When you copy a file or folder in Windows 10, a duplicate is made of the selected item and saved in a destination folder of your choosing.
Windows copy command syntax and examples
However, when you move a file or folder, the original item moves to the destination folder instead of sending an identical copy.
One of the most common methods to copy or move a file or folder is to drag and drop it into the destination folder. By default—depending on the location of the destination folder—File Explorer might move it instead of copying it, or vice versa.
When dragging files from one folder to another, you can use either the pane on the left or open another instance of File Explorer to navigate to the destination folder. Windows has two default actions when you drag and drop a file or folder into a new destination: copy or move. Copying happens when you drop the file or folder into a directory on a different drive.
To copy files over to a different drive, highlight the file s you want to copy, click and drag them over to the second window, and then drop them. Before you drop them, though, press Ctrl to trigger the Copy mode. To move files to a different directory on the same drive, highlight the file s you want to move, click and drag them over to the second window, and then drop them.
If the destination folder is on a different drive, click and drag them over to the second window just like before, but this time press Shift to trigger the Move mode. Adding these two functions to the context menu gives you a way to either copy or move items in just a few clicks. One of the fastest ways to open a Command Prompt in the desired directory is from File Explorer. First, open File Explorer and navigate to the destination.
The quotes in the command are only important when the file name or folder contains spaces. You can also use the copy command to duplicate multiple files at the same time.
Just separate each file with a comma, and then specify the destination folder as you normally would. Just as with copying, the quotes in the command are only important when the file name or folder contains spaces. However, if you try to move multiple files, as we did with the copy command, Command Prompt will throw a syntax error. There are a couple of other ways to move more than one item at a time using Command Prompt without throwing an error.
Each method makes use of a wildcard character to move multiple files within one instruction. First, if you want to move all of a specific file type, you can use the following syntax to relocate the files:. The second method involves moving everything inside the source directory, regardless of the file type. You can use the following syntax to complete the move:.This guide describes how to copy folders and subfolders with or without files using Xcopy command, and will introduce you an easier way to copy folders and subfolders in Windows.
Xcopy is a command that can copy files, directories, and even entire drives from one location to another. It is an advanced version of the copy command that it has additional switches to specify both the source and the destination in detail.
And it is useful in particular when copying files from CDROM to a hard drive because it will remove the read-only attribute automatically.
Can I use Xcopy command to copy the directory structure of the folder and subfolders to another location? As we know, recreating directory structures can be a tedious and error-prone thing, especially if using the right-click method to create multiple structures and folders.
So, you may want to copy folders and subfolders by Xcopy command directly. And there are plenty of options and switches for different demands. You can copy folders and subfolders including or excluding files from one location to another location by following the steps in different situations. Click Start and type cmd in the search box. Right-click Command Prompt from the list and select Run as administrator. Now, when you're in the command prompt, you can type Xcopy command as below to copy folders and subfolders including contents.
Remember that for folders with spaces in the name or folders larger than 8 characters in length, it is a good idea to put quotation marks around the path as in the figure above or you may get an error. You can open the Command Prompt according to the steps shown above. Then, type the Xcopy command as below to copy folders and subfolders without files:.
Once the Command Prompt is open, you can then type the following command to copy all files and folders and retain its NTFS and Share permissions. Actually, there are many syntaxes for the Xcopy command, and you should use different syntaxes for different situations. Under most circumstances, you need to use several syntaxes at the same time. But if one syntax is used incorrectly, the Xcopy command may refuse to work, even worse, you may lose files.
Therefore, you must be very careful when using the Xcopy command. In fact, most users are not familiar with the use of the command line, and you may be confused with a large number of syntaxes. This software has a clear interface and user-friendly design, so, you can figure it out quickly even for the first time.
In addition, this software has many useful features. Furthermore, Full backup and Incremental backup are also supported. You can set incremental backup to save both your storage disk space and backup time.
Secure Download. This function can help you backup files with specific file extension, you can upgrade to paid versions to enjoy it. Select the destination path you want to copy files to. Internal hard drive, connected external hard drive, Cloud drive, shared folder, and NAS are available. Then, click Start Backup. You can copy folders and subfolders using Xcopy command by the steps shown above. However, many users say that copying failed due to Xcopy not working sometimes, or Xcopy does not copy all files.
