# Easiest way to extract the contents of many folders at once?

In Windows 7, I have a directory of folders which each contain files as their contents. Is there any way to extract all of the contents of each the folders to a separate location other than cutting and pasting the content one folder at a time?

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## migrated from ux.stackexchange.comDec 24 '12 at 19:14

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If you want to move the contents of a source directory and all of its sub-directories to a single destination directory (i.e. flatten the folder structure), it's very easy and you don't even need to bother with the command line.

Just go to the top-level source folder (whose contents you want to copy), and in the Windows Explorer search box type * (just a star or asterisk). This will display every file and sub-folder under the source folder. Now just sort by Type to group all files together, select them all, then cut/copy and paste in the destination dir.

If you have hidden and system files as well, under Organize → Folder and search options → View tab make sure Show hidden files... is selected, and Hide protected operating system files is unchecked.

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You can use Windows Command Prompt for running a command:

move C:\path\to\folder\*\* C:\path\to\folder\


I am not 100% certain about dashes, but \ or / should definetely work. The above command will move all files from all folders in C:\path\to\folder to C:\path\to\folder.

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ill play around with it. i figured there was a command prompt solution im assuming for all of them id use the wildcard '*' –  John Dream Dec 24 '12 at 20:34
Be warned that this will clobber any duplicate filenames. –  Bob Jan 28 at 14:19

In Windows Explorer, press F3 and type in *.* (asterisk dot asterisk). This will show you the contents of the folder and its subfolders.

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How is this going to help? Please expand your post to add all necessary details. –  Oliver Salzburg Mar 18 '13 at 17:55
confusing.. a lot confusing. Plus, as Oliver said, how does this help? –  Lorenzo Von Matterhorn Mar 18 '13 at 17:56
@OliverSalzburg this is essentially exactly the same as the answer that was marked correct... bit unfair to downvote. –  will Jan 28 at 12:51
@will So you're saying it's a duplicate? I personally don't think so, I think this is an incomplete answer at best. I was hoping the user would come back to improve it, but I guess he didn't. I actually hadn't downvoted it... until now. –  Oliver Salzburg Jan 28 at 14:15
Have you tried it out? All it misses out is that after you have all the files displayed, you need to select them and copy them, but it's hardly a complicated leap... –  will Jan 28 at 17:57