Windows11

How to Cut, Copy and Paste Files in Windows 11

Written by Wyatt Surrey

Confused About New File Explorer on Windows 11? Find out how to cut, copy and paste files / folders in Windows 11 using the new menu items.

With each new iteration of Windows, a plethora of new features are introduced and some of the old ones are either changed or removed. It’s pretty much the same with Windows 11. The first change you must have noticed was probably the centered “taskbar”, a cool introduction indeed.

But, there are a lot of changes that could get you in trouble. For example, the context menu. It has been completely overhauled with just a few relevant options remaining. So how to cut, copy or paste a file / folder in Windows 11?

Although you won’t find these options listed where they were in previous iterations, they are still present as icons on the context menu. Plus, the keyboard shortcuts for cut, copy, and paste still work like a charm.

We used two subtitles, one to cut or copy a file / folder and the second to paste it.

Cut or copy a file or folder in Windows 11

Let’s see all the ways you can cut or copy a file / folder in Windows 11.

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Using Cut or Copy Icons from the Context Menu

To cut or copy a file in Windows 11, right click on it and select the desired icon at the top or bottom of the context menu. The ‘Cut’ icon looks like a chisel while the ‘Copy’ icon looks like two overlapping pages. Alternatively, you can use the keyboard shortcut CTRL + X to ‘Cut’ a file and CTRL + C to “copy” it.

Using Cut or Copy icons in the File Explorer command bar

When you launch File Explorer, you will notice a new toolbar, called “Command Bar” in Windows 11. It has been cleaned up, but most of the relevant options have been kept. In addition, it takes up much less space than the toolbar of previous versions.

To cut or copy a file, select it, then click the desired icon in the command bar at the top.

Using the legacy context menu

When you right-click on a file to launch the context menu, you won’t find most of the options available in previous versions. This is another major change in Windows 11. However, you can still access the legacy context menu, either through the modern menu or by using the keyboard shortcut. Both methods have been discussed below.

To cut or copy a file, right-click on it and select “Show more options” from the context menu. You can also select the file and press SHIFT + F10 to launch the inherited context menu.

The old context menu that we have been using for all these years now appears on the screen. Select the “Cut” or “Copy” option as desired.

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That’s all there is to cut or copy a file / folder in Windows 11.

Paste a file or folder in Windows 11

Now that you’ve cut or copied a file, it’s time to paste it where you want it. Here are all the ways you can paste a file in Windows 11.

Using the Paste Icon in the Context Menu

To paste a file, navigate to the desired location, right-click on the free space and select the “Paste” icon at the top or bottom of the context menu. The Paste icon looks like a small sheet of paper on a clipboard. Alternatively, you can use the CTRL + V keyboard shortcut to paste a file.

Using the paste icons in the File Explorer command bar

To paste a file using the icons on the command bar, navigate to the desired folder where you want to paste the file, and then select the “Paste” icon at the top.

Using the legacy context menu

Again, you can use the legacy context menu to paste a file / folder, just like you did when copying it.

To paste a file, navigate to the desired location on the system, right-click the free space to launch the context menu, and select “Show more options”. Alternatively, you can press SHIFT + F10 to directly launch the inherited context menu.

Then click on the “Paste” option from the legacy context menu.

That’s all there is to paste a file / folder on Windows 11.


These are all the ways you can cut, copy or paste a file / folder on Windows 11. Introducing icons for each in the context menu definitely improves clarity and makes the task much faster.

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About the author

Wyatt Surrey

Wyatt Serrey has spent over 17 years working in the tech industry and also been a Windows fan since he used Windows XP on his computer. He loves to help and teach others how to get the most from their devices, systems, and apps.

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