How To Cut And Paste Files And Folders On Mac

If you are a Mac user, you know how it feels when hearing that Windows users can easily cut and paste files and folders using the keyboard shortcuts Control + X and Control + V. The same does apply on the Mac with the Command key, but when it comes to cut-paste files and folders in the Finder, there’s no easy way, you end up using the copy-paste and then later delete the source.

Using the Cut and Paste is a little tricky here, you might be thinking why not use the Command + X to cut the files/folders and use the Command + V to paste it eventually moving the files/folders from one place to another.

There’s a simple solution to it, drag and drop. While the drag-and-drop works just as the cut-paste, the same doesn’t work with the keyboard shortcut Command + X, you can’t cut-paste files and folders using this shortcut, at least for now.


I am using the Mac for many years but I still haven’t figure out how to cut and paste the files using any keyboard shortcut. Maybe I’m too comfortable to just copying the files and later deleting the source. Although you can move the files i.e. cut and paste by dragging and dropping with the trackpad, there’s an easy way to do it, thanks to the lifesaver Option key.

How To Cut And Paste Files And Folders On Mac

If you thought that the Macs don’t support the cut and paste option like how Windows do for file management, here’s the tricky part, make use of the keyboard shortcut Command + Option + V while pasting the files and folders.

To get a cut-paste function on your Mac, first, copy the file/folder using the usual Command + C, but while pasting it, use the Command + Option + V instead of Command + V. This moves the file/folder instead of creating a copy.

You can do it the other way around if you are not using the shortcut or you just want to see how does it happen.

  • Go to the menubar and click on Edit.

You will see the drop-down menu with options.

  • Select the Copy option to copy the file or folder which copies it to the clipboard.
  • Now again click on the Edit and just hold down the Option key to see the Paste Item changing to Move Item Here which is equivalent to cut-paste.


The Option key does even more for your Mac, here are the top 11 hidden Mac keyboard shortcuts you need to know. The cut-paste trick applies to all the user’s files and folders in the Finder. The Finder also keeps some files and folders hidden so that you don’t accidentally move or delete them as these files and folders are required to keep the system healthy. We have already shown you how to view the hidden files and folders on your Mac.

Being able to cut-paste files and folders is a feature many users have been craving for a long time, users especially who moved from Windows to Mac. We would still welcome the cut-paste function in the newer macOS updates.

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