Windows Robocopy Command Tutorial with Examples To Copy Files In Safe Way – POFTUT

Windows Robocopy Command Tutorial with Examples To Copy Files In Safe Way

Robocopy or Robust File and Folder Copy application is very popular amongst in Windows system administrators. Robocopy will copy the local or given file to the remote or destination location.

Syntax

The general syntax of robocopy command is like below.

  • SOURCE is the source file or directory we want to copy
  • DESTINATION is the destination file or directory we want to copy
  • OPTIONS are different features or behaviors we want to use like recursive, verbose, extension filter etc.

Copy Folder

The most basic operation with robocopy is copying sources folders to the destination. In this example, we will copy the directory named mytest to the destination folder yourtest

Copy Folder

Copy Folder

After copy operation, some statistics are provided by robocopy

  • Start shows start time of copy operation
  • Source shows source directory
  • Dest shows destination directory
  • Files shows file filter
  • Options shows given options
  • Total shows total files and folders count
  • Copied shows copied files and folders count
  • Skipped shows not copied files and folders

Copy To Remote System

We can also copy file and folders to the remote system. We will provide remote system hostname or IP address before the destination path. We can use \\BACKUPSERVER or \\10.5.2.30 to specify remote system.

In this example we will copy source directory named mytest to the remote system with IP address 192.168.122.46 under the path Users\ismail with the named yourtest .

Copy To Remote System

Copy To Remote System

Copy Only Given File Types or Extensions

robocopy provides some filtering features while copying files. We can specify the filenames and extensions we want to copy. This will skip other file named and extensions. We will provide the file name or extension after the destination folder.

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In this example, we only want to copy *.txt extension files.

Copy Only Given File Types or Extensions

Copy Only Given File Types or Extensions

We can see from the output that only one file is copied but there was more than one file. Copied file name and byte count is also printed.

Copy SubFolders

By default, only first level directories are copied to the destination. If we need to copy all level and subdirectories folders we should enable /S.

Copy SubFolders

Copy SubFolders

List Files

There is a very useful feature for robocopy where source files are not copied and just listed. This feature can be useful if we want to check existing files and folders. We can use /L option for print list of files and directories.

List Files

List Files

As we can see from the output that all files and folders are skipped and not copied.

List Files Recursively

While robocopy is mainly used to copy files from remote to local or local to remove we can use /L and /S options in order to list remote files. We can merge two options list and recursive to list all level files and folders.

Copy Files Lower Than Given Size

While copying files we can specify the size of files we want to copy. In this example we will copy files those sizes are lower than 1K .  We will use /MAX option for this.

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Copy Files Lower Than Given Size

Copy Files Lower Than Given Size

As we can see from results some of the files are copied but some of them are not copied because of the size restriction wi

Copy Files Higher Than Given Size

The reverse of previous option is /MIN . This  will only copy files higher than given size. In this example we will copy files higher than 1K which is 1000 kilobyte.

Copy Files Higher Than Given Size

Copy Files Higher Than Given Size

Move Files

The default behavior of robocopy is copying files. Sometimes we may need to move files. This can be done with robocopy too. We will provide /MOV option in order to move files and folders.

Logging

While doing copy and move operations we can also need some logs, especially in bulk data operations. We can write log about specified operations with /LOG option. We can also specify the log file name y adding at the end of /LOG option. In this example, we will write robocopy operation log to log file named backup.log . This will prevent regular output

The log file can be listed with type command in MS-DOS command line like below.

Log

Log

Copy Given File Properties

Files and folders may have different properties. These properties can be used for different purposes like the listing owner, audit information, timestamps etc. We can copy these attributes too with the robocopy command. Here is the attributed we can specify for the copy. We will also use /copy: option by adding the property we want to copy.

  • D is used to copy data properties
  • A used for attributes
  • T for time stamps
  • S is used for NTFS access control list simply ACL
  • O is used for the owner information
  • U is used for Auditing information
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In this example, we will copy time stamp attributes or properties with the following command.

Copy All Attributes with /copyall

We can also copy files with all properties of attributes with the /copyall parameter like below. This is equal to the /copy:DATSOU.

Delete or Remove Destination Files and Directories That No Longer Exist In The Source

If we are trying to make an identical copy of the local files and directories to the remote we need to purge or remove remote files and directories that no longer exist in the source. We can use /purge option for this.

2 Responses

  1. Catherine Lee says:

    Thanks for this article it was great but I already shifted to GS Richcopy 360. Using Robocopy was a mess, it gave errors one day or another. Now I am satisfied with GS Richcopy 360’s performance. I don’t think I am going back and use Robo. Thanks!

  2. That Guy says:

    I’m doing fine with Robocopy, I won’t pay for any software to do something I can already do on my own. Thank you for your tutorial!

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