When I drop files outside of WinSCP, they are moved to the drop target. I want to copy them. How do I do that?

Windows has a general way of selecting the operation performed by drag&drop. To copy, hold down Ctrl key while dragging. To move, hold down Shift key. And to create a link/shortcut (not applicable to WinSCP), hold down both Ctrl and Shift.

What if you want to make “copy” the default operation? Older versions of WinSCP could not do this. It is always the target application (Windows File Explorer usually), that selects the default drag&drop operation. The only thing that WinSCP did, was disabling move operations all together using Allow moving from remote directory to other applications preference option. This forced Windows File Explorer to use “copy”, because there wouldn’t be another option. Note that WinSCP actually disabled “move” by default, so you have probably enabled it yourself, if you face the problem.


The latest version does not have this limitation and always defaults to “copy”, even when it allows “move” too.

There is one trick to allow both move and copy while making copy the default, even with the old versions of WinSCP. Windows File Explorer select its default operation using a simple algorithm. If you drag files within a drive, it moves them. If you drag files between two drives, it copies them. When you drag files from WinSCP, Windows File Explorer thinks that they are in the temporary folder (read more about this). So if you have more then one drive in your machine, and there is a particular drive that you usually drag files to, then place your temporary directory on any other drive will give you copying by default. You can change the location of the temporary directory in preferences.

Last modified: by martin