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I've often the need to copy the full file path of a file or directory from the file explorer in Windows - is there any easy way of doing this ?

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16 Answers 16

up vote 10 down vote accepted

In explorer go to tools - folder options and on the view tab choose display full path in the address bar. You can then copy and paste from the address bar.

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As far as I can tell, this doesn't work if you need the full path of a file. Only the path of the currently open folder can be copied in this way. – wcoenen Oct 12 '09 at 11:24

You can drag and drop the file on the run dialog, or on a command prompt, this will put the full path at the cursor position.

Alternatively, you can install something like Ninotech Path Copy so you have it in your default explorer context menu:

Ninotech Path Copy is a shell extension for Windows 95, 98, NT4, 2000, and XP that enables to copy the path of a file or directory to the Clipboard. You can then paste the path in to your document, e-mail, etc. You copy the path of a file or directory by right-clicking it in the Windows Explorer and choosing Copy Path from the context menu. The context menu then offers nine standard ways of copying the path, in addition to the user defined copying methods that you create yourself:

Of course, what Col suggests is maybe even easier?

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@eidylon for Win7, you can hold Shift while right clicking on the file, and a "Copy as path" menu item appears. – nos Feb 9 '12 at 8:08

Copy and paste this text into Notepad and save with a .reg extension:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

@="Copy as Path"


Double click the .reg file, add to the registry, then log off and back on again. Download Clip.exe from Microsoft's FTP site, and copy it to C:\Windows\System32. Now if you hold SHIFT and right-click on a file, you'll see the Copy as Path submenu item.

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Perhaps I misunderstood the question, but it seems to me that the other answers help only in displaying the name in the window title (the blue stripe at the top).

To get the address line, simply choose: View > Toolbars, and make sure the Address Line (or something similar, I don't have the English version installed) is checked. In case it is not - click it to make it checked.

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Download the Get Path plugin from, which I'm affiliated with.

This is a plugin for Windows; you can have the path of each file copied in the clipboard, ready for paste anywhere with just one click on the right click menu entry named “Get Path”.

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You might want to check out FileMenuTools from Lopesoft.

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You can install this small explorer extension. It adds a context menu entry that does what you want. Pretty much the same thing as the Ninotech Path Copy, but it comes with an installer.

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Create a file named filepath.bat in the following folder:

C:\Documents and Settings\your_user_name\SendTo

Add the following to the .bat file:

@dir %1 /b /s


To obtain the full file path, right click on a file and select 'Send to' from the context menu. filepath.bat will show up as an option. Select it, and a Command Prompt showing the full path of the file will appear.

Click on the [C:] icon in the upper left of the Command Prompt titlebar and select 'Properties'. Under the 'Options' tab, check the 'Quick Edit Mode'. Then check "Modify shortcut that started this window" (it is only necessary to do this one time). Now, any time you need to know the full path of a file, right click it, select 'Send to', then filepath.bat. To copy the path, drag with the left mouse button over the link then right click. The full path can then be Ctrl + V pasted anywhere.

It seems like a burden, but once it's set up it's reasonably quick to use.

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Use Copy Path. It allows you to right-click on a drive or file system object and copy the path of the file to the clipboard.

This extension is intended to make the task of finding and sharing the UNC path for a mapped drive easier as I often need to find this information from colleagues or pass this information to colleagues. I created this utility to make it simpler.

This is a Windows Explorer shell extension that will allow you to right click on a drive or file system object and copy the path of the file to the clipbpoard. If the drive is a mapped drive or the file system object exits on a mapped drive it will resolve the full UNC path.

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Right click, choose "open with", and open it with whatever browser you use. Then you can copy the full path name from the address bar

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Here is another solution for people who are in locked down corporate environments as it doesn't require an external executable or access to the registry.

