QWT 5 – Copy The Full Path Of A File/Folder To The Windows Clipboard

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June 29, 2014

Quick Weekend Tips


About the Quick Weekend Tips (QWT) post series


QWT is a series of posts that are different from the “typical” posts that are being published in this blog. As the name implies the posts are published during the weekends (Saturday or Sunday) and their subject is quick/short tips about various applications (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, AutoCAD, etc.). These quick tips are accompanied with step by step instructions, as well as with a lot of pictures.

 


QWT 5: Copy The Full Path Of A File/Folder To The Windows Clipboard


According to Wikipedia: “A full path or absolute path is a path that points to the same location on one file system regardless of the present working directory or combined paths. It is usually written in reference to a root directory”. There are several instances in which the complete path of a file or folder is required.

  • Folder path example: “C:\Users\Christos\Downloads”
  • File path example: “C:\Users\Christos\Desktop\An Introduction To Pressure Vessels.pdf”

Below you will find two ways to get the full path of a file or folder; the second one is much easier and it can be applied to get the full path of multiple folders/files at once. If, however, you need an automated solution that will export the paths in a new Excel workbook, you can try this free program that I developed.

 


Using the Security tab of the Properties window


Step 1: Right-click on the file/folder you want to copy its path.
Step 2: From the right-click shortcut menu that pops up select the Properties option.

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 1

Step 3: On the Properties window that pops up select the Security tab.
Step 4: Just next to the Object name label select the full path of your file/folder. The selection works similarly to the selection of a word on an MS Word. Click just before the first character of the path and then drag the mouse until the entire path is selected.
Step 5: Press CTRL + C to copy the path.
Step 6: Exit from the Properties window by either pressing the Cancel or even the OK button.

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 2

Optional step: Only for validation purposes, open Notepad or Word and press CTRL + V to paste the path. If you have completed the previous steps successfully the full folder/file path will be shown similar to the picture below:

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 3

 


Using the Shift key and Copy as path option


The second method is much simpler and involves only two steps:
Step 1: Hold on the SHIFT key of your keyboard and right-click on the file/folder you want to copy its path.
Step 2: From the right-click shortcut menu that pops up select the Copy as path option and the path will be copied to the clipboard!

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 4

Optional step: Again, just for validation, open Notepad or Word and press CTRL + V to paste the path. Note, that, contrary to the first method, the path appears inside quotation marks – “”.

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 5

 


Bonus section: multiple folders/files


Apart from its simplicity, the second method has a significant advantage over the first method: it works also with multiple folders or files. So, if you select multiple files, as shown in the picture below:

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 6

And repeat the second method – press the SHIFT key on the keyboard and select the Copy as path option from the right-click shortcut menu – the results on Notepad would look like this:

Copy The Full Path Of A File Folder To The Windows Clipboard 7

 


Limitation


Note that both methods work on Windows Vista and newer Windows versions (7, 8 and 10), so none of the above can be applied on Windows XP  or earlier  Windows versions.

PS: The cover image was taken on 20 April 2014, during my visit to Paris for a scientific conference (TRA 2014).

Page last modified: March 2, 2020

Christos Samaras

Hi, I am Christos, a Mechanical Engineer by profession (Ph.D.) and a Software Developer by obsession (10+ years of experience)! I founded this site back in 2011 intending to provide solutions to various engineering and programming problems.

Christos E. Samaras

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