Selecting multiple files using Ctrl click is a great time saver. But sometimes it creates copies of the files you want to select. Our Helproom Expert explains.

QUESTION I want to select several photos at once so I can copy them to a CD. After selecting a number of pictures, the system sometimes automatically makes copies and adds them to the same file. These files then have to be reselected and deleted – a process that can simply make further copies. How can I overcome this? George Monteith

HELPROOM ANSWER This is a problem which will be familiar to many of us, but it's almost certainly not a software problem. It tends to occur when you are selecting multiple files at once by holding down the Ctrl key to add items to a selection before dragging the group of files to your destination folder.

If the Ctrl key is held down and you move the mouse before the left-click button is released, Windows will make copies of the selected files wherever the cursor lies.

This can often happen by accident – it needs only the tiniest movement of the mouse with the button held down to trigger the copy action. Sensitive pointing devices such as touchpads can also be susceptible to this sort of error, and you may find it happens more when using wireless devices that are suffering from interference or have low battery power.

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