OS X: 3 Tricks for Moving Files Around

Everyone moves files around in the Finder differently. Just like everything else on the Mac, there are approximately fifty million ways to get stuff where it needs to go, but the following tips happen to be some of my favorites!

First, if you want to move a file back one folder in your navigation, just pick it up and hover over the Back button in the upper-left corner of your Finder window.

When you do so, the window will jump back one step, and then you can drop your file into its new location. Note, however, that if you haven’t navigated to your current folder from anywhere, the Back button will be greyed out, and this won’t work.

No dice.

Secondly, if you need to move something several steps back in the hierarchy of your file system, an easy way to do so is to turn on Finder’s View> Show Path Bar option.

Afterward, you’ll get a nifty way to see where you are on your Mac at the bottom of every Finder window, which I’ve discussed before

One thing I didn’t mention, though, is that you can drag and drop files to those handy little icons to move them there. 

That trick is especially useful if you’ve got a ton of nested folders that you organize stuff into!

Finally, if keyboard shortcuts are what you prefer, here’s what you’ll do. Select the file you want to move and press Command-C (Edit> Copy). Then go to the location where you’d like to place the item and press Option-Command-V (the shortcut for Edit> Move Item Here, which is only visible if you hold down the Option key when you’re looking at the Edit menu).

That action—available on 10.7 Lion and up—is equivalent to the PC’s familiar cut and paste option. 

So what about you guys? I’d be very interested to hear how you move your files around, so be sure to comment and let me in on your organizational secrets!