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How To Cut And Paste In Windows

Cut and Paste is a quick and easy way of moving files and folders from one location on your computer to another.

In use, it’s very similar to Copy & Paste, but the effect is very different.

If you haven’t done so already check out At Home Computer Course How to Copy & Paste.

How to Cut & Paste.

As a first example of how to Cut & Paste, let’s say you want to move a folder from your Desktop to your Documents folder.

Select the folder by left-clicking on it once.

You can tell it’s been selected because a highlight will appear around it.

Folder selected on desktop.

With the folder selected, right-click on it. The options menu will open.

Left-click the word CUT.

Right click options menu is open. Cut is indicated.

Windows has a keyboard shortcut that you could use instead of the right-click options menu.

With the folder selected, you could press the CTRL key and the letter X on your keyboard.

CTRL and letter X indicated on keyboard.

When you’ve clicked Cut (or used the keyboard shortcut), you’ll notice that the folder becomes fainter.

It’s still there, you can still see it, but it’s faded.

That’s how Windows 10 indicates to you that you’ve CUT that particular item, in this example, the folder.

Folder is shown as greyed out or faded.

Now you need to tell Windows where to move the folder to.

In our example, it’s going into the Documents folder.

Open File Explorer (left click File Explorer icon on Taskbar or press the Windows key and the letter E on your keyboard).

File Explorer icon on Taskbar is marked. Also, the Windows key and letter E on keyboard are marked.

In the left-hand navigation panel of File Explorer, left-click on the Documents folder.

The main window will change to show the contents of the Documents folder.

Documents folder indicated in File Explorer.

Right-click on an area of free space and then, on the menu that opens, left-click PASTE.

Or simply press CTRL and the letter V on your keyboard to Paste the folder.

Inside the Documents folder the options menu is open and Paste has been selected.

The important thing to note about Cut and Paste is that the folder has now been moved, or transferred, from your Desktop to your Documents folder.

Folder has disappeared from desktop. Red box indicates where it was.
Blue arrow points right.
Folder moves from the Desktop to the Documents folder.
Folder has appeared in Documents folder.

How To Cut and Paste multiples items at the same time.

You can use Cut & Paste on multiple items at the same time. The items don’t have to be the same type of things, so could Cut and Paste a mix of pictures, documents, videos as well as folders, all at the same time.

As an example, let’s say you wanted to clear some items from your Pictures folder and move them to a USB stick.

Open your Pictures folder.

Then select all the items that you want to move.

To select multiple items, hold down the CTRL key on your keyboard and then left-click once on each item.

Selecting multiple files using CTRL and click.

With all the files and folders selected, you can either press CTRL + X on your keyboard to cut the items.

Or right-click on one of the items, it doesn’t matter which one, and then, left-click CUT on the menu.

Just as when cutting a single item, all the selected items will become faint, or faded.


Navigate to your USB drive by left-clicking on it in the left-hand panel of File Explorer.

The main window changes to display the contents of your USB stick.

Press CTRL + V on your keyboard to paste the items onto the USB drive.

Or right-click on an area of free space and then left-click PASTE from the menu that appears.

Every item (file and/or folder) that was previously selected will be moved, or transferred to the USB drive.


Cut & Paste Vs Copy & Paste.

Cut & Paste sounds like and works like Copy & Paste. But there is one very important difference between them.

When you Copy and Paste a file (or folder) the original file remains where it is. It doesn’t move at all. So in effect, you get two versions of the file, the original and the copied version.

But when you Cut & Paste a file (or folder), the original file itself moves. It moves to wherever you’re pasting it to. So in this way, you only ever have a single version of the file (or folder), the original version.

If you Copy a file or folder the original stays where it is.
But if you Cut a file or folder, the original moves.
Either way, the file or folder will appear wherever you Paste it to.
Next Page

Select More Than 1 File/Folder At A Time

3 Files being selected.

Now your copying & cutting, you’ll want to speed things up by selecting more than one file/folder at a time.

The very last page of Chapter 1.

  1. Select Multiple Files

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