Copying a File or Folder

It is often necessary to make a copy of a file or folder for backup purposes, sharing or portability.

This task can easily be accomplished using Windows Explorer. The process of copying will leave the original file (or folder) intact in its current location and create a duplicate in a new location. The duplicate is created when the copy is pasted resulting in two files (or folders) that typically exist in different locations. Below are the steps you would use to copy and paste in Windows Explorer. In the example, we will be copying our “June 2013 Journal” file from the hard drive of the computer (C:\ drive) and pasting it on a removable flash drive (F:\ drive).

To copy a file:

Within Windows Explorer, you first need to navigate to the location at which the file is saved. In our example, this is the “Journals” sub-folder of the English folder on the C:\ drive.

copying a file

















Once you are in the correct location, point to the file with your mouse and right-click. (We learned about right-clicking in the Computer Operations module of this tutorial.)

A shortcut menu will appear. Using the left mouse button, click on the option to “Copy”.

This will make a copy of the file and save it to what is know as the clipboard. The clipboard is a temporary holding area the computer uses for any item that has been copied or cut.

Once the file (or folder) is copied to the clipboard, it can now be pasted. To paste the copy (and create the duplicate of the file) you must use Windows Explorer to navigate to the location where you wish to save the copy — in this case it is the flash drive. If there is a specific folder that you would like to use, you must double click the folder to open in. In our example, we will be pasting the copy in the “Homework” folder on our flash drive (Drive F:\).

Once you are in the desired location, click the right mouse button again to bring up the short-cut menu and select the “Paste” option (using the left mouse button).


You should now see the duplicate file (or folder) in the new location.


copy done