How to cut and paste a file in Mac

Video Tutorial

Here is a video in case you prefer to see the trick in action

This is one of the biggest question for a Mac user once he gets to Finder (the File Explorer of Mac) - where is cut - paste functionality. It is even bigger a question when you come from the world of Windows (and Linux). If you right click on a file, you only get a Copy option. Unlike Windows, there is no Cut option. So how do you move a file or folder from one location to another without having to copy-pasting and then deleting the old copy to trash and then emptying the trash? Well, looks like Apple believes too much in Magic and Magic is nothing but science hidden in plain sight.

An important point to remember is the nomenclature. The nomenclature in OS X is not cut-paste. It is copy-move. Here is how you move a file from one location to another in OS X:

Keyboard shortcut for cut-paste in Mac OS X

  1. Copy a file (or more files) from a location by right-clicking and selecting copy item. You can also press Command + C.
  2. Go to the destination location now and instead of pressing Command + V, press Command + Option + V.

How to cut paste files in mac using mouse

If you want to do it via GUI, you can right click in the destination directory and press the Option key. When you do that, the Paste option will change to Move. While keeping the Option key pressed, click on the Move option and now, your files will be moved in one go.

Move files in Mac using terminal

There is yes another way - you can use the mv command in terminal for that. However, that’s a cumbersome method. But if you want to use it anyway then here is how to use it:

mv /path/of/current_file /destination/path_of/current_file

The next time someone tells you that Mac is not a good OS because you can’t move file from a folder to another, pull your sleeves up and show them the trick!