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Whenever you try to copy a folder in any location, its name should  be unique. Failure to do so, results in an interruption named as ‘Merge Folder Conflict’. This conflict can be resolved in two ways:

  • Give a different name to the folder, you are trying to copy
  • Allow merging of the two identically named folders

Before Windows 8, users used to receive a confirmation dialog box whenever this type of interrupt occurred. However, in the Windows 8 your folder conflicts are resolved automatically without even letting you know. This is because of a minor change in the default Folder settings. In this tutorial, we will see how to get back the confirmation dialog box.

When does Merge Folder Conflict Arise?

Note that merge conflict only arises when you copy a sub-folder into parent folder which already contains a sub-folder with the same name. Assume that you are in ‘Documents’ folder and it contains folder named ‘merge folder’. If you try to create a new folder in Documents with the same name, a dialog box appears and asks if you want to replace the folder. This dialog appears whether you uncheck the ‘Hide merge folder conflicts’ or not.

Folder Replace Confirmation

If you select ‘No’, two separate folders will be maintained with  different names.

Folder Replace

In case, you select ‘Yes’ they will be merged into a single folder. This folder will contain the files that belonged to either of the folder. If a common file appears, it will ask you to rename the file. If you deny to rename, the file will not be copied and it would result in an unsuccessful merge.

Rename Files with same name

Why Enable Merge Folder Conflict Dialog Box?

Sometimes you keep the same name of two folders with different stuff, unintentionally. Now, if you try to copy it in a location which already contains a folder with that particular name, both the folders will be merged. Next time when you will open your folder, it could contain extra set of files which you really did not expect. Had the confirmation box appeared at the conflict time, you would have given different names and avoided the mess.

Enable View Merge Folder Conflicts

To avoid accidental merges, you may want to keep the control in your hands and resolve the conflicts manually. So, you need to change the folder settings and it will prompt you whenever a merge conflict occurs.

  • In the ribbon bar -> View -> ‘Options’ -> Change folder and search options.
  • Select ‘View’ tab.
  • Scroll down and uncheck ‘Hide folder merge conflicts’.

Set Folder Options

Now, if a conflict arises, you will see the following dialog box with a brief self-introduction. If you select ‘Yes’ , it will merge both the folders into a single folder containing all the files.

Confirm Folder Replace Dialog Box

If both the folders contain any common file, you will be prompt to select one of the various option.

Replae or Skip Files with Same Names

If you doubt the information contained in the file, you may prefer to compare them. Obviously, you will keep one file if the information is same or keep both the files, otherwise. This is what ‘Compare info for both files’ does for you.

Resolve File Conflicts

Enable Merge Folder Conflicts Through Registry

You can also set the values of Merge folder Conflicts through the registry. You may like to set the option permanently checked or unchecked ( i.e. values can be changed through registry editor only). To do so, go to the following key:

HKEY Local Machine\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\ Explorer\Advanced\Folder Options\Hide Merge Conflicts

Small things if not handled properly, can result into a mess sooner or later. So, avoid the mess and take some safety measures.  You may have it already enabled in your Windows 8 Pro. Those who do not have Pro edition can easily enable the View Merge Folder Conflicts to remain safe from accidental merges.

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