I am trying to create a simple function for dired where I would be able to call the function on current (or marked) files and then quick move the current (or marked) files to a pre-defined directory.

I know I need to write a function and use dired-do-rename but I am unclear of other steps (I have zero coding skills :))

This is what I have so far:

(defun z/dired-move-2home ()
  (dired-do-rename FILE/MARKED FILES "~/Downloads"))
  • I don't understand what you want to do. It sounds like you just want to do dired-do-rename. What's different about what you want?
    – Drew
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 14:55
  • thx drew, yeah i should be clearer. i mean do the copy to a pre defined directory ,as is copy item X/marked item X to dir Y (ie "~/Downloads"). so when i issue z/dired-move-2home it will copy X to ~/Downloads. is that clearer? Z
    – zeltak
    Commented May 11, 2016 at 16:20

1 Answer 1


Below solution temporarily overrides the dired-dwim-target-directory to simply return whatever value you set to the temporary variable default-dest-dir. In this example, that value is set to "/my/default/to/dir". You will need to set that to your default destination directory.

(defun my/dired-do-rename (&optional arg)
  (interactive "P")
  (cl-letf* ((default-dest-dir "/my/default/to/dir")
             ((symbol-function 'dired-dwim-target-directory)
              (lambda ()
    (call-interactively #'dired-do-rename)))
(define-key dired-mode-map (kbd ";") #'my/dired-do-rename)

How to use this

  1. Mark the files in dired that you need to move to default-dest-dir, using the m key.
  2. Hit ;, which is bound to my/dired-do-rename above.
  3. You will see the minibuffer field pre-filled with the default-dest-dir value.
  4. Hit RET to continue (or tweak the pre-filled directory if needed).

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