Robocopy command syntax and examples

Robocopy Command is used on Windows to copy files and directories from one location to another. This CMD command also prints a detailed report of the copy operation. Below you can find examples for using Robocopy in various use cases.

Copy a directory

Example: Copy all the files in the directory D:\dir1\data to E:\backup\data. Don’t include sub directories or the files stored in those.

Robocopy  D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

The above command copies system files and hidden files too. Copy and Xcopy commands skip these files by default.
At the end of the command execution, it would print the summary like below.

          Total    Copied   Skipped  Mismatch    FAILED    Extras
    Dirs :        22        22         0         0         0         0
   Files :       113       113         0         0         0         0
   Bytes :   42.96 m   42.96 m         0         0         0         0
   Times :   0:00:01   0:00:00                       0:00:00   0:00:00

   Speed :            83744483 Bytes/sec.
   Speed :            4791.897 MegaBytes/min.
   Ended : Wed Oct 22 22:26:14 2014

Copy directory structure

Run the below Robocopy command to copy directory structure i.e deep copy of folder hierarchy and the data in all the subfolders.

Robocopy /S D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

This command does not copy empty directories. To copy them, you need to add /E switch.

Robocopy /S /E  D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

Delete files and directories from the source after copying

You can add /MOV switch to delete files and /MOVE switch to delete both files and directories.

For deleting files:

Robocopy /MOV /S /E  D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

For deleting files and directories:

Robocopy /MOVE /S /E  D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

Modify file attributes for the copied files

Using robocopy command we can also change attributes(system, hidden, readonly) of the copied files. This affects the attributes of the files in the new location, it does not impact the files in the source directory.

For example to copy all files from one directory to another directory and also set hidden attribute for all the files you can trigger ‘Robocopy’ with the below syntax.

Robocopy /S /E  /A+:H D:\dir1\data E:\backup\data

Mirror copy a directory

Below Robocopy command creates a replica of the source folder in the specified destination folder

Robocopy /MIR sourceFolder  destinationFolder

Replicate access permission on destination folder

The option ‘/sec’ copies all the file access permissions to the destination folder also.

 robocopy /sec sourceFolder destinationFolder

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