show you how to get these commands back using a quick and easy registry edit.

Here's the code you'll need to add to the registry folder HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AllFilesystemObjects\shellex\ContextMenuHandlers:

  • Copy To Folder: {C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}
  • Move To Folder: {C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}

If you prefer not to manually edit the Windows registry, you can download and use the CopyTo and MoveTo registry (.reg) files created by Greg Shultz. Once you download the MoveCopy.zip file, which contains two files:

  • MoveTo.txt
  • CopyTo.txt

Simply extract both files to a folder of your choice. Then, rename the extensions from txt to reg (i.e. CopyTo.txt to CopyTo.reg)

Now, right-click on the file and select Open With | Registry Editor. You'll encounter a UAC dialog box and will click Yes. When you do, you'll see a confirmation dialog box and will need to click Yes. You'll then see another confirmation dialog box and will need to click OK.

For those who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or read Shultz's article, "Add the Copy To and Move To folder commands to the Windows Explorer context menu," on which this video is based.

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

30 comments
madaz_rx8
madaz_rx8

with the files made by Greg Shultz you have to rename them from CopyTo.txt to CopyTo.reg and MoveTo.txt to MoveTo.reg then you can double click them to enter the data into your registry

vcobos
vcobos

Great option to have. Is there an option to have the copy command default instead of move when dragging and dropping folders on the same disk on a domain with windows 2003 and XP? Currently, when I drag and drop, it moves instead of copies. thanks, Vic

dibthree
dibthree

Can't watch on my iPad because no flash.

wyldwezl
wyldwezl

Thank you for this little trick-- I actually miss the old Explorer that you could use with the buttons instead of the context menu. Not to pick, but professional announcers will get their butts chewed for saying "git," unless of course you intend it as a Brit insult. The proper term is "geht." Also, even tho' I was crappy at math, I believe those { } symbols are correctly called braces. I believe these [ ] are brackets. Keep up the good work!

chasrodgers
chasrodgers

Thanks Bill - a useful tip. Thanks, Chas

admin
admin

Excellent! thank you. Regards from Argentina! Juan C

Willy MacWindows
Willy MacWindows

I've always loved modifying the Contextual Menu - are there any other simple features that can be added? This one is pretty useful for the office.

GB9130
GB9130

Why are you NOT publishing Powershell scripts for this type of registry change?

artjb606
artjb606

I don't know how,but I already have MOVE TO and SEND TO in Explorer context menu in Windows 7 Ultimate...And in Registry Folder too,of course.Thanks anyway!

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

never hosed a system by editing the registry only had bad SW installations hose systems, including win crapdates, and AV installs now adding to the context menu is one thing find a way to get back into explorer the three dialog based commands from File Manager - F7 "Move" - F8 "Copy" - Alt > F > N "Rename" all of which give a dialog for the destination of the copy or move and a dialog for the name change rather than renaming directly on the file, which doesn't work properly when more than one file is selected

Rob C
Rob C

XYPlorer has multiple Tabs. http://www.xyplorer.com/ You can navigate in one Tab to the desired Destination. Then navigate in another Tab, to the source folder. You can then drag files from there to the Target Tab (just to the Tab is enough). If you let go quickly the files move/copy, and you stay in the Source Tab. If you hover, the focus also moves to the Target Tab. If there is a destination folder, that you use regularly, you can navigate to that folder in one of your Tabs, then Lock that Tab permanently. The program has tons of other features, that make it a 'no brainer' choice for using as your regular File Manager. EG it has an inbuilt Search capability, that is to die for. There is an older free version available on one 'past versions' site. Yell out if anyone wishes a link. PS It is a Portable program, requiring NO installation, which - a) Makes it highly desirable (Love portable apps) b) Means it should work in Windows 7 with no problems.

supermadman
supermadman

Edit the registry? To get two context menu entries? How is this better than KDE's Dolphin, where you go to Configure Dolphin... --> General --> Context Menu --> "Show, 'copy to' and, 'move to' commands"? I thought Windows was supposed to be user-friendly?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

By default, the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands aren't available on the Explorer context menu in Windows 7. In this week's TR Dojo episode, I show you how to put the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands on the Windows 7 right-click menu with a quick registry edit. And if you're planning on making the registry edit, I recommend you back up the registry beforehand. A mistaken registry edit can seriously screw up a Windows machine. Fortunately, I've never had this happen, but I'd like to know if you have. Take the poll and let me know. Original post and poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1838

Rob C
Rob C

In Windows XP, if you hold down the Ctrl key, and then drag a File, it will copy it, instead of moving it. PS Just re-read your comment about Domain. Not sure about that.

