The only way I know is to side the two source and destination folders, and drag and drop the files from one to the other. However in some cases we like to cut them when only the source folder is open, and paste them later.

Is there anyway to move some files/folders on Mac OS X as easy as in Windows?

  • 1
    There are few utilities that I could not live without on osx, TotalFinder is one of them (it brings tabs and cut-n-paste).
    – kraymer
    Commented Dec 11, 2012 at 9:25

3 Answers 3


The shortcuts to Cut and Paste files or folders in Lion (or later) are:

  • Command-C to copy
  • Command-Option-V to paste

While you can copy (Command + C) and paste (Command + V) files in OS X, the cut (Command + X) function is not supported. What you can do however is choose whether to Move, Copy, or Create an alias when dragging and dropping files.

  • Command + Drag and Drop = Move File
  • Option (alt) + Drag and Drop = Copy File
  • Option + Command + Drag and Drop = Create Alias

As a side note, when working with files all on the same Volume/Partition Move is the default action, there is no need to hold the Command Key. Alternately, when working with files across two different Volume/Partitions, Copy is the default option and there is no need to hold the option key. You can always tell what is about to happen by taking a look at the curser before you drop. A green Plus (+) icon indicates that the file will be copied, the absence of this icon indicates a move.

If the Cut and Copy functionality is absolutely crucial to your workflow, then I suggest checking out OnMyCommand. It's a Unix and AppleScript Executor and if I recall, there are some user submitted scripts that will enable cut functionality for finder items.

  • You mixed the modifier keys up. Moving across logical volume boundaries requires the command key. Forcing a copy within a logical volume requires the option (alt) key.
    – MacLemon
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 13:56
  • @MacLemon You are absolutely correct sir, I don't know what I was thinking. I've edited my answer. Thanks for pointing that out.
    – jbharper2
    Commented Dec 12, 2012 at 20:04

Check out the free Command X app, which lets you press Command-X to cut files and Command-V to paste, like on Windows.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .