How to use Explorer View in SharePoint 2010 to copy files between folders in a Document Library

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How to use Explorer View in SharePoint 2010 to copy files between folders in a Document Library

Like This Blog 1 Spike Xavier
Added by July 29, 2013

Recently a student asked me how they could copy files between two folders within the same document library. In the end the desired effect was to have the same documents in both folders (at least for the time being).

I couldn’t think of a much better scenario to use than the Explorer view.
Explorer view allows you to interact with SharePoint 2010 as if you were using Windows Explorer on a file system.

Here’s the scenario:

  • I have a normal out of the box team site, which comes with a Shared Documents Library.
  • I have created two folders in the document library (creation of the folders and uploading of the documents into Folder1 is not shown in this blog)
  • I have uploaded some documents into Foder1 but Folder2 is empty.
  • I am going to copy and then past the documents from Folder1 into Folder2 using Explorer View.

In the end, I’ll have the same documents in each library. Each document will be a unique copy the same way if I had done a copy paste on the hard drive of my computer.

Here are my two folders

 

Here-Are-My-Two-Folders.png

 

Folder1 and Folder2 are in the same Shared Documents library.

Contents of Folder1 

Contents-Of-Folder1.png

 

As you can see, I have uploaded a few documents into Folder1. I am going to copy these into Folder2 so both folders will have a copy of each of the documents.

Contents of Folder2 

Contents-Of-Folder2.png

 

As you can see, Folder2 is empty.

Library Open with Explorer 

Library-Open-With-Explorer.png

 

I navigate back to the Shared Documents Library by clicking the link in the Quick Launch Bar and then click the Library Tab in the Ribbon, then I click Open with Explorer.

Double-click Folder1 

Double-Click-Folder1.png

This basically opens an instance of Windows Explorer where I can see the contents of the Shared Documents Library. Ignore the Forms Folder, this is where the default forms for interacting with the Library are stored. I double click Folder1 to open it.

Select All Copy Documents in Folder1 

Select-All-Copy-Documents-in-Folder1.png

I select all the Documents (Ctrl + A) and then copy them to my clipboard (Ctrl + C)

Navigate Back to Root 

Navigate-Back-To-Root.png

I go back to the Shared Documents Library and then double click Folder2.

Paste the Documents into Folder2 

Paste-The-Documents-Into-Folder2.png

I click in the white area and paste the documents. (Ctrl + V)

Validate the results 

Validate-the-results.png

I validate that Folder2 now contains the documents.

Close Explorer View 

Close-Explorer-View.png

I close explorer view by clicking the black (x) in the upper right hand corner just like I was working with the file system.

Click Folder2 in SharePoint 

Click-Folder2-In-SharePoint.png

Returning to the Shared Documents Library in SharePoint, I click Folder2 to see the results.

Validate the contents of Folder2 in SharePoint 

Validate-The-Contents-Of-Folder2-In-SharePoint.png

As you can see, the documents are there. Just to make sure I did a copy and not a move I’ll check Folder1.

Return to Shared Documents Click Folder1 

Return-To-Shared-Documents-Click-Folder1.png

I return to Shared Documents (Quick Launch is fine) and then click Folder1.

Validate that the documents are still there 

Validate-documents-still-there.png

As you can see, the documents are still here. I now have a copy of each document in both folders.

Hope this helps.


Spike Xavier
SharePoint Instructor – Interface Technical Training
Phoenix, AZ

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  1. Avatar Eric J.

    You should note, Explorer View only works in 32-bit Internet Explorer. Many users are going to default to 64-bit as their IE browser.

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