I've bunch of folders in folder A. I want to move files from all those folders to A.


I want to cut all files from child folders and paste them in parent folder.

How to do that?

  • 1
    I haven't really tested this to be foolproof or anything, but have you tried simply entering this command from Folder A in a terminal: mv */* .? Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 6:06
  • Are you sure there are no duplicate file names?
    – jippie
    Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 6:46
  • mv */* . won't move files from subfolders' subfolder. Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 18:03
  • @jippie yep, there are no duplicate names Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 18:03

2 Answers 2


Go to your A directory and run

find . -mindepth 2 -type f -print -exec mv {} . \;

which means "find all files in this directory and its sub-directories and execute mv with target directory . for each file found to move them to current directory.

  • 1
    it also tries to move files which are already in parent directory. Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 17:57
  • virpara: now this your edition forgets all files in .dot directories. Revised it with -mindepth 2 instead to suppress warnings.
    – Tuminoid
    Commented Jun 6, 2012 at 7:04
  • 1
    With GNU find you can be a little more elegant and not spawn a mv process for each file: find A -mindepth 2 -type f -exec mv -t A \{\} + Commented Sep 23, 2014 at 20:09
  • David, your version works until you hit maximum command line length limit, which isn't that hard to do given how find prints out the paths, especially in case where you invoke it from directory other than A, like in your example.
    – Tuminoid
    Commented Sep 24, 2014 at 9:24
  • 19
    This is very dangerous. if you have files with the same file name in different subfolders, you will overwrite all of these with the last find. Better to use mv with --backup=numbered: find . -mindepth 2 -type f -print -exec mv --backup=numbered {} . \;
    – pLumo
    Commented May 8, 2017 at 9:18

Well you could create a file and name it "cutme" (to create a file called cutme in the terminal type nano cutme. To save it press CTRL+X then press ENTER.) for example and paste the following in it assuming that:

  1. You want to do this recursively (In subfolders and subfolders of those subfolders)
  2. You want to skip moving the script file
  3. You have permissions to move the files in that folder
  4. Files may or may not include spaces in their names

find * -type f -print -not -type d -and -not -regex 'cutme' -exec mv {} .. \;

Note the name cutme inside the line. It should be the same as the script you will run.

After creating the file and pasting the above line, run the following in the same folder as the script:

chmod +x cutme. This will give your new file the "Executable" flag so you can execute it like this: ./cutme.

  • Why should I try to move files those are already in parent directory? Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 17:56
  • You would run the script from inside the folder. Every file in it, if inside a subfolder or not would move to the folder's parent folder. The parent folder here is the parent in relation to where the script is. Actually by changing the last 2 dots you can tell where to move all files inside a folder where you run the script. Commented Jun 5, 2012 at 18:01

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