Windows – How to undo an accidental drag and drop

drag and dropundowindows 7

This happens to me in Windows Explorer: I mean to open a folder and manage to move the mouse and accidentally drag the whole folder … somewhere. Usually I notice, but not always (in which case I know I'm out of luck). If I notice that it has been dropped into another folder, but don't know exactly where, is there anyway to undo what I just did?

I don't always even notice the folder being grabbed, which makes it more interesting to find where it was dropped. I just noticed that something happened, and I'd like to undo it, because I suspect that one folder was dropped into another.

Best Answer

  • Short Answer

    To undo a file/folder operation in Windows, you can use either the Undo command in the Edit menu, or press Ctrl+Z.

    Caveat

    NB: There are a few things to note however. While the undo command usually undoes the last file operation, it will not always be the operation you are expecting. Sometimes the last operation does not make it into the undo buffer, making it undo a different operation from what you were expecting. For example, if there are multiple file operations happening at the same time, they are added to the undo buffer in they order that they complete, not the order in which they were initiated. Also, some operations cannot be undone like permanent deletions, those from the command-line, etc.

    Recommendation

    Instead of using Ctrl+Z, it is safer to use the menu command because you can see what operation Windows will undo before performing it. (Granted, you can redo the operation with Ctrl+Y, but it is easier and safer to just confirm before undoing.) Enable the status bar (View->Status bar), then when you hover the cursor over the Undo command, it will display the operation to be undone.


    Screenshot of Windows Explorer with undo command results shown in status bar