Bill_Ross
Bill_Ross

I don't see a dialog when I press f7 or f8... Also, f2 is rename

Willy MacWindows
Willy MacWindows

I think the better question is who asked? Seriously, this post is for people using Windows...thanks for sharing your insight on how awesome Linux is, kthxbye!

imanother
imanother

A search on Ms Downloads failed to find it.

matthew.david
matthew.david

I have always followed the advice to back up my registry before editing it. It is one of the few pieces of advice I have religiously followed regarding computers, probably because it is so easy to do. I don't care if I'm on my 4th beer and I've just been invited to officiate a playmate mud wrestling match next door, I always back up the registry before I make changes. Although, in that situation, I think the registry changes colud probably wait.

MrRess
MrRess

I don't have a "move to" but I do have "Send to" which can act as either copy to (folder or device) or open with (program). Move to might be nice once in a while, but drag and drop works just fine, even if it might take an extra click or two.

rhmercer
rhmercer

No. I see no reason to do things the hard way. Just wait and Windows will screw up the computer all on it's own.

christian.waymouth
christian.waymouth

thankfully I've never screwed up a computer by making registry changes, I'm always super careful when it comes to the registry - and I do find myself in there quite a lot I did screwed up a hard drive in about 1993 by trying to 'double space' it - I learnt a tough lesson about backups that day

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

you won't see a dialog in Windows Exploder when trying F7 or F8 File Manager has F7 & F8 Windows Exploder doesn't which is why Windows Explorer is still inferior to the File Manager, a product from 1992 bulk renaming doesn't exist in Windows Exploder F2 in Windows Explorer can only rename one file at a time without ruining the whole lot, bulk renaming in File Manager is 1000x faster than trying to rename in Windows Exploder typing directly on the file name

scott
scott

Exactly, apparently one of the more easier things to do on Linux is what he just explained. Windows has Linux in every other department on ease of use and configuration.

Who Am I Really
Who Am I Really

File Manager {WinFile.exe} was the original method of File Management in Windows it basically put the DOS tree view into Win3.1x WFWG as well as in NT3.1 NT3.51 & NT4.0 NT4.0 was the last version of NT to include an NTFS & FAT compatible version the FileManager from win3.1x & win9x doesn't work on NTFS systems however, the Version supplied with NT4 SP6 or 6a, works perfectly fine on Win2k, WinXP, WinXP-64, Server2000, Server2003 32 or 64 bit with no adjustments there is a method involving a few tweaks that will enable File Manager to run in Vista the instructions are on this page in the following link however, the links on the page to the NT4 service pack are dead as MS has pulled them http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~davidsch/vistafm/ and here is a shot of it with the copy dialog open on the XP-SP3 system I'm Posting this from: http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/WinFile.png here is the rename dialog open http://i832.photobucket.com/albums/zz249/WhatNameShoudIUse/WinFile2.png If you have an old winNT4 SP6 install kicking around on an ancient system or even in a backup that's still accessible or know someone who has one or at least the service pack Edit: add link to second photo

Rob C
Rob C

I am sure I speak for many, who are unsure what you mean by 'File Manager' Is it a generic expression ? Is it a program (non MS) ? Is it a program (MS) ? Is it inbuilt into Windows ? If it is the latter, how do we get to it.

supermadman
supermadman

You assume that I'm completely passionate about Linux and only Linux. I'm not. I'm passionate about technology, regardless from whence it comes. I use Linux mainly for KDE, which I personally prefer over Windows. I also recognize that I'm an outlier. I wouldn't recommend Ubuntu or other Linux distros on anything other than a netbook, and even then I wouldn't recommend a netbook if you have more specialist needs than Facebook, Windows Live chat and maybe a Word document every now and then. I'll readily explain the differences between Linux and Windows and warn that many Windows programs don't work on Linux or have a Linux counterpart, and that Linux doesn't have as much peripheral support. I'm merely stating that I don't understand why something so simple should require a power-user tool to get at. Screwing up your Linux system is certainly possible, but most of the time it requires changing start-up software, altering repositories or removing standard software, but changing the context menu? REALLY?

techrepubliclist
techrepubliclist

... is why an apparently dedicated Linux buff is perusing Windows 7 shortcuts/enhancements/adjustments? Maybe just hunting for something to crow about? If you're not into Windows, why are you bothering to criticize things to make it easier to use? Maybe just trolling to see what you can criticize? (BTW, I have three (3) different distros running in addition to my Windows machine: Ubuntu, Slackware, & Puppy. All of 'em can be hosed by improperly configuring various 'user enhancements'.)

supermadman
supermadman

I'll be the first to step up and say that Microsoft does a lot of things right, but seriously, there are lots of places lacking where Linux is ahead as well. And really, why should you potentially screw up your entire system just to put some menu options back? No-where in Linux is the possibility of screwing up your account for something so trivial.

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