How to Cut and Paste on Mac

If you have ever used a PC or Linux computer, you know that cut and paste functionalities are available in the right-click menu. However, if you right-click (or Command + click) a file on a Mac (macOS or OS X), you only get a Copy option. Unlike Linux and Windows, there is no Cut option.

How to Cut and Paste on Mac

So, how can you cut and paste files and folders without having to copy-paste them and then delete their old copy by moving them to Trash?

The most important thing here is to understand the logic behind Mac’s approach. There is no cut and paste. There is copy and move instead. The trick is in the second functionality – move.

Cutting and Pasting Text

To Cut and paste text in Mac OS X and macOS, you can use the keyboard combination:

  • CMD + X – to cut the selected text.
  • CMD + V – to paste that text.

Note: Keep in mind that these keyboard shortcuts DO NOT work for cutting and pasting files and folders. They do work for text only.

Cutting and Pasting Files and Folders

To move folders on your Mac, by cutting and pasting you can use the following key combinations:

  • CMD + C – to copy the items from the source location (or right-click the file and select Copy).
  • CMD + OPT + V – to paste (move) the items into the destination location (by cutting from the previous location). You can also press the right click while into the destination folder and press the Option key. Once you do that, the Paste function will change to Move. Now press on Move while keeping the Option key pressed, and your files will cut from the original folder and paste into the destination directory.

Use Terminal for Moving Files

You can also use the mv command in Terminal to cut and paste files. Just type the following:


Change the “PATH/OF/CURRENT_FILES” and “DESTINATION/PATH/OF/CURRENT_FILES” values with the location of your file accordingly.

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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How to Cut and Paste on Mac

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