Tech Xpress

Simulate "No to all" Windows Trick

Everyone of you must have encountered the "Confirm File Replace.." dialog box while replacing a lot of files at once in Windows.

This box is displayed each time a file with a similar name already exists in the destination directory.

Clicking the "Yes to all" button will replace all the files with identical names and the "Confirm File Replace.." dialog box is not displayed again.

However, if you don't want to overwrite files, a single No button is provided.
This box doesn't have a "No to all" button for rejecting all overwrites together.
But you can still use this feature from here.

Just Press and Hold the Shift key while you click the No button in the "Confirm File Replace.." box.

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posted by Vijeesh Ravindran, Wednesday, December 20, 2006


NO WAY!! And I thought I was a power user! How is this the first I've heard of this?!?
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 20, 2006 at 11:59 PM  
Wow, thanks for the awesome tip.

Anyone know why the hell they wouldn't just put in a "No to All" box?
Nice tip, thanks for sharing...
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 1:18 AM  
Good man,
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 1:59 AM  
Just today I was hoping that there would be "No to all". Well, I ended up holding down the "N", as its the quick key for no.
Comment by Anonymous Colin G on December 21, 2006 at 2:48 AM  
Because that wouldn't be opaque and unuseable enough for Microsoft.
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 3:06 AM  
Because it would look stupid with 5 buttons, they would have to make them radial button thingies.
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 3:35 AM  
"Anyone know why the hell they wouldn't just put in a "No to All" box?"

Too many buttons scare novice users.
Well, Microsoft knows a "No to All" button would just be confusing to new users. But holding shift while clicking No? Why that's just plain 'tuitive!
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 3:50 AM  
"ask me later" to all haha
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 4:10 AM  
No to All would be too easy. Its a power user secret, sshhhh!

Anyhow, This is ridiculous. I have been a net admin for YEARS, YEARS I TELL YOU!!! This is the 1st time I've heard of this tip and it could have saved me about a billion mouse clicks. Man, how the heck did you figure this out!??!? You Rock! Thanks very much!
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 10:29 AM  
because its microsoft ...
i think some windows like 3.1 or 95 had it
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 10:41 AM  
Why not just hit "Cancel"?
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 21, 2006 at 12:56 PM  
Heh hold on, if you didnt want to copy ANY files you wouldnt start the operation in the first place. A No to all button would be redundant.
First of all, a BIG Thanks to all of you for reading and commenting on this article.

Some of you have pointed out "just hit Cancel" or "No to all is redundant".

Here's a scenario where this can be used.

1. Assume you have a folder named MYPIC which has 20 picture files (which may be good quality pics from your trip or whatever).

2. Your buddy gives you 50 picture files (no so good quality pics) of which 20 are already with you.

Remember you already have the good quality pictures...

3. You do a bulk copy from your friend's disc and paste it in your MYPIC folder.
A "No to All" here will transfer the other 30 files in your computer, thus avoiding the 20 low quality pics from overwriting the nice ones you have.
Comment by Anonymous nittyc on December 21, 2006 at 4:36 PM  
it doesnt work!

What is the OS version you are using?
You happen to be the first one who has mentioned this doesn't work.
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on April 23, 2007 at 6:55 PM  

thanks matey
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on May 5, 2007 at 10:02 AM  
It doesn't work for me either (holding the SHIFT key). I'm using Windows XP Home. I ended up just holding down the "N" button. :(
Anon - That's quite strange! I tested this again and it worked in Windows XP Pro.
This should also work for Win XP Home, in fact any version of Windows. And the important thing is, this only works when the target location has more than one file with the same name.
So you can just verify it again with multiple files having the same name.
If you aren't scared of too many buttons, and would like to speed up copy/move operations,
try TeraCopy - I've reviewed it in my blog. [Read TeraCopy Review]
Someone told me about this a year or so ago and it worked for me. Now it isn't working (hence me googling for it again). I don't think I'd formatted since it was working. Maybe some sick, twisted windows update?
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on March 8, 2008 at 10:55 AM  
My problem is subdirectories. If I answer no to all subdirectories it will not look in them to see if files or more subdirectories are there or not it just skips the whole directory if it already exists. If I answer yes to all of them it also starts overwriting all files too. In essence the trick works great if your moving thousands of files from one directory to another but suppose you have a data directory and under it a dir for each year and under that a dir for each month and under that a dir for each day. In each day there are thousands of files. I need to ensure everything gets copied but given the size you can imagine it takes a long long time and the process can get stopped and I need to restart it.
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on April 15, 2008 at 4:53 AM  
Try Ycopy. Here's the blurb:"File copying tool is great for large scale copying and will skip files it can't handle without coming to a halt. You have to copy a few hundred gigs worth of files from one place to another. Because this will take a few hours, you decide to take a long lunch while the files migrate. Three hours and four Banana Margaritas later, you return to find the copy operation choked on the tenth file because the file was open on another screen, or had an error, or was read-only. All your computer has been doing while you were gone is display a message asking you what to do about it. This is when we know computers are not like people. Even the dumbest human would put aside copying that one file until you return. Yada yada yada".

Maybe this would be what your looking for?

SyncToy v2.0
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on December 11, 2009 at 8:12 PM  
So in the case of multiples of photo's of the same picture on your own PC, how would one determine which is the orginal and which is a copy?
Comment by Anonymous Leo on March 25, 2010 at 12:08 AM  
It's been a while this trick was posted but thank you so much! It has saved me hours of work today, and probably a tired finger too
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on October 20, 2011 at 7:52 PM  
doesn't work for win2k pro but I'll try the tip about holding down the N key.
My scenario is: I have 574 pics in the phone and via bluetooth they are slowly going into the pc, at some poin (eg 93 pics) it drops the connection and stops the transfer so I have to restart but since i have already many pics I don't want to over write them, also because it would again drop the connection at about 100 pics, not sure why, so I have to press no but each timo the cursor jumps to the yes position so I have to go into the mouse settings and change it so that it doest move automatically onto the confirm button. Bit of a pain.
Comment by Anonymous Anonymous on October 20, 2011 at 7:55 PM  
to the guy who has the directories problem, you have to zip the lot and then move the zipped file, then unzip it at the other end.