A Windows Copy Tool You Didn’t Know Existed: Robocopy

robocopy

ROBOCOPY, as in “Robust File Copy for Windows”, is something that’s been a standard feature of the Windows environment since Windows Vista. Prior to that it was available in Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 or Windows XP via the “Windows Resource Kit” as a separately installed utility.

What does ROBOCOPY do that regular COPY or XCOPY does not?

In basic terms, ROBOCOPY is much more friendly for copying files across a network. For example, if during a copy the network fails for whatever reason, COPY or XCOPY will screw up big time and halt. ROBOCOPY is “smart” enough to actually wait until the network interruption is cleared, connection reestablished, and then resume copying.

ROBOCOPY also can correctly copy over not only files but also preserve the original timestamps. It can even preserve file owner information when using the right command line switches.

ROBOCOPY also has something Linux command line users are very familiar with – a progress bar indicator during file transfer.

What I’ve said above barely scratches the surface of what ROBOCOPY can do. ROBOCOPY is so feature-packed that the command line version might be too intimidating for same, hence the reason Robocopy GUI exists.

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