Copy File Path and Name in Windows 10 or 11

Have you ever been frustrated trying to copy a file path on Microsoft Windows? I recently faced this challenge during a project. The traditional method of opening the File Properties dialog didn’t quite cut it. But don’t worry. I’m here to share several easy methods to copy a file path (absolute path), streamlining your workflow.

What is a File Path?

A file path is a locator for a file on your computer. It can be either relative or absolute. I tend to forget which is which I give examples.

If I type \tutorials\sample-addresses.xlxs, I’ve supplied a partial path that is a relative path to the tutorials folder. However, I could also have another tutorials folder on a different drive.

In contrast, if I type D:\Saved Downloads\Timeatlas\tutorials\sample-addresses.xlsx, you know exactly where to find it on my PC. This is an absolute path and is unique.

File properties dialog showing location and name.
File Properties dialog with location and file name

I could highlight and copy and paste items 1+2 above, but that doesn’t always work, especially if the Location: is many folders deep.

How to Copy File Path Using Shift Key – Windows 10

The easiest way to do this is to use your Shift key. One note is that your pop-up menu may look different because of your installed Windows programs. Many Windows programs will insert themselves into these menus. As example, I have options for Skype, Sync, and Eraser.

  1. Open Windows File Explorer and highlight your file.
  2. Press Shift and right-click with your mouse.
Highlighted menu item for Copy as path.
Copy as path menu option.
  1. Select Copy as path from the menu. Or, you could type Shift + A, which is the keyboard shortcut.
  2. Paste where needed.

With this method, I didn’t have to open the Properties dialog or do multiple pastes. Now, I need a system to remind me to use the Shift key because it often changes your options.

How to Copy File Path Using Copy Path Button – Windows 10

You may not use all the Windows File Explorer tabs if you’re like me. I typically stay on the View tab. It suits my needs and has lots of task-related buttons.

Windows File Explorer with View tab active.
Windows File Explorer – View tab

However, if you switch to the Home tab, you have different options, including a button that says Copy path.

Windows File Explorer with Home tab enabled and Copy path button.
Copy path button on Home tab

Even Easier in Windows 11

If you’re using Microsft Windows 11, the process is even easier. You don’t need to use the Shift key. Select your file, right-click, and choose Copy as Path. There is also a hotkey combination of Ctrl + Shift + + C.

Copy File Path menu option Windows 11.

I’m laughing that it took me so long to notice the Copy path button in Windows 10. I’m not sure which solution is easier, but I am happy to know Microsoft provided multiple ways to copy the full path name of a file.