All the files I want to copy have the extension. What am I doing wrong? I think I'm following the directions on this site correctly, but am I? I don't think this would work. Standard Windows command shells won't do wildcard matching on path components, just the final part of the path argument. As well, you've got a forward slash in there, which is used for command arguments. It will delete result. Learn more. How can I copy the contents of multiple folders using the CMD copy command?
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It only takes a minute to sign up. You can use this in either a batch file or directly from the command line. Windows includes robocopy built in, which copies multiple files from a single command:. It's worth noting that if you have a wildcard expression rather than an explicit list of files then COPY does copy all the files to the target directory:.
This doesn't apply here because the Windows command shell passes wildcards directly through to programs and it's up to them to do expansion. Also COPY is a built in command in the shell rather than an external program like cp on Linux, so in principle it could potentially disobey the usual rules about command line arguments, but that actually doesn't apply here.
With the advent of Bash on Ubuntu on Windowsyou can now use the native Linux syntax:. Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Can Windows' copy command handle multiple files? Ask Question. Asked 10 years, 2 months ago. Active 2 years, 6 months ago. Viewed 33k times. On a Unix system, this command copies two files to a folder named folder : cp foo bar folder On Windows, this is not a valid command: copy foo bar folder The syntax of the command is incorrect.
Can I do this in one command on Windows, using its built-in tools? Der Hochstapler Kevin Panko Kevin Panko 6, 13 13 gold badges 40 40 silver badges 50 50 bronze badges.
Perhaps this is a job best left to Powershell. Can I copy multiple named files on the Windows command line using a single "copy" command? Active Oldest Votes. I confirm that it works. Maybe if it was wrapped up into a batch file you could make it shorter? So that I would only need to type stevecopy foo bar [ Powershell may be a better fit for something like this, but that is an additional install.
Been working on it for far too long and still can't get something to work.How to copy folders and sub folders using batch file?
Best I can do for you is the answer. Thanks for the effort. I posted my version based on your idea. Edward Brey Edward Brey 1, 5 5 gold badges 21 21 silver badges 35 35 bronze badges. Arthur Tacca Arthur Tacca 3 3 bronze badges. How does this help solve the problem?When importing photos from your camera or SD card via AutoPlay dialog using the Photos app, many sub-folders month and year-wise are created in the destination folder, which may not be what you wanted.
Here is a step-by-step guide which explains how to move all files recursively from multiple sub-folders to a single folder of your choice.
Copying the files from each sub-folder to a single folder manually can be a tiresome task especially if you have a large number of folders. You can copy or move files from sub-folders to a single folder using at least three different built-in ways in Windows.
This procedure is also known as flattening a directory structure. Follow one of the three methods, whichever one you find easy.
To move the files, replace copy with move. Libraries feature was first introduced in Windows 7, and it also available in subsequent versions, including Windows A library can contain files and folders stored on the local computer or in a remote storage location.
You can aggregate content from multiple storage locations into a single, unified view using Libraries. Under each folder, we have several photos imported from the camera. To flatten the Camera directory structure and consolidate all images in a single folder, follow these steps:.
MS-DOS and Windows command line copy command
This copies or moves all the files in the source directory tree to the target folder flattened. To verify that, right-click the parent folder or select all sub-folders and right-click in the source location, and click Properties.
That means every file has been successfully moved to the new location. Alternately, you can check the Properties tab in the destination path and make sure the number of files are the same total 33 files, as seen in the image under Step 6 above.
This post takes the case of photos imported from camera, but the procedure to move or copy all files from multiple sub-folders to a separate folder a. Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline. Thank you so much. You saved so much time of mine. I was coping my music list, folder by folder and pasting the content into one folder. Thank you for your help.
Saved buying unneeded software by know ing how to fully utilize Windows.
How can i run this in a batch file? Because the following code is not working when I put it in batch file and execute. This was perfect! Thank you for saving me time now and in the future! Thank you so very much for all the time and careful thinking you put into this. This is the 6th place I looked and was by far the best. Share One small request: If you liked this post, please share this? One "tiny" share from you would seriously help a lot with the growth of this blog. Some great suggestions: Pin it!
