If you ever copied hundreds or even thousands of files from one folder to another with both folders containing files of the same name you might have realized that there is a button missing when transferring those files. Windows asks you what you would like to do when a duplicate file is found in the folder you are copying the selected files to.
Here you have the option to replace one or all by clicking on yes or yes to all options, no to not replace the individual file or cancel to stop the copying at this point of the process.
The option that is missing is of course selecting no to all, so that no files in the destination folder are replaced by files you copy in to it. So, if you do not want any file to be replaced in the destination folder by the copy process, you need to click on no every time a duplicate is found. Imagine if ten, fifty or more than a hundred duplicates are found. You'd have to click no all the time to block the new file replacing the old one in the destination folder.
You are now probably asking yourself if there is another option, one that makes the whole process a lot easier on the trigger finger. And yes, there is one, and it does not even require you to install third party software of any kind on the system.
Microsoft seems to like hiding useful features in Windows. So, this is another one of those. Since there is no "No to all" button in the copy process one would assume there is no option to select that option. Turns out, there is an option. All you have to do is hold down the Shift key while you click on no. It has the same effect as saying No To All which means that the copy process from that moment on will automatically select no if a duplicate file is found in the destination directory.
So, next time you copy a large number of files in Windows and get duplicate file messages, you may want to hold down the Shift-key before you select the "don't copy or move" option from the selection menu.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.