I can see the (XP) shared folder on my Mac (10.6.8). If I try and drag/drop the folder in finder, I get an alias to it. How do I copy the folder itself?


Hold the Option key as you drag the item to force the Finder to make a copy.

In more detail: what the Finder does when you drag-and-drop an item varies depending on what it is and where you're dragging it. If it's a volume (local or network), it makes an alias (as you've seen). If it's a file or folder and you're dragging it somewhere in the same volume it's in now, it moves it. If you're dragging to a different volume, it copies.

You can override these defaults by holding modifier keys as you drag the item: Command to force it to move the item, Option to force it to copy, and Command-Option to force it to make an alias. See Apple's keyboard shortcuts list (at the bottom of the "Finder keyboard shortcuts" section).

  • Strange, I think I tried this, but even when it showed a + (with Option), it created an alias. I'll try again and see. Sep 28 '11 at 5:13
  • Did you hold Option until after you released the mouse? It acts on the modifier key(s) you have down when you release the mouse, not on key(s) you pressed (and released) while dragging. Sep 28 '11 at 7:04

Well, I partially figured it out. I can select the folder, then press Command+A, which selects everything in it - which I can then drag and drop. So that copies the contents. What about copying folder+contents?

  • 1
    "What copying folder+contents?" - Explain this poorly worded statement please.
    – Ramhound
    Sep 27 '11 at 13:07
  • Missed the word 'about'. Folder+contents is exactly what it sounds like. The folder. Plus its contents. Sep 28 '11 at 5:12

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