Overview of Robocopy

Robocopy is a command-line directory in Windows or can be regarded as a file replication command tool. This tool is also named as Robust File Copy. It replaces Xcopy in function with more options.

Robocopy is used as part of the Windows Resource Kit starting from Windows NT 4.0. Robocopy was first introduced as a standard feature in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008.

Robocopy contains more than 80 switches, so it is a powerful enough tool for us to transfer files.

Best Practices for Working with Robocopy

Robocopy is a useful tool, but it can be complex for you. Thus, the following part will introduce some of the most commonly used switches.

Copy File Attributes

You can use /COPY switch to specify exactly which parts of the file to copy. In this way, you can make sure that replicated data retains information.

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You may want to copy subdirectories that may exist when you are copying a group of files. With /S switch, you can only copy the subdirectories containing the data. With /E switch, you can copy any subdirectories that contain empty subdirectories.

Preventing Errors

Enabling Restartable Mode with /Z switch, you can resume the transfer from the point of failure. In this way, there is no need to restart the operation from the beginning of the operation fails.

If you fail to copy files when you are trying to transfer user data without permission to get all the files of the user, you can use /B switch to enable Backup Mode to fix this issue.


With /MT switch, we can reduce the time required to complete the replication process.

Transfer Files over the Network Fast with Robocopy

You need to configure the file-sharing on the source device firstly, and then you can perform the transfer on the target device.

Configure File Sharing

To transfer files between two computers, you need to enable file sharing on the source device. Here is how to enable file sharing on the local network.

Step 1: Run File Explorer in Windