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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.

4 Comments

  1. Back again with a quicker way around the copy save issue.
    If you collect photos on your laptop for any reason and you use google to find the images first download the images to the computer, so that the downloads appear at the bottom of the page. Do not try to move them anywhere until you have downloaded a good bit of them. Try to test this with a few downloads before selecting more than 10. After they have been downloaded go to where google shows you all the downloads in a list format. This option is usually at the bottom right corner of google next to all the downloads, selecting this will take you to another page as well. Once you are at the list select the ‘show in folder’ option under one of the downloaded files. This will take you to where the files are currently open on the computer. Make sure all the numbers that are automatically given to the generic file names are in order, with no repeats. Select the downloaded files by long click and dragging the mouse over the files and then drag them to the desired folder. If all the files were moved with names like ‘unnamed(1)’ ‘unnamed(2) so on and so forth, WITH NO REPEAT NUMBERS then anyone can download lets say 50 unnamed files at one time without having to do any of the steps listed above. No popups asking you to rename or copy over other files just a straightforward method to save lots of files to the computer. As far as I know this works best on Google and with image files. Hope this actually helps some people.

  2. this is really sad that this is the only option. No offense to who wrote this, but you are acting as though this is an effective solution to the issue… This clearly is way too many steps for a simple task. I just hope that someone smart sees this comment and desides to make the effective change to simply allow users to just copy and save multiple files under the same ease no questions asked. Why should windows care if I name my files or not. This feature is completely setting me back in my work. I just cant imagine what group of people came together and agreed that this feature made sense for people who like to download more than two files with the same name to their computer within a reasonable amount of time. Not trying to be a Karen, but really this should be fixed…. please and thank you to anyone who sees this and can fix the issue

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