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How to overwrite file with another in Explorer? RRS feed

  • Question

  • While working I very often need to copy a file on top of another existing file, overwriting it. The names of the two files are different. The original file and directory must remain as is. I cannot leave extra files in the destination directory when I'm done, and would prefer to not even have extra files there in the middle of the workflow.

    What I currently do is to drag and drop the source file into a temporary directory, rename it to the same name as the destination file, drag and drop in the destination directory, choose to overwrite, and finally delete the temporary file.

    Is there a sensible shortcut, utility or Explorer extension to do this (overwrite a file with another) directly or with fewer steps?

    I would otherwise use the shell, but the files are typically far from each other in terms of directory hierarchy, and the locations change constantly, so the shell is not practical in this use case.


    Friday, April 15, 2011 9:35 AM

Answers


  • Ahh - I made a long follow-up post but the Javascript textbox used here conflicted with my browser and I lost the text.

    In short, the answer was correct in that Explorer lacks a convenient facility to overwrite files, but mistaken in that there is a vastly better workflow than what I was using. Still unintuitive, though! Here it is:

    Navigate to source file in source directory, copy (Ctrl-C), navigate to destination file in destination directory, delete destination file (Del, Enter), paste (Ctrl-V), rename (F2) and edit name to destination name.

    The obvious inefficiency in this is how you have to manually enter the destination filename though the information would be there for Explorer to use. It would be much better to be able to "copy into" a file. The right-click-drag which offers copy/move/shortcut options currently could easily offer "copy into" when the drag ends over another file.

    I ultimately resolved the problem, and some others, by using a 3rd party file explorer "FreeCommander" instead of Explorer. I wish I could likewise replace Explorer in Windows' File Open dialogs with something more usable.
    • Marked as answer by YPeuss Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:48 AM
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:20 PM
  • Hi,

    Based on my understanding, the steps you are using are already the easiest way to achieve the purpose.

    Maybe you can use robocopy command to achieve that once, but the directory is constantly changed. So you need to compose the command’s parameter every time. This does not suit for your requirement.

    Thanks.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:48 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by YPeuss Wednesday, October 5, 2011 1:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:58 AM
    Monday, April 18, 2011 9:19 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Based on my understanding, the steps you are using are already the easiest way to achieve the purpose.

    Maybe you can use robocopy command to achieve that once, but the directory is constantly changed. So you need to compose the command’s parameter every time. This does not suit for your requirement.

    Thanks.


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread. ”
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Tuesday, April 26, 2011 4:48 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by YPeuss Wednesday, October 5, 2011 1:40 PM
    • Marked as answer by Juke Chou Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:58 AM
    Monday, April 18, 2011 9:19 AM

  • Ahh - I made a long follow-up post but the Javascript textbox used here conflicted with my browser and I lost the text.

    In short, the answer was correct in that Explorer lacks a convenient facility to overwrite files, but mistaken in that there is a vastly better workflow than what I was using. Still unintuitive, though! Here it is:

    Navigate to source file in source directory, copy (Ctrl-C), navigate to destination file in destination directory, delete destination file (Del, Enter), paste (Ctrl-V), rename (F2) and edit name to destination name.

    The obvious inefficiency in this is how you have to manually enter the destination filename though the information would be there for Explorer to use. It would be much better to be able to "copy into" a file. The right-click-drag which offers copy/move/shortcut options currently could easily offer "copy into" when the drag ends over another file.

    I ultimately resolved the problem, and some others, by using a 3rd party file explorer "FreeCommander" instead of Explorer. I wish I could likewise replace Explorer in Windows' File Open dialogs with something more usable.
    • Marked as answer by YPeuss Thursday, October 6, 2011 8:48 AM
    Wednesday, October 5, 2011 2:20 PM