Microsoft

Make the Move To Folder and Copy To Folder commands easily accessible

Greg Shultz shows you how to make the Windows Vista Copy To Folder and Move To Folder more easily accessible.

Two of the handiest file management tools in Windows Vista are the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands, which allow you to copy and move files or folders anywhere you want simply by selecting an item, a file, or a folder and then choosing the desired location from the resulting dialog box.

Unfortunately, these handy commands are hidden away on the Edit menu in Windows Explorer and Computer. Further masking their existence is the fact that the Menu bar is hidden by default in both Windows Explorer and Computer.

Fortunately, you can add the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands to the context menu with a couple of registry edits. In this edition of the Windows Vista Report, I'll show you how to make these commands more easily accessible. As I do, I'll show you how to use them to your advantage when performing file management operations.

This blog post is also available in the PDF format as a TechRepublic Download.

Editing the registry

To launch the Registry Editor, click the Start button, type Regedit in the Start Search box, and press [Enter]. When the UAC dialog box appears, respond appropriately. When the Registry Editor appears, navigate to the following folder:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTAllFilesystemObjectsshellexContextMenuHandlers
When you get there, click on the ContextMenuHandlers folder to give it the focus. Then, pull down the Edit menu and select the New | Key command, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Make sure that the ContextMenuHandlers folder has the focus before you select the New | Key command.

When the new value appears, type in the following code including the brackets:

{C2FBB630-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}

After you do so, just press [Enter] and the Copy To Folder command will be added to the context menu.

Now, pull down the Edit menu and select the New | Key command again. This time when the new value appears, type in the following code including the brackets:

{C2FBB631-2971-11D1-A18C-00C04FD75D13}
After you do so, just press [Enter] and the Move To Folder command will be added to the context menu. When you're done, your ContextMenuHandlers folder will look like the one shown in Figure B. To complete the operation, close the Registry Editor.

Figure B

Simply adding these two keys to the ContextMenuHandlers folder is all that is needed to add the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands to the context menu.

Using the commands

Using the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands is easy, and they work the same regardless of whether you're copying/moving files or folders. All you have to do is right-click on the file or files you want to copy or move and then select one of the commands from the context menu, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Select Copy To Folder or Move To Folder.
For example, if you choose the Copy To Folder command, you'll see the Copy Items dialog box, shown in Figure D, which as you can see is a standard Browse dialog box.

Figure D

The Copy Items dialog box works just like a standard Browse dialog box.
You can just navigate the tree to select between drives, folders, and even network resources. If after you select your destination, you want to copy the files to a brand-new folder, you can click the Make New Folder button and a new folder will appear, as shown in Figure E. Once you give the folder a name, just click the Copy button.

Figure E

To create a new folder in the destination, you can use the Make New Folder button.

The Move To Folder command works the same. The only differences are that the dialog box is titled Move Items and the button is titled Move.

What's your take?

Now that you know how to add the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands to the context menu, will you do so? Stop by the discussion area and let us know what you think.

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

23 comments
barrymiller
barrymiller

I have been trying to do this by copying from win 2000 power tools but could not get it to work - this is great.Many thanks

Gray Hawk
Gray Hawk

Really cool! This used to be part of Windows Power Toys. I really missed the convenience. Thanx for bringing it back!

birtheskodekasse
birtheskodekasse

Hi I think it is better with a Keyboard-shortCut in stead of the context menu. Fx. the same as i Outlook (SHIFT+ALT+V) The problem with copy / paste, is that you end in the folder where you paste. A lot of times it is nicer to stay in the folder where you copy from. And that is what you do with the "Copy to Folder". Bedst regards Birthe

jfbowles
jfbowles

I went through this step by step as out lined in the article. I was able to get the "copy to" command on my menu but the "forward to" does not show up. I went over the regedit 3 times to make sure it was typed in right. It was, but still no "forward to" on the context menu. I am glad to have the "copy to" item on the menu though. Half is better than none I suppose...

jfbowles
jfbowles

I went through this step by step as out lined in the article. I was able to get the "copy to" command on my menu but the "forward to" does not show up. I went over the regedit 3 times to make sure it was typed in right. It was, but still no "forward to" on the context menu. I am glad to have the "copy to" item on the menu though. Half is better than none I suppose...

