How-To Geek

Copy Path of a File to the Clipboard in Windows 7 or Vista

How often have you opened an Open dialog and wished you could just quickly paste in the path of the file you are already looking at in Windows Explorer? Well… now you can, in Windows Vista.

All you have to do is hold down the shift key, and right-click the file:

Choose the Copy as Path from the menu. Here’s an example of what’s on the clipboard after clicking that:

“C:\Users\Public\Pictures\Sample Pictures\Creek.jpg”

Note: This will also allow you to copy the path of a folder to the clipboard.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 01/13/07

Comments (21)

  1. Jodie Miners

    So how do you get it to copy without the annoying quotation marks – is there a registry tweak for that?

  2. The Geek

    The quotation marks are always added because a lot of file paths have spaces in them. I don’t know of any way to remove them, however.

  3. Jodie Miners

    I use path copy all the time – ie every time I want to do a hyperlink I find the file in explorer first (usually because I’m already in explorer working on it) then copy the path and paste it into the Hyperlink box, rather than navigating that silly awful small navigation box for hyperlinks. And Hyperlinks don’t need quotation marks around it, so with the silly vista path copy I have to go and remove them first. The other reason I use copy Path a lot is for linking to things from Sharepoint and that needs a UNC path. I find most apps now will handle the spaces with the %20 symbols.
    I love Ninotech Path Copy ( becuase it has many options for different ways of copying paths. Unfortunately I can’t work out how to install an .inf file in Vista. Any ideas on how you install an .inf file in Vista?

  4. Joe Mazziliano

    Check out the neat gadget that moves or copies where you tell it and sorts files in the process.
    TheMagicFolder.Gadget is its name, check it out.!9DEE6858F87A00BB!192.entry

    I also installed your method….thanks, it works great.

  5. Jodie Miners

    I don’t know what I was trying before but I just tried again and I can install an .inf file in Vista, so Ninotech Path Copy is now installed!!!! Yeah!!!

  6. Wil

    I used clickie 1.1 in vista and it works just fine

  7. Marzaban

    Thanks for the help.

  8. Jamey

    Okay this is extreemly useful, so is there a way to leave the “Copy as path” in the menu without having to hold shift?

  9. Rov

    hi geek.. i wondered if there is any way of doing this without needing to hold shift, i know it’s quite unnessessary, but i would really love it, as i do alot of picture work and programming, so i need it all the time.. i just can’t find out of it -.- can u please help..?

  10. MilesAhead

    afa the double quotes around the paths, you can Search & Replace with EditPad lite. Doing a Replace All with a double quote character in the find box and nothing in the replace box, will remove them all.
    As an alternative, in FreeCommander Edit Menu, Copy Full Name as Text you don’t get double quotes even if there are spaces in the filename. Pick your poison. :)

  11. Mark

    The link in Jodie Minors’s comment is dead, but you can find the app here:

  12. kelly

    this is so helpful, thanks! do you have any idea how i can take it to the next level to share files with people on my local network/homegroup? i.e. as a link i can paste into email or IM that another user can then click on to access the file? Thanks!

  13. Amir

    When i put a music or data cd in drive E,Window asks only if i want to play or the open the files. But how do I copy them in My documents or My My music
    or C drive? thank yoy.

  14. Anonymous

    What a bizarrely unrelated and badly-timed place for Amir to ask that.

  15. Anonymous 2

    Agreed, Anonymous. What was Amir thinking? Or perhaps he has no ability to think.

  16. Esteban

    That was really useful.

    I was growing tired of the counterproductive method of having to edit the filename, then pasting it in the address bar to copy the whole address…

    Many Thanks!

  17. lucas

    I don’t see the link to download this feature. where are?

  18. Fodaro

    @Lucas: No download required, although it only works in Windows 7 or Vista.

  19. Deb

    Thanks for the info. And thanks to Wil. I used to use Path2Clipboard but it doesn’t work in 64 bits.

  20. fnus

    Hi Deb, W7 64-bit a big handicap with any context menu modification, its registry quickly messed up if you install a wrong prog.

    I use Path Copy Copy and it is super, it is very complete (name, path, long, short, UNC & Internet path) and functions with folders and files from anyware. No effects on other context options.

  21. Gohan

    I didn’t know that feature was already available.

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