How to select multiple files

Do you need to copy a large number of files from one folder to another but you don’t know how to select them accurately, discarding the ones you don’t care about from the selection? In this case, know that in this tutorial I will explain how to select multiple files on the most important operating systems for computers and smartphones / tablets. I will therefore teach you all the “tricks” necessary to select multiple files to then perform the most common operations, such as copying, moving or deleting them. Find everything you need in the next chapters!


  • How to select multiple files on Windows
  • How to select multiple files on macOS
  • How to select multiple files on Android
  • How to select multiple files on iOS / iPadOS
  • How to select multiple files to attach
  • How to select multiple files in Drive

How to select multiple files on Windows

If you want to learn how to select multiple files from your computer and you are using a recent version of Windows, such as Windows 11 , you can do it all very quickly by enabling the checkboxes of items in File Explorer , the default file manager of the Microsoft operating system. To do this, then, click on the folder icon on the taskbar and go to the folder where your files are to be selected.

At this point, in the toolbar at the top, select the items View> Show> Items checkboxes, so as to enable the checkboxes next to each file. You just have to put a check mark on all the files you want to select, to be able to reach your goal easily.

If your PC is equipped with the Windows 10 or Windows 8.x operating system , you can activate the functionality just described in the File Explorer screen . Then click on the View tab , at the top, press the Options button and, in the pane that displays, select the View tab . Now, put the check mark next to the item Use the checkboxes to select the items and press the OK button to confirm.

On Windows 10 , you can also achieve the same result by pressing the View tab in the File Explorer screen and placing a check mark next to the item Checkboxes items . At this point, you should notice checkboxes next to their icons: put the check mark next to the items to select and that’s it!

If you use Windows 7 the procedure to follow is practically the same, only to access the panel with the settings of the File Explorer (or Explorer, to call it by the old name) you have to open any folder, click on the Organize button located in top left and select Folder and Search Options from the menu that appears.

If you don’t feel like activating the checkboxes, in all editions of Windows you can also try selecting multiple files with the keyboard . Do you want some examples? We do it right away.

To select files that are nearby, just click on one of them, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and use the directional arrows (up, down, left or right, depending on the position of the files to be selected) to highlight the others.

If, on the other hand, you need to select multiple non-contiguous files in the same folder, just click on them individually while holding down the Ctrl key on your PC keyboard.

To select multiple files at the same time in a folder you need to use the combination Ctrl + A , while to select a series of files in sequence just click on the first, hold down the Shift key on the keyboard and then click on the last. Easy isn’t it?

After selecting the files of your interest, you can copy, move or delete them using the buttons at the top of the Home tab of the File Explorer, dragging them with the mouse (in a folder or in the Trash) or the items of the context menu , which you can recall by right clicking on any selected file.

How to select multiple files on macOS

If you want to select multiple files at the same time on Mac , all you have to do is start the default Finder file manager , via its icon on the Dock bar (the smiling face), and open the folder where the items you want to select are located. At this point, regardless of the type of view active (icons, list, columns or cover flow), you can select multiple files on Mac together using mouse (or trackpad) and keyboard.

To select multiple adjacent files, you can left-click on the first of them, hold down the mouse (or trackpad) button and drag the cursor in the direction of the other elements to be selected (so as to draw, ideally, a rectangle or square in the Finder). Alternatively, if a view between list , columns or cover flow is active , you can click on the first file to be selected, hold down the shift key on the keyboard and click on the last file to be selected.

To select multiple distant files, you can use the combination cmd + left click on each of them. Finally, to select all files in a folder, you can use the key combination cmd + a . You can learn more, by reading my tutorial on how to select multiple items on Mac .

Once you have selected the files you are interested in, you can copy, move or delete them using the items in the MacOS Edit menu (top), by dragging them with the mouse (in a folder or in the Trash) or by using the context menu , which you can call up by right clicking on any of the selected files.

How to select multiple files on Android

If you need to select multiple files on a smartphone or tablet Android , you can use the app to pre-installed file manager on your device. In case you do not find it or you are not satisfied with its functionality, you can always rely on Google’s file manager, Files .

In this part of my tutorial dedicated to Android, therefore, I will talk to you generically about how to proceed with the selection of multiple files through a file manager, regardless of the one installed on the device, as the procedure in question is identical in any app for managing files. file you are using. What may possibly differ from app to app is the position of some icons.

The first step to take is to start the file manager app via its quick launch icon on the home screen or in the drawer. Once this is done, through its main screen, go to the folder where there are the files for which you need to make the selection: for example, go to Downloads if you want to select the files in the Android download folder, or in Images , Videos , Audio or Documents if you want to select photos, videos, music or documents of various kinds from all the folders on the device.

At this point, make a long tap on the first element to be selected, in order to activate the selection mode using the check boxes. Next to each file in the list you will find a check box: therefore put the check mark next to the other files of your interest. If you swipe across multiple contiguous check boxes, check marks will automatically be set on related files.

Now, use the icons at the top right to choose the operation to perform. By pressing on the sharing icon you can export the files to other apps, by pressing on the trash can you can delete them, while by pressing on the three vertical dots you can choose to copy or move them from the internal memory to the SD or even select them all.

How to select multiple files on iOS / iPadOS

On iPhone and iPad, thanks to the “standard” Apple File app, you can quickly view and manage all types of files and, obviously, also proceed with their multiple selection, to then manage operations such as moving, deleting, sharing, etc. . of the same.

To use the app in question, all you have to do is start it on your device, via its quick launch icon on the home screen or in the app library. Once this is done, on the home screen, select the Browse tab located at the bottom right of the screen. At this point, go to the folder of your interest, press the icon (…) , at the top, and tap on the Select item that you find in the box that is shown to you.

At this point, all the files in the folder will have a checkbox next to or above the preview icon, depending on the type of view active to list the items. What you have to do, therefore, is to put a check mark next to the elements of your interest. To select all the files in the folder, on the other hand, click on Select all in the top left.

Once this is done, press the sharing icon (the square with the arrow inside) located at the bottom left and choose which app to copy the files you have selected. You can also delete them, using the trash can icon at the bottom, or use one of the different features that you find in the toolbar at the bottom.

How to select multiple files to attach

If your need is to select multiple files to attach to an e-mail message or to another messaging service, you should know that this procedure can be performed only and only if the service in question actually allows you to highlight multiple files on the screen to attach files.

Although in general these services allow you to send more attachments (always respecting the maximum size limit for each file and for their total), it is not obvious that you can select them all on the first attempt. It may therefore be necessary to open the attachment screen as many times as there are files to attach.

In this case, therefore, the simplest solution is to send the files through a compressed archive or through a file sharing service . If, on the other hand, the screen for attaching files allows you to select multiple files, you can refer to what I have already indicated in the previous chapters dedicated to Windows , Mac , Android or iPhone / iPad to succeed in your intent.

How to select multiple files in Drive

Do you use the Google Drive service to store and share your files online? In this case, if you need to select multiple files present on the famous Google cloud, what you have to do is apply the same keyboard shortcuts that I have already explained to you in the chapter dedicated to Windows and Mac , whether you are using the Web panel. of Drive, which is the desktop client.

As for the Drive app for Android and iOS / iPadOS , you can very well use the long tap method to enable multiple file selection. This way, you can select multiple files at once to share them externally via other apps or services, or use Drive tools to move, copy or delete files.

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