Click on Start -> Run and then enter shell:sendto and press Enter. This will open up a folder. Create a file called Clipboard (full path and filename).vbs and put the following code into it:

Option Explicit
If WScript.Arguments.Count = 0 Then WScript.Quit
Dim fso : Set fso = CreateObject("Scripting.FileSystemObject")
Dim sFile : sFile = fso.GetAbsolutePathName(WScript.Arguments(0))
Dim sDrive : sDrive = fso.GetDriveName(WScript.Arguments(0))
Dim sMap : sMap = GetMappedDrive(sDrive)
If sMap <> "" And sDrive <> sMap Then sFile = Replace(sFile, sDrive, sMap)
Call CopyToClipboard(sFile)
Msgbox "The following path has been copied to the clipboard:" & VbCrLf & VbCrLf & sFile, 0 + 64 
Set fso = Nothing

Function GetMappedDrive(sDrive)
    Dim wshNetwork : Set wshNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
    Dim oDrives : Set oDrives = wshNetwork.EnumNetworkDrives
    Dim i
    For i = 0 to oDrives.Count - 1 Step 2
        If UCase(oDrives.Item(i)) = UCase(sDrive) Then
            GetMappedDrive = oDrives.Item(i+1)
            Exit For
        End If
    Set oDrives = Nothing
    Set wshNetwork = Nothing
End Function

Function CopyToClipboard(sText)
    ' Create temporary text file to avoid IE clipboard warnings
    Dim sTemp : sTemp = fso.GetSpecialFolder(2) & "\" & fso.GetTempName
    Dim oFile : Set oFile = fso.CreateTextFile(sTemp, True)
    oFile.Write "This file can be safely deleted"
    Set oFile = Nothing
    ' Start Internet Explorer in the local zone
    Dim oIE : Set oIE = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
    oIE.Visible = 0
    oIE.Navigate2 sTemp
        WScript.Sleep 100
    Loop Until oIE.Document.ReadyState = "complete"
    ' Copy contents to clipboard
    oIE.Document.ParentWindow.ClipboardData.SetData "text", sText
    ' Clean up
    fso.DeleteFile sTemp
    Set oIE = Nothing
    Set fso = Nothing
End Function

When you want to get the full path of a file or folder, right click on the item and then select Send to -> Clipboard (full path and filename).vbs.

A pop-up will appear telling you the full path and it will also be copied to the clipboard ready for pasting into another application or document.

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You could right click the file or folder and go to Properties. There, you have both location and file or folder name.

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Grab Path in the Synesis Shell Extensions is excellent, full of useful options like copy in 8.3 format or in Unix format (great to paste in a string in C or Java program, for example).

Alas, it doesn't work in Win7 and seems abandoned (last update in 2006!). But still great on XP, I keep it along with the FileMenu Tools recommended above (which works on Win7), because of the options.

For the record, even if the question is explicitly for WinXP, I thought it can be interesting to share a trick I just discovered today: in Win7, just Shift+right-click to get a copy path option (why it is hidden is beyond me...).

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Full path including filename. (xp at least)

In xp file browser place "\" at the end of the folder name and a drop list will appear with all the files in that folder. Use arrow up & down keys to navigate to file of choice, highlighted file is placed in address bar, user left arrow key to swipe and copy path.

Folder tools must be checked that "display full path in the address bar".

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Here's a variation on previous solutions. Probably the simplest way for XP, and useful if you're in a locked down corporate environment as no registry entries required.

  1. Download clip.exe from the Microsoft Windows 98 Resource Kit FTP site and save it your System32 folder (usually C:\WINDOWS\System32), or somewhere in your PATH.

  2. Copy and paste the line below into a text editor, and save the file as Copy path to clipboard.bat in C:\Documents and Settings\[user_name]\SendTo

    @echo %~dpnx1|clip.exe

  3. To copy the full file path, right click on a file and select 'Send to' from the context menu. Copy path to clipboard.bat will show up as an option. Left-click it and paste away.

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easiest i've found (+ many other uses)

Path Copy Copy - Home

another is CopyFilenames - Copy filenames to the Windows clipboard.

CopyFilenames i find useful because it can add file size to the end of the file name.

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Can you explain how to use these in a way that answers the OP's question? – Cfinley May 15 '15 at 19:07

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