JMF667
JMF667

You can do what Greg Schulz advocates - and a whole heap more - by using Lopesoft's freeware FileMenuTools.

pmb
pmb

Use the right mouse button to drag and drop any folder / file instead of the using the left mouse button you will be asked to move or copy! Much simpler and doesn't require any registry edits and potential mistakes in regedit!

ejakob
ejakob

In Windows XP this is available by default. Another reason to stay with the good old XP.

julioa.morales
julioa.morales

Very useful trick, I personally missed this one from XP. In my humble opinion, I'll add an extra step at the end: Export both keys to a file so you can merge them into the registry next time or in another Vista PC.

spawn723
spawn723

easy to do and helps out greatly thanx

geo
geo

Been using this for years and I am surprised how many users don't know about it. Works on XP and Vista. Also handy if you have networked computers as it is quick with no need to open additional 'explorers' or whatever you use. For example it works equally well in freeCommander or like programs. www.nscave.com

PJTIPS-22358776250307586412157057903266
PJTIPS-22358776250307586412157057903266

I think this is a very handy tool in the context menu. It makes you wonder why microsoft didnt just add it as a standard in the toolbar to start with. I am constantly moving files and folders around on my system so its defo useful. I was going to add try to add it but never got round to it so you did me a favour.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Now that you know how to add the Copy To Folder and Move To Folder commands to the context menu, will you do so?

com.zf9
com.zf9

I have the same identical problem. What now? Does anyone monitor this site? Thanks.

dwood
dwood

I'm not sure what you mean by "Forward". That would be the same thing as Copy or Move depending if you wanted to keep or delete the source location. Do you mean Forward as in forward to an email. As in the Send To command.

dwood
dwood

Along this line, Does anyone know if there is a way to customize the buttons in Windows Explorer in Vista like in XP. I would simply like to add the red X for delete so I don't have to right click the files and then hit delete. I know one lousy click. What can I say but Lazzzy.

skris88
skris88

Dear "pbm", Don't need to even use a mouse button. Click and drag while holding down the Control or Shift keys on the keyboard. Doesn't fix my problem (see my earlier post) in moving "My Documents" from C: to D: (and ensuring EVERYTHING works properly after that). Doesn't ANYONE have an easy solution to that? Cheers, Kris

fishcad
fishcad

On every computer I have loaded XP the move and copy buttons are on the "Standard buttons" toolbar by default. If they are not you can easily add them.

skris88
skris88

Hi rjskob I don't see this an easy to do option in XP either (to move the My Documents to a second partition). Would love to know how you do it! Thanks skris88

Ssp
Ssp

I use my keyboard shortcuts Ctrl-C / Ctrl-X and Ctrl-V - that's much faster than the properties menu shortcut to move or copy file.

skris88
skris88

All well and good, but this can be done by simply right-clicking on a folder icon and seclecting Cut or Copy, then going to the new location, right-clicking on a blank space and selecting Paste. What will be REALLY useful is to move the User's data files from the default of C: to D: (assuming you have already partitioned your disk drive). That way, a "Backup My Computer" of the C: drive will allow a simple restore and overwrite of all files without affecting the user data which is sitting comfortably on D: Outlook Express, Outlook and MS Mail are 'hidden' which is why I use and encourage use of Thunderbird email which allows (with the -profilemanager option) one to place the data on any folder. With such a Complete PC Backup, you'd reboot the PC and - while some newer installed programs may be missing - the key programs (eg, printing, email, word processing as stored in the backup) and required data (emails, documents and priceless photos) will all be there and just work. To do this now with Vista, I am right-clicking on each User folder Properties, selecting Location, and moving that to the D: drive. Silly that there is no easy way to do this with data, however the Media Centre easily allows you to select a different drive to record TV shows. Now, I don't really care if I lost my time-shifted free-2-air copy of "Lost" when I restore my (crashed) PC, but I want my family photos!!

pmb
pmb

sweet... this is one keyboard shortcut I never knew (prob hundreds more also!). More of a keyboard person than a mouse person because it is faster to get around so this def reduces the mouse clicks and usage... Thanks. With regards to My Documents on D: this is something I do with my own computers all the time.. just right click My Documents on the Start menu -> Properties and select the location tab. Here you can change the location to your D: drive. Not sure if this is what you are looking for though! Let me know.