Mac101 – File Drag Copy

If you work in the macOS Finder to any extent you end up moving files or folders around. I have different Apps that work to assist in file moving. However, once in a while I just need to copy a file or folder to the Desktop of my Mac. Usually I want to work with it over a period of time or perhaps I want to send it to a few people. Whatever the reason, I find it easier to work with the file out in the open on the Desktop.

File Drag Copy

The procedure for copying a file to the Desktop (or anywhere else on your Mac) has been around for a long time. Keep in the mind here, the idea is to just copy the file to another location to send it to people, upload it or whatever. It is not being copied so you can edit it. Best to edit the original.

Lets say we are going to be emailing a document to several different people over a couple of days. At least for me, it is much easier to just drag a copy of the file to the Desktop to work with it. Just open the Finder and navigate to the file in question:

Finder Drag Copy

All you have to do is hold down the Option ⌥ Key and drag the file to the Desktop. This procedure does not move the file, it makes a copy of the file in your new location.

There is another way to do this in the Finder. When you are at the file in question, right-click on it and choose “Copy”:

File Copy

Then right-click (Control ⌃ click) on the Desktop and select Paste from the menu. A copy of the file will be pasted onto the Desktop or whatever location you choose.


This is not a big deal really. The Finder Drag Copy is any easy way to make a copy of a file in a new location.