How to Move a File in Windows 10 (Move Files and Folders)

by Basics

It could be one of the most common things we need to do when it comes to files on our computer. Knowing how to move a file in Windows 10 is understandably a very important skill.

One of the main purposes of moving files is to keep them organized. This way you will be able to find anything without a struggle.

We have already covered renaming files and more, so it only seems fitting to know how to move them too. If you need to search for a file, you can see how to do that over here.

How to move files or folders (Drag and drop method)

Open Windows File Explorer (Windows key + ‘E’).

You will have a new window open called File Explorer:

new file explorer window instance

Click anywhere in the left-hand pane to browse to the location you want. Once you see the files and folders in the right-hand pane, you can start working with them.

When holding the left click button of your mouse while hovering over them, you can simply drag them where you want.

Holding down, or releasing the ‘Ctrl’ key allows you to change between copy or move.

When you drag a file or folder while holding down ‘Ctrl’:
file explorer copy
When dragging and placing a file or folder with the ‘Ctrl’ key released:
file explorer move files - how to move a file in windows 10

You can see how the label changes in each instance.

Make sure you are completing your desired action before releasing the left mouse button.

Moving files or folder using the contextual menu

This is my personal favorite way of moving files. You can simply select which file(s) or folder(s) you wish to move and in a second step, you can paste them into the desired location of your choice.

This way, you aren’t confined to moving files only to areas that are present on your screen. And in some ways, this method offers better control. The file(s) or folder(s) can be ‘cut’ and you can open any location afterward to paste your selection anywhere you want.

How to move files using the contextual menus

Open up Windows File Explorer.

Navigate to your file or folder’s location and click the right mouse button on the item you wish to move:

cut procedure in file explorer

A menu will appear. This is called a contextual menu (or context menu). Simply use your left mouse button to click on ‘Cut’.

Once the file(s) or folder(s) have been select to be cut, they will turn into a lighter grey color.

Then navigate to your destination area in your file explorer, and use your mouse’s right button to click on the destination area:

paste procedure in file explorer

Once again a contextual menu will appear, then left-click on ‘Paste’ on the menu.

It can now be placed where you wanted it.

You can also use the above method to copy files or folders anywhere you want.

Related Question

How do I move a document to my desktop?

Right-click on the document, left click on ‘Cut’ in the context menu. Right-click anywhere on your desktop and left-click on ‘Paste’ in the context menu.

How do I move files from C to D?

  1. Right-click your mouse on the file you want to move.
  2. Open Windows Explorer and left-click on ‘Local Disk (D:)’.
  3. Left-click on the location within the D drive in which you want your file to go.
  4. Right-click on the destination and then left-click on ‘Paste’ to move the file.


And that’s how files are moved in Windows. It was quite easy, right?

Now you are on your way to be able to organize your files and folders the way you would like them.

Marlo Strydom

Marlo is a full-time professional computer programmer, electronics engineer and computer technician. Computers are his passion and he loves to help anyone wanting to know more about them.