So thank you so much for your support, my reader. It won't take more than 10 seconds of your time. The share buttons are right below. How to Recover? About the author Ramesh Srinivasan founded Winhelponline.Using copy command, we can copy files from one directory to another directory. This command is similar to the Linux cp command, but it does not match with the full functionality of cp.
If the destination file already exists you will be prompted for confirmation. This would be useful if you are executing copy command from a batch file. If the destination file exists, the above command will overwrite the same without asking the user for confirmation. When we specify a directory path as the destination, the files will be copied with the same name. We can assign a different name by specifying the new name in the destination path.
Example is shown below. If the file name has white space within it, we can wrap up the name in double quotes. Example: To copy file, my resume. However, we can use wildcards to identify a group of files and then copy all of them in a single command. We can use environment variables in the copy command to specify the path of the folders. The above command copies the file to the My Documents folder of the current logged in user. Windows "copy" is funny.
Type "copy 1 2" and the file "1" will be copied into a new file "2". Yes, we can concatenate two or more files using copy command. You can redirect the resultant data to a new file also. The above command will not alter the file 1. If no file name is provided it stores the result in the first file. If you can not find your copy. I want to copy 2 different files. Hello i have a problem with my cmd windows 7. So whe i execute the command. No problem. Then when i go to open the file.
Windows copy command syntax and examples by Srini. The syntax and usecases of copy command are explained below with examples. Reply Link. My Win7 cannot find a copy command, and when i run xcopy, a window flashes and exits. I have the same problem. If you solved it, could you please explain how? Hi, I want to copy 2 different files.
Thanks Ram. Leave this field empty. More Recent Posts How to check if Windows 32 or 64 bit? E-mail Newsletter.The xcopy command is a Command Prompt command used to copy one or more files or folders from one location to another location.
The xcopy command, with its many options and ability to copy entire directories, is similar to, but much more powerful than, the copy command. The robocopy command is also similar to the xcopy command but has even more options. See How to Open Command Prompt if you need help. The availability of certain xcopy command switches and other xcopy command syntax may differ from operating system to operating system. Use the following syntax for the xcopy command:.
See How to Read Command Syntax if you're not sure how to read the xcopy command syntax above or in the table below. The xcopy command will add the archive attribute to files in destination no matter if the attribute was on or off on the file in source.
In this example, the xcopy command is designed to function as a backup solution. Put the xcopy command as shown above in a script and schedule it to run nightly. Save the sometimes lengthy output of the xcopy command to a file using a redirection operator. In Windows 98 and Windows 95, two versions of the xcopy command were available: xcopy and xcopy However, the xcopy32 command was never intended to be run directly. When you execute xcopy in Windows 95 or 98, either the original bit version is automatically executed when in MS-DOS mode or the newer bit version is automatically executed when in Windows.
To be clear, no matter what version of Windows or MS-DOS you have, always run the xcopy command, not xcopy32, even if it's available. When you execute xcopy, you're always running the most appropriate version of the command. The xcopy command is similar in many ways to the copy command but with significantly more options.
The xcopy command is also very much like the robocopy command except that robocopy has more flexibility than even xcopy. The dir command is often used with xcopy to check which folders and files are in a directory before completing the command. Tweet Share Email. Xcopy Command Options Item Description source This defines the files or top level folder that you want to copy from.
The source is the only required parameter in the xcopy command. Use quotes around source if it contains spaces. If no destination is listed, the files or folders will be copied to the same folder you run the xcopy command from. Use quotes around destination if it contains spaces. This option was first available in Windows Vista.
You can also use this option without specifying a specific date to copy only those files in source that are newer than the same files that already exist in destination.
This is helpful when using the xcopy command to perform regular file backups. If you don't use this option, and you're copying from source that is a directory or group of files and copying to destination that doesn't exist, the xcopy command will prompt you enter whether destination is a file or directory. This xcopy command option was first available in Windows 7.
This option is only useful when you're using the xcopy command to copy files to a destination that exists on an drive formatted to an older file system like FAT that does not support long file names. If you don't use this option when you want to overwrite a read-only file in destinationyou'll be prompted with an "Access denied" message and the xcopy command will stop running.
Empty folders will not be recreated.