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Internet Family Fun

Drag and Drop Files

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Internet Family Fun Home > Internet Help > How to Drag and Drop Files

About Dragging and Dropping Files
Often you want to move files from one place to another. The easiest way to move files is to drag and drop them. I have talked with many people that are great computer users that don't know how to drag and drop files, so if you don't know how to drag and drop files, you are not alone. In this article I have focused on moving pictures from place to place. These instructions will work for any type of file.

Basic Instructions to Drag and Drop a File:

Let's say that you just saved a picture in the "My Pictures" folder when you wanted to save it in a folder "My Dog" that is located in "My Pictures". You could resave the picture but it is just as easy to drag and drop the file into the correct folder and you won't have two copies for later confusion.
  1. Open "My Computer"
  2. Go to the "My Pictures" folder.
  3. Select a file by clicking on it once to highlight it.

    Click on the image to see a full screen.
  4. Click and hold the left mouse button down on the highlighted file and drag the file to the folder.

    When you get close enough with the file, the target folder will highlight, as shown here.
  5. When you have the file over the folder you want to put it in, release the left mouse button.
You can also quickly drag and drop files while saving or open a file (as long as the folder that you want to take them to is visible. For instance, let's say that you have worked on a couple of pictures and when you go to save the third file, you notice that you have been saving to the wrong folder. When you are in the "Save As" windows dialog window, you can drag and drop the mis-filed files to appropriate folder.

Drag and Drop More Than One File At A Time

Let's say in the last example, you have several files that you want to move. You can select more than one file at a time and move all the selected files. To highlight several files at one time:
Select Multiple Files - Select several files at a time by clicking one, then holding down the CTRL key and selecting more.
Select Multiple Files in Succession - To select multiple files in succession, select the first file, then hold down the ALT key and then click the last file in the list.
Select All Files in a List - Hold down the CTRL Key and enter "A" on the keyboard. Everything will highlight. You can also select All Files, by using the Edit menu at the top of the window and select all option.

Dragging and Dropping Files to Another Folder That Isn't Visible

The way we just dragged and dropped a file to a folder is great but it is limiting because the folder that we want to go to has to be visible. Sometimes though folders won't be visible if they are in another tree. Let's say that you have accidently save a photo on "C:" and it needs to be moved to "My Pictures". The file and the folder won't be visible in the window, so dragging and dropping isn't possible. Oh! But it is!
  1. Open "My Computer"
  2. Click on "Folders"

    Once you click on it you get two sides of the screen - the left with folders and the right with the files that are contained in the folder that is highlighted.
  3. Expand the "My Documents" folder by clicking on the + sign next to it. Next, click on "C:" to highlight it and show the files on the right side.
  4. Click on the file and drag it to the left side of the screen to the correct folder.
  5. When the folder name highlights release the left mouse button to drop it.

Drag From One Window and Drop to a Different Window

You can drag a file from one window and drop it in a different window. To do this just have the windows side by side and follow the procedure as outlined above.

Drag and Drop A File Onto the Desktop

Let's say that you have a favorite picture that you send to everyone all the time, so you want to keep on your desktop to find it easily. All you need to do is open "My Computer" and navigate to the file. Click on the file and drag it to the desktop.
Keeping too many files on the desktop will slow down your computer, so you should limit the amount of files you keep there.

Different Views of Files to Make Drag and Drop Easier

I'm sure you have noticed that files display differently in different dialog windows. Sometimes you get a list with no thumbnail, sometimes you get thumbnails. You can easily switch back and forth to the way that you want to view the files. To change to a different view of files:
  1. Click on the right mouse button in a blank area in the file area.
  2. Select View
  3. Select the one that you want. (Examples are below)
File views are:
Example of Filmstrip View:

Example of Thumbnail View:

Example of Icon View:

Example of Details View:

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