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I share an entire Dropbox account with a team (not just a shared folder… we all have secondary Dropbox processes running the same account on each of our computers), and it works great for team file sharing, with one caveat.

When dragging files or folders in Finder, the default behavior in OSX is to move those files. If someone decides to drag a file or folder out of the shared Dropbox folder, OS X will move that file or folder, essentially deleting it from everyone else's computer. Which is bad.

Is there some sort of hidden preference or folder-level setting in OS X to make it so the default dragging action for a folder is copy instead of move?

Update: Similar to this situation but for OS X. I keep reminding people to use modifier keys when dragging, but it's hard to get that into their collective muscle memory...

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Does holding the command key while you drag do it? – Nick Josevski Oct 15 '12 at 23:42
Holding down alt/option does, but again, training and reminding 5 people to do that all the time has been difficult and mostly unsuccessful. – Andrew Oct 16 '12 at 11:24
Why the downvote? It's a legitimate question… perhaps there's some folder flag that can be set (akin to read-only) that makes copying the default behavior for dragging… – Andrew Oct 16 '12 at 11:25

I think that almost any way you could make the files unmovable would also make them not editable.

The only way I can think of to protect the files like you want is to have the files on a separate volume. When a file is moved off of a separate volume onto the root volume, like from an external drive or a server share to the Desktop, the default behavior is to copy the file.

What if you hosted the files on a server instead of having everyone duplicate the files with Dropbox? You could still back the files up with Dropbox and there might be less chance of conflict. OS X Server is cheap.

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We did the server thing for years, but it caused too many syncing issues. Dropbox is working well, except for this. If only there was a way to trick a folder into thinking it was a separate volume… – Andrew Oct 19 '12 at 15:58

I too would like a better solution.

The only way I know of, which isn't a bad way, is to make a disk image on your computer. It will act like it is an external disk. The only downsides is you have to set a size of the image, so the disk image will take up that much space on your real drive. Also you must mount the image any time you want to use it.

Making a disk image is relatively simple. Open Disk Utility and on the top click "New Image". Name the image, name the disk, pick a size. Format as Mac OS Extended (journaled) with encryption to none. Partition as hard disk, at leave as read/write. Change the settings if you like.

Open the .dng and it will appear like a flash drive on your desktop. When you drag files to it, it will copy rather than move by default.

I hope thats helpful to someone.

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