Robocopy Robust File and Folder Copy

Robocopy (short for robust file copy) came out with Windows Server 2003 and shipped with Windows 7. It is able to copy or move entire directory structures across a local transfer or network transfer. Robocopy is able to retain all NTFS file attributes during the process. It will also resume a copy process if you set the syntax up correctly. The syntax is different from file copy or Xcopy as robocopy is designed to work with two directories at one time.

Robocopy source destination [file [file]…] [options]

The source and destination are designated drive:\path or \\server\share\path. You can use the literal file name or the /? or * wild cards. See below for several switch options and your can enter robocopy /? at the command prompt.

For more information and to download the application click here

By default Robocopy will only copy a file if the file source and destination have different time stamps or different file sizes.


Robocopy Source_folder Destination_folder [files_to_copy] [options]
file(s)_to_copy : A list of files or a wildcard.
(defaults to copying *.*)
Source options
/S : Copy Subfolders.
/E : Copy Subfolders, including Empty Subfolders.
/COPY:copyflag[s] : What to COPY (default is /COPY:DAT)
(copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps
S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info).
/SEC : Copy files with SECurity (equivalent to /COPY:DATS).
/DCOPY:T : Copy Directory Timestamps. ##
/COPYALL : Copy ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU).
/NOCOPY : Copy NO file info (useful with /PURGE).

/A : Copy only files with the Archive attribute set.
/M : like /A, but remove Archive attribute from source files.
/LEV:n : Only copy the top n LEVels of the source tree.

/MAXAGE:n : MAXimum file AGE – exclude files older than n days/date.
/MINAGE:n : MINimum file AGE – exclude files newer than n days/date.
(If n < 1900 then n = no of days, else n = YYYYMMDD /FFT : Assume FAT File Times (2-second date/time granularity). /256 : Turn off very long path (> 256 characters) support.

Copy options
/L : List only – don’t copy, timestamp or delete any files.
/MOV : MOVe files (delete from source after copying).
/MOVE : Move files and dirs (delete from source after copying).

/Z : Copy files in restartable mode (survive network glitch).
/B : Copy files in Backup mode.
/ZB : Use restartable mode; if access denied use Backup mode.
/IPG:n : Inter-Packet Gap (ms), to free bandwidth on slow lines.

/R:n : Number of Retries on failed copies – default is 1ml.
/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).
Destination options

/A+:[RASHCNET] : Set file Attribute(s) on destination files + add.
/A-:[RASHCNET] : UnSet file Attribute(s) on destination files – remove.
/FAT : Create destination files using 8.3 FAT file names only.

/CREATE : CREATE directory tree structure + zero-length files only.
/DST : Compensate for one-hour DST time differences ##
/PURGE : Delete dest files/folders that no longer exist in source.
/MIR : MIRror a directory tree – equivalent to /PURGE plus all subfolders (/E)

Logging options
/L : List only – don’t copy, timestamp or delete any files.
/NP : No Progress – don’t display % copied.
/LOG:file : Output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
/UNILOG:file : Output status to Unicode Log file (overwrite) ##
/LOG+:file : Output status to LOG file (append to existing log).
/UNILOG+:file : Output status to Unicode Log file (append) ##
/TS : Include Source file Time Stamps in the output.
/FP : Include Full Pathname of files in the output.
/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.
/TEE : Output to console window, as well as the log file.
/NJH : No Job Header.
/NJS : No Job Summary.

Repeated Copy Options
/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.

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.

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