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02 Nov 2013, 20:46
move or copy file/folder to external disk

I’m sure this has been asked before but couldn’t find an answer. If I try to move a file or folder using FP, it will work if the destination is on the same disk (that is, the file is moved and deleted from source) but if the destination folder is on an external disk the file will be copied (that is, not deleted from the source). Is that the way it is supposed to work?

02 Nov 2013, 21:39
Re: move or copy file/folder to external disk
That's a bug in the Finder - I ask the Finder to 'move' the item but it copies it if the source and destination volumes are different.
I was planning on writing my own mover but never got around to it...
18 Jun 2014, 02:49
Re: move or copy file/folder to external disk
Four years on and I come here to find the answer to this which I just noted. I've been an off/on user over the years but have recently become more of a power user (and so have donated just now - real name t******e). I've just now discovered the move function (such as it sadly is). Any hope or should I just drown my tears?
18 Jun 2014, 12:26
Re: move or copy file/folder to external disk
Moving stuff to an external disk can be a bit more complicated than just copy + delete.

To do this properly, we would have to deal with user interface while copying to the external drive, handle errors during copying (duplicate in destination, permissions errors, asking for admin password to overwrite existing with different owner/perms, running out of disk space, possible networking issues like the destination volume going offline, etc.) - not to mention the disastrous consequences of getting something wrong when we think the copy has succeeded and then delete the original.

So it's not something I'd be able to knock together in a couple of hours, but I'll have a look at some stage.

I did try a long time ago to look at the status returned by the Finder after I asked it to "move" (but it copied) - I was never able to tell for sure that the copy succeeded.
18 Jun 2014, 21:25
Re: move or copy file/folder to external disk
Thanks for the insight. I figured it wasn't a "walk in the park" kind of easy. Just really ticks me off, especially in this age of SSD boot volumes. I download stuff to an external. I use externals for scratch/draft stuff, keeping the space on my boot volume reserved for stuff I absolutely know I want to be there. Like wise much stuff goes from one external to another, often a network drive.

Nevertheless, love FP. Long may it, and you, and your liver, live!