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Dragging file -- copy vs. move

Level 2

I use Dropbox to move files between Mac computers (OS 10.11 and 10.13) and Windows computers (Win7).  When I drag a file from the Dropbox folder to a Windows local folder, it COPIES the file.  When I drag a file from the Dropbox folder to a Mac local folder, it MOVES the file (i.e., deletes it from the Dropbox folder).

Why the inconsistent treatment of the same action?  Is there anything a user can do to change the default action?  Obviously there is a way in each system to reverse the default action, but why make the user remember to do that?  At this point I don't even care whether the default is MOVE or COPY -- I just want it to be the same on all platforms.

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Re: Dragging file -- copy vs. move

Super User II

@Malbone wrote:

Why the inconsistent treatment of the same action?

Whether a file is moved or copied when dragged is controlled by your operating system. Dropbox has nothing to do with it.

I can't speak to a Mac ( @Mark can comment on that ), but on Windows, a drag and drop between locations on the same drive is considered a move, and a drag and drop between locations on different drives is considered a copy. There are modifier keys that you can hold on both operating systems to change what happens when dragging files. On Windows, holding CTRL will force a copy, holding SHIFT will force a move, and holding CTRL-SHIFT will create a shortcut.


Obviously there is a way in each system to reverse the default action, but why make the user remember to do that?


Ask Microsoft and Apple. It's entirely on them.

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Dragging file -- copy vs. move
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