COPY: Copies one or more files to another location.
The command: "COPY" is on Windows 11, 10, .. available
The examples for the command "COPY"
command in Windows Command Prompt is used to copy files and directories. Here are some examples with comments:
Example 1: Copy a file:
COPY file.txt target directory\
This command copies the file "file.txt"
to the specified destination directory.
Example 2: Copy all TXT files to a target directory:
COPY *.txt target directory\
Here all TXT files in the current directory are copied to the specified target directory.
Example 3: Copy all files and subdirectories (recursively):
COPY Source directory\* Destination directory\ /E
This command copies all files and subdirectories of the source directory to the target directory. The `/E`
option stands for recursive and ensures that subdirectories are also copied.
Example 4: Copy multiple files to a destination directory:
COPY file1.txt file2.txt target directory\
Here the files File1.txt and File2.txt are copied to the specified target directory.
Example 5: Copy all files of a specific extension to a target directory:
COPY source directory\*.png target directory\
This command copies all PNG files from the source directory to the destination directory.
Example 6: Overwriting files without asking:
COPY /Y file.txt target directory\
disables the confirmation prompt when overwriting files.
Example 7: Maintain directory structure:
COPY Source directory\*.* Destination directory\ /S
Here the directory structure of the source directory including files is copied to the target directory. `/S`
stands for including subdirectories.
Example 8: Copy files of specific size:
COPY *.txt target directory\ /ASH /MIN:1024 /MAX:2048
In this example, all TXT files between 1KB and 2KB in size are copied to the target directory. `/ASH`
excludes system files and hidden files.
Example 9: Show help:
This command displays help and information about the available options for the `COPY`
It is important to understand the syntax and options of the `COPY`
command to copy files and directories correctly. Also note that the `COPY`
command in Command Prompt cannot recursively copy subdirectories. For recursive copy operations, using `XCOPY`
may make more sense.
"COPY" Excerpt from Microsoft Windows Help
Microsoft Windows [Version 10.0.19045.3693]
(c) Copyright 1985-2023 Microsoft Corp.
Copies one or more files to another location.
COPY [/D] [/V] [/N] [/Y | /-Y] [/Z] [/A | /B ] source [/A | /B]
[+ source [/A | /B] [+ ...]] [destination [/A | /B]]
source Specifies the file or files to be copied.
/A Indicates an ASCII text file.
/B Indicates a binary file.
/D Allow the destination file to be created decrypted
destination Specifies the directory and/or filename for the new file(s).
/V Verifies that new files are written correctly.
/N Uses short filename, if available, when copying a file with a
/Y Suppresses prompting to confirm you want to overwrite an
existing destination file.
/-Y Causes prompting to confirm you want to overwrite an
existing destination file.
/Z Copies networked files in restartable mode.
The switch /Y may be preset in the COPYCMD environment variable.
This may be overridden with /-Y on the command line. Default is
to prompt on overwrites unless COPY command is being executed from
within a batch script.
To append files, specify a single file for destination, but multiple files
for source (using wildcards or file1+file2+file3 format).
Important information, tips for the "COPY" command
There are a few important points to note when using the `COPY`
command in the Windows Command Prompt:
1. Syntax and Parameters:
Make sure to use the correct syntax and required parameters for the `COPY`
command. The general syntax is: `COPY source targets`
2. Path Specifications:
Use full path specifications for the source and destination directories to ensure that the command finds and copies the correct files.
3. Spaces in filenames:
If filenames contain spaces, use quotation marks to ensure that the input is interpreted correctly. Example: `COPY "File with spaces.txt" target directory\`
4. Overwriting files:
Note that by default the `COPY`
command asks if a file already exists in the destination directory. You can disable this with the `/Y`
option, but be careful to avoid accidental overwriting.
COPY /Y Source Target
5. Recursive copy:
command itself cannot recursively copy subdirectories. If you need a recursive copy, you might consider tools like `XCOPY`
6. Error Handling:
command usually prints a message when an error occurs. Check the messages carefully to ensure that all files were copied successfully.
7. Attribute Filter:
You can filter attributes to exclude or include certain types of files. For example, `/A`
for all files, `/AS`
for all but system files, and `/AH`
for all but hidden files.
8. Batch scripts:
If you use `COPY`
in a batch script, note that you can use the `%ERRORLEVEL%`
variable to check the return value to see if the copy operation was successful.
IF %ERRORLEVEL% EQU 0 (
ECHO Copy process successful.
) ELSE (
ECHO Error during copying process.
9. File Size and Type:
If you want to copy specific files based on their size or type, you can use the `/MIN`
COPY *.txt target directory\ /MIN:1024 /MAX:2048
10. Data Backup:
It is always advisable to back up important data before copy operations, especially if overwrites or major file manipulations are planned.
Keep these points in mind to use the `COPY`
command effectively and safely. If you need more advanced features, you could also consider tools like `XCOPY`
, which offer more extensive copying and synchronization functions.