MS-DOS and Windows command line robocopy command

2019-08-30 19:22

Robocopy is a robust file copy command for the Windows command line. It allows users to copy files, directories, and even drives from one location to another.


Robocopy is an external command that is available for the following Microsoft operating systems as robocopy.exe.

  • Windows NT (In resource kit)
  • Windows 2000 (In resource kit)
  • Windows Server 2008
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 10

Robocopy syntax

ROBOCOPY source destination [file [file]...] [options]
source Source directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path).
destination Destination directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path).
file File(s) to copy (names/wildcards: default is "*.*").

Copy options

/S Copy subdirectories, but not the empty ones.
/E Copy subdirectories, including the empty ones.
/LEV:n Only copy the top n levels of the source directory tree.
/Z Copy files in restartable mode.
/B Copy files in backup mode.
/ZB Use restartable mode. If access denied, use backup mode.
/EFSRAW Copy all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode.
/COPY:copyflag[s] What to COPY for files (default is /COPY:DAT).
(copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps).
(S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info).
/DCOPY:T COPY the directory timestamps.
/SEC Copy files with security (equivalent to /COPY:DATS).
/COPYALL Copy all file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU).
/NOCOPY Copy no file info (useful with /PURGE).
/SECFIX Fix file security on all files, even skipped files.
/TIMFIX Fix file times on all files, even the skipped ones.
/PURGE Delete dest files/dirs that no longer exist in the source.
/MIR Mirror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).
/MOV Move files (delete from the source after copying).
/MOVE Move files and dirs (delete from the source after copying).
/A+:[RASHCNET] Add the given attributes to copied files.
/A-:[RASHCNET] Remove the given attributes from copied files.
/CREATE Create directory tree and zero-length files only.
/FAT Create destination files using 8.3 FAT file names only.
/256 Turn off very long path (> 256 characters) support.
/MON:n Monitor source; run again when more than n changes seen.
/MOT:m Monitor source; run again in m minutes time, if changed.
/RH:hhmm-hhmm Run hours - times when new copies may be started.
/PF Check run hours on a per file (not per pass) basis.
/IPG:n Inter-packet gap (ms), to free bandwidth on slow lines.
/SL Copy symbolic links versus the target.
/MT[:n] Do multi-threaded copies with n threads (default 8).
n must be at least 1 and not greater than 128.
This option is incompatible with the /IPG and /EFSRAW options.
Redirect output using /LOG option for better performance.

File Selection Options

/A Copy only the files with the archive attribute set.
/M Copy only the files with the archive attribute and reset it.
/IA:[RASHCNETO] Include only the files with any of the given attributes set.
/XA:[RASHCNETO] Exclude files with any of the given attributes set.
/XF file [file]... Exclude files matching given names/paths/wildcards.
/XD dirs [dirs]... Exclude directories matching given names/paths.
/XC Exclude changed files.
/XN Exclude newer files.
/XO Exclude older files.
/XX Exclude extra files and directories.
/XL Exclude lonely files and directories.
/IS Include same files.
/IT Include tweaked files.
/MAX:n Maximum file size - exclude files bigger than n bytes.
/MIN:n Minimum file size - exclude files smaller than n bytes.
/MAXAGE:n Maximum file age - exclude files older than n days/date.
/MINAGE:n Minimum file age - exclude files newer than n days/date.
/MAXLAD:n Maximum last access date - exclude files unused since n.
/MINLAD:n Minimum last access date - exclude files used since n.
(If n < 1900 then n = n days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).
/XJ Exclude junction points. (normally included by default).
/FFT Assume FAT file times (2-second granularity).
/DST Compensate for one-hour DST time differences.
/XJD Exclude junction points for directories.
/XJF Exclude junction points for files.

Retry Options

/R:n Number of retries on failed copies: default 1 million.
/W:n Wait time between retries: default is 30 seconds.
/REG Save /R:n and /W:n in the registry as default settings.
/TBD Wait for sharenames To be defined (retry error 67).

Logging Options

/L List only - don't copy, timestamp or delete any files.
/X Report all extra files, not only those selected.
/V Produce verbose output, showing skipped files.
/TS Include source file timestamps in the output.
/FP Include full pathname of files in the output.
/BYTES Print sizes as bytes.
/NS No size - don't log file sizes.
/NC No class - don't log file classes.
/NFL No file list - don't log file names.
/NDL No directory List - don't log directory names.
/NP No progress - don't display percentage copied.
/ETA Show estimated time of arrival of copied files.
/LOG:file Output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
/LOG+:file Output status to LOG file (append to existing log).
/UNILOG:file Output status to LOG file as UNICODE (overwrite existing log).
/UNILOG+:file Output status to LOG file as UNICODE (append to existing log).
/TEE Output to console window, as well as the log file.
/NJH No job header.
/NJS No job summary.
/UNICODE Output status as UNICODE.

Job Options

/JOB:jobname Take parameters from the named job file.
/SAVE:jobname Save parameters to the named job file.
/QUIT Quit after processing command line (to view parameters).
/NOSD No source directory is specified.
/NODD No destination directory is specified.
/IF Include the following files.

Robocopy examples

robocopy c:\hope c:\hope2 *.txt

In this first example, any .txt file would be copied from the hope directory into the hope2 directory. Whenever you want to copy one or more files and not a complete directory the file must be specified after the destination directory.

robocopy c:\hope c:\hope2

In the above example, the robocopy command would copy all files (not directories) in the hope directory to the hope2 directory.

robocopy c:\hope c:\hope2 /e

In the above example, all files and folders (including empty ones) will be copied from the hope directory to the hope2 directory.

robocopy c:\hope c:\hope2 /MIR

This example will mirror what is in c:\hope into c:\hope2 and purge any files in the hope2 directory that do not exist in the hope directory. Use the /mir switch cautiously since it is deleting files that do not match in the destination directory.

robocopy \\computer\hope C:\hope2

Next, this example would copy any of the files in the hope directory on the network computer named computer to the current computer hope2 directory.


Total Reply 1

  • 2020-09-10 23:44

    what can be handled via Robocopy can be handled easily and more with the GUI alternatives like KillCopy, Gs Richcopy 360, and GoodSync ... more means, long path name problems , copying the in-use files, copying the share permissions ........etc

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