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Replace New Copy Dialog with Windows XP Style Dialog

With the launch of Windows Vista, we saw Microsoft overhaul some features that we had grown fond of in Windows XP. One such feature was the copy dialog.

Now the copying itself hasn’t changed that much other than the addition of some fancy animation over the years. What has changed though is how the copy dialog handles copying and moving conflicts.

Windows File Conflict Handling

In Windows XP, when the system encountered a filename similar to that which is being copied or moved, it used to throw this prompt:

windows xp style copy
Windows XP File Conflict Dialog

It basically asked you whether you’d like to replace (all) the conflicting file(s) with the files that are being copied or moved. Because that’s the typical scenario in most cases, that Yes to All button used to save one the hassle of going through file conflict dialogs as it’s the case with later versions of Windows.

One caveat though is that it didn’t have the auto rename feature which was introduced in Vista.

That auto rename feature has its use, and I actually use whenever I need to keep both files, but since Windows 8, Microsoft changed things again and you have to choose Let me decide for each file then add some check marks for it to do what used to be accomplished in a click or two.

Windows 10 File Conflict - First Dialog
Windows 10 File Conflict – First Dialog
Windows 10 File Conflict – Second Dialog

It’s for this reasons that I sought to find some ways to return some sanity to the copy/move function. What I wanted is:

  •  A file copy/move dialog similar to that of Windows XP with that Yes to All button
  •  The auto rename feature for file and/or folder conflicts

Here as some of the few solutions I got.

Change Copy/Move Dialog in Windows Vista/7

In this two you just need to install the wonderful tool called Classic Shell, however it’s not necessary for you to install its start menu which is what its most popular for. We’re just interested in Classic Explorer which is part of the software package that comes with Classic Shell.

1. Get ClassicShell from their official page here. The software no longer supports VistaWindows Server 2008 you can however get the last open source version (v 3.6.8) to support it from sourceforge here.

  • Note: When installing, include the software packages that you need, but make sure to include Classic Explorer.

2. Once installed, open Classic Explorer Settings from the Start Menu. You can also open it from the Classic Shell Icon that is at the end of the Classic Explorer Bar.

Note: Classic Explorer automatically displays the classic explorer bar in Windows Explorer after installation. To hide it, right-click the bar and remove the tick from the option – Classic Explorer Bar.

Hiding the Classic Explorer Bar
Hiding the Classic Explorer Bar

3. In the settings, tick the check mark that says Show all settings then select the File Operation Tab.

4. In that tab, add a check mark on the first two options if they’re not already ticked – Replace file conflict dialog & Replace folder conflict dialog.

classic explorer settings
Classic Explorer Settings

5. That should do it now. Make sure you open a new explorer window before testing it.

The copy/move dilaog should now function like that of Windows XP, but if you get a file/folder conflict and wish to auto rename the file(s) or folder(s), just click that little More link at the bottom left.

File Conflict Dialog
File Conflict Dialog with Classic Explorer in Windows 7

That should bring the default Windows Vista/7 dialog that allows you to do that. If you need an all in one solution for this, try the second method below.

Change Copy/Move Dialog in Windows XP/7/8/8.1/10

In the newer versions of Windows, Classic Explorer can be installed but it doesn’t support the File Operations tweak. I was disappointed when I realized I couldn’t do this after upgrading to Windows 10, but luckily I found another program that could accomplish the same.

This little nifty program is called PerigeeCopy and it works in all versions of Windows from XP to 10. The software page however doesn’t list Windows 8/8.1/10 in its list of supported OS but it works just fine in them.

1. Get PerigeeCopy from the official homepage here.

2. After installing it, launch it from the start menu shortcut – Configure PerigeeCopy. In it settings configure it to replace the Windows Copy Dialog by adding a check mark on the option Use PerigeeCopy by default for file operations.

perigeecopy settings
PerigeeCopy Settings

When you add this option it will override the windows copy dialog and use its own. If you don’t want this, you can always use it whenever you want to by clicking using entries it adds in the context menu (PerigeePaste & PerigeeDelete).

perigeecopy context menu
PerigeeCopy Context Menu Entries

3. You can also configure it further on how to handle conflicts. If you don’t want a prompt for conflicts, just select Always Overwrite otherwise leave it at Prompt for it to handle conflicts.

perigeecopy copy dialog
PerigeeCopy Copy Dialog with File Conflict

Concerning the auto rename for file conflicts, PerigeeCopy allows you to do that with a one mere button click – Rename Target. You also get the Keep Newer File button which alows you to replace all files with the same name but skip those that have newer dates/time. So in a way it can come in handy if you synchronize files from different places.

Hope enjoyed this post. If you find this post useful, show me some love by sharing it with your collegues, family and freinds. Thanks.


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Kelvin Kathia

Kelvin Kathia is a writer that's passionate about sharing solutions to everyday tech problems. He's the founder and editor of Journey Bytes, a tech blog and web design agency. Feel free to leave him comments or questions regarding this post, or by leaving him a message on the contact page. If you found his content helpful, a donation is much appreciated.