Fast file copy in Windows – Robocopy

File copy in windows GUI is pretty slow. Under Windows XP it was almost unusable for large folders. Microsoft improved it with Windows XP SP 2 and then later with Windows Vista & 7.

It is definitely better now in Windows 7 but I still find DOS based file copy much faster for large files and folders. I came across this tool when I was working at Microsoft earlier. It can be found at

Robocopy is much more advanced than the standard copy and xcopy commands in Windows. It supports network restartable mode, can be used to sync files and folders and more importantly is much faster.

For a simple copy operation you just need to specify the source and destination folders like

c:> robocopy c:folder1 d:folder2

It supports multiple options for copy sub-directories, excluding and including files/folders, setting archive flag, filtering by attributes. The most useful ones are:

/e – include sub-directories (even empty ones)
/z – network restartable mode
/xd – exclude directory

Full usage guide can be found by typing “robocopy /?”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *