Annoying and Dangerous "Feature" in Windows File Explorer

Am I the only person who has been bitten by this "feature?"
In Windows File Explorer I have chosen the single-click option rather than double click. I have also chosen to use a check box to select multiple files (rather than using control-click). I can select multiple files by clicking a check box beside each file, and then I can delete them, or move/copy them to another folder. Sounds convenient, right? The problem is that the action (delete, move, or copy) is applied to ALL selected files in ALL folders, not just the files in the folder that happens to have the current focus. Today, I accidentally deleted over 500 large files because the parent folder of the currently visible folder was checked. (The parent folder was not visible at the time and did not have focus.) I spent the afternoon recovering these files.

This extremely powerful command should be changed so that it only acts on the currently selected folder. I did some checking and discovered that files will remain selected in multiple folders as long as the folders have not been closed. Try it by opening two separate windows with File Explorer. Then select the check boxes for some files in both windows. (These should be files that you don't mind losing.) Now, right-click and choose Delete, or simply click the red Delete button in the window where your mouse cursor has the current focus. The Delete command works on ALL files that are currently checked, no matter what folder they are located in.

This is apparently normal behavior and it has worked that way at least since Vista was introduced. One would think that Windows would at least provide a warning such as "You are about to delete a very large number of files? Are you sure?" Comments, anyone?


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
Premium Supporter
I use the single click select box as well and find it very convenient. Yes you have to be careful when deleting/ moving large files and as for adding yet another “are you sure you want to do that?” message… I’ll pass thanks but no.

1. Train yourself to know about file structures and look before deleting anything.
2. Recycle bins/ back up images or drive redundancy systems are already made for this scenario so use them.
3. Remove your clothes before you iron them… apparently this is a big issue in America for some weird reason?

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