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How To Copy And Keep Both Files In Windows 10 File Explorer

Apps that can create files, whether they’re presentations, documents, or images, tend to give them a generic name. Ideally, you ought to rename all our files and give them each a proper name. In Windows 7, when your tried to copy and paste files to a folder that already had files with that same name , you’d get three options; replace the current files, skip the files with the same name, or copy them both but not replace them. This last, copy and keep both files option is seemingly absent in Windows 10.

SPOILER ALERT: Scroll down and watch the video tutorial at the end of this article.

The good news is, the copy and keep both files option is still there. The bad news is it’s not as easy to use as it was in Windows 7. Here’s where it’s hiding.

Copy And Keep Both Files

When you see the copy files dialog that alerts you that the destination folder has files with the exact same name, you get three options; Replace the files in the destination, Skip these files, and Let me decide for each file. It’s this last option that you want to click on.

When you click Let me decide for each file, a new window will open. It will list the conflicting files with their name, size, and creation date. To copy and keep both files, you need to check them in both folders.

For example, in the screenshot below, to keep the file named ‘Screenshot (16)’, it needs to be checked in both columns. If you want to copy and keep all the files, simply use the collective check box at the top for both folders.  Click Continue and you’re done.

File Names

The file names that are similar will be edited so that the files you copied have a number appended at the end of them. For example, if you’re copying a file named image.png to a folder that already has a file named image.png in it, the copied file will be named image (1).png.

For files that have a sequential name, the number will be updated. For example, if you copy a file named ‘Screenshot (16)’ to a folder that already has a file named Screenshot (16), the name of the copied file will be updated to Screenshot (17). The number will depend on whatever number doesn’t create a conflict in the destination folder. If there’s already a file named Screenshot (17), Windows 10 will skip to a number that will not create a conflict.

If this seems unnecessarily complicated, it kind of is but only because the copy and keep both files option itself has been made complicated. On Windows 7, this same naming convention was followed.


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