Dragging files from desktop into desktop-folders copies instead of moves

Ive noticed that when I drag a file FROM desktop, INTO a folder that is on the desktop : the file gets copied rather than moved.
I can drag a file FROM any folder, TO the desktop & it ‘moves’ correctly.

SO, for example:

  • Create a folder on desktop & place a file inside.
  • Open the folder & drag the file to the desktop. The file is moved to the desktop. :white_check_mark:
  • Drag the file back to the folder = a copy is created. :warning:

This only applies to folders (or folder aliases) on the desktop, Dragging from desktop to /Pictures works as expected (move)

What’s all that about?

Manjaro 21.1, Gnome 40.4

It works properly on Cinnamon

Short explanation:

  1. If you drag and drop a file/folder within a partition, then it will be moved.
  2. If you drag and drop a file/folder from one partition to another, then it will be copied.

I believe it is is the same behavior on any OS.

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Yes, I understand those 2 points, that’s normal.
However my topic is not across partitions, its just in & out of any folder on the desktop.

& its not even both directions, 1 direction is copy & the other is move.

Ah ok… then note this:

  1. Gnome removed Desktop Icons completely on the stock release.
  2. I guess you added (or it was preinstalled?) an extension to extend this functionality on the gnome desktop.

I guess it this extension: Desktop Icons NG (DING) - GNOME Shell Extensions

Here you report an Issue: Issues · Sergio Costas / Desktop Icons NG · GitLab

Here is the functionality of “Drag&Drop”: desktopManager.js · master · Sergio Costas / Desktop Icons NG · GitLab As you might see, it uses a Dbus to communicate with nautilus.

Since this is at alpha state, expect bugs like this:

Desktop Icons NG for GNOME Shell. It is a fork/rewrite of the official ‘Desktop Icons’ extension, with these advantages:

  • Drag’n’Drop, both inside the desktop, between desktop and applications, and nautilus windows
  • Allows to use “Open with…” option with several files
  • When hovering or clicking on an icon with a name too large to fit, it shows the full name
  • Doesn’t hang the compositor when there is too much activity in the desktop folder

But it is still an alpha development, so it probably still have a lot of bugs. Use with care.


Thank you @megavolt . I think this must be the issue!

I checked using Nautilus windows only, & then I can drag between [desktop & desktop-folder] without files copying, as long as I do so inside nautilus.
So, it seems very likely DING is causing this bug, as you noted.

Great answer. I appreciate your knowledge & time to reply & helpful links.

It makes me feel relieved knowing the explanation for this, rather than worrying that I have done something to cause it. :+1: Have a great day.

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