cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Known issues updated. Learn more

default

yes

Highlighted

Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Level 4

This is very very misleading. I dragged a huge folder from my hard disc to DB to copy it all across. It's processing just fine, albeit slowly - another day to go, but because I accidentally forgot to hold shift down when copying it just took it from my computer!!! This is a ridiculously stressful thing to have experienced. Everything is still on my computer but I can't access it or see it - only through Dropbox.

Will my folder appear again once its all copied across? Wouldnt it be better if the default was to copy? It is very confusing in terms of UX. 

10 Replies

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Super User II

This has nothing to do with Dropbox, but with how your operating system handles drag and drop operations.

On most operating systems, a drag and drop of a file or folder from one location to another on the same drive is a Move. A drag and drop from one location to another on a different drive is a Copy. So if your folder was on the same drive that your Dropbox folder resides on, dragging and dropping the folder would move it from its original location to the Dropbox folder.

Using Windows as an example, holding down the CTRL key during a drag and drop will force a Copy and holding Shift will force a Move.

Remember, the Dropbox folder on your computer is ON your computer. It's not a folder that only exists in the cloud. Anything you put in the Dropbox folder exists on your local drive.

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Dropboxer
Hey @pauloram, thanks for sharing your thoughts on our Forum, let me follow-up with you a bit more closely on your inquiries & we’ll take it from there! 
 
As an initial point of reference, (& to re-iterate Rich's comment above) please note that your Dropbox folder 📁 works just like any other folder on your hard drive (even if you are offline) & that essentially means that your files move instead of copy when they are dragged and dropped into your Dropbox. If you’d like to keep a copy & delete once syncing is complete, you may have a look at the steps outlined on this resource here. 
 
If I were in your shoes Paulo [& assuming that you’re running the latest stable version of the application across devices (56.4.94) & it’s syncing correctly on your system tray/ menu bar], I’d adjust my bandwidth locally to sync a bit faster. 
 
Let me know of how our advice works for you & we’ll follow-up with you asap. Thanks again!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
Arrows Counter Clock Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Level 4

Thank you, Jane and Rich, for these comprehensive answers.

Yes, I kind of knew this was what was happening - I just need to get my head around the UI. The blue circular icon with the arrows really indicates that my files are 'synced', rather than are in the process of being 'copied' which is probably what confused me.

So To be constantly Up-do-date and synced I should just work directly from the Dropbox folder rather than work with copies on my Mac.

Is that the right of thinking about it?

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Super User II

@pauloram wrote:

So To be constantly Up-do-date and synced I should just work directly from the Dropbox folder rather than work with copies on my Mac.


Exactly!

Think of your Dropbox as your "working" folder. MOVE everything into the Dropbox folder (organzied within as you please) and then open and work on your files directly from there. As you change files, they will automatically be synced with your account online.

My user folders in Windows (Documents, Pictures, Videos, etc.) have been empty for years. It's all in Dropbox.

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Level 4

ok now I finally get what Dropbox is about. Great loving it.

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Dropboxer
Perfect Paulo, so happy to hear that your question been addressed; it was a pleasure sending over some tips. slightly smiling face
 
Happy syncing ahead & we’re always just a message away in case you have further questions in the future. Take care until then! 💌 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
Arrows Counter Clock Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Level 3

It still moves it using the ctrl key and changes my short cut on desktop to a dropbox path. Driving me mad. Am using windows 10 now and it didnt do this with windows 8.

 

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Dropboxer
Hey there (@sasontour), thanks for taking a bit of your time to share your thoughts with us. While Rich has elaborated on the behavior on his previous comment, I’m just tagging you back in case you need further clarifications about any of the above. Let me know & we’ll take it from there. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


 


Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
Arrows Counter Clock Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Reply
Loading...

Re: Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?

Level 2

On iMac this doesn't work. I've used "Copy" instead of "Move" and it still moves the file instead of copying it.

Reply
Loading...
Missing files and folders

Have a question? Our Dropbox Community is here to help!

Post your question or search for an answer below.


Learn more about using the Community by reading our Community Guidelines.


Hi anonymous,

If you need more help you can log a ticket with our Support Team here (expected response time 24 hours), or contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

For more info on available support options, see this article.

If you found the answer to your question, please 'like' the post to say thanks to the user!

Why did my folder move instead of copy on my computer?
874 Views
10 Replies
3 Likes
Solved! : See solution
Who's talking
Top contributors to this post