In the file copy conflict dialog, what happened to the option to copy the new file with a numeric suffix?

Raymond Chen

If you use Explorer to paste a file into a directory, and there’s already a file with that name in the directory, you get a Replace or Skip Files dialog with options to replace the existing file, skip the file, or compare info for both files. A customer remembered that in earlier versions of Windows, there was no option to compare info, but there was an option to copy the file with a new name, so that the directory contains both the old file (with its original name) and the new file (with a numeric suffix). Where did that option go?

Replace or Skip Files?
Copy 1 item from Documents to Desktop
The destination already has a file named “Awesome.txt”
Replace the file in the destination
Skip this file
🗎🗎 Compare info for both files

The option to keep both files is still there. It’s hiding under Compare info for both files.

1 File Conflict
Which files do you want to keep?
If you select both versions, the copied file will have a number added to its name.
  ☐ Files from Documents ☐ Files from Desktop  
🗎 11/12/2015 5:00:00 PM
10.6 KB
🗎 7/29/2015 5:00;00 PM
10.2 KB
☐ Skip 0 files with the same date and size
Continue   Cancel  

In the resulting dialog, you are given information about the conflicting files and can select which version you want. If you select both versions, then the copied file will have a number added to its name.



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  • Henrik Andersson 0

    Smells like the support team was getting fed up with customers complaining about users accidentally creating copies when they just wanted to replace/skip the file. Classic case of protecting the user from themself.

    • Harold H 0

      No, it’s a classic case of Microsoft constantly fiddling with things and changing them for no good reason.  If you want to keep both files and just give the new file a different name, its never going to occur to your to select “Compare info for both files”, because comparing files is NOT want you want to do.  Once again, something obvious and sensible has been replaced with something non-obvious and confusing.

      • Dave Gzorple 0

        Yeah, it’s part of the ongoing insanity from Windows 7 -> 8 -> 10 to turn ordinary apps into escape-room exercises, hiding important parts of the UI behind totally unintuitive or even invisible controls.  Oh, you want to reformat the currently-selected paragraph?  Move the mouse pointer to the upper right of the window and pause it there until the hidden square block animates, then swipe right while holding down the control key, and when the window border changes width press the space bar with your nose.  It’s pretty sad when you need to Google how to perform basic operations because the UI is so totally nonintuitive that you have pretty much zero chance of figuring it out for yourself.  Luckily(?) there are endless numbers of users with the same problem, so you can often find the escape-room trick you need to use on the first hit.

        • Azarien 0

          And having both “classic” and “modern” control panels is a nightmare. Some settings are available only in the old Control Panel, some are only in the new (and totally unnecessary) Settings app, and things keep changing from Windows 10 version to Windows 10 version.

          • April Ruby Bell 0

            Is the new Settings app really “totally unnecessary” when it, by your admission, hosts some settings which are only available in it? That would seem to be the very definition of necessity.

          • Wayne Venables 0

            I disagree; I like having both the “classic” and “modern” control panels.  It’s certainly good engineering; migrating the entire control panel to the new settings is a big job and trying to do it all at once is a recipe for disaster.  I mostly prefer to the old control panel but as the settings app improves I spend more and more time in there.

        • Daniel Sturm 0

          This is about the Word UI isn’t it?
          It’s funny how people always complain how Microsoft dumbs down their UI and the second they introduce purely optional quick controls to do common actions quicker (there’s nothing in the quick action box thingie you can’t do with the classical controls) they get flack for their unintuitive UI.

  • Richard Birch 0

    Pretty sure that Raymond is secretly building an HTML based clone of Windows behind the scenes. Theres no other explanations for the pixel perfect dialog renditions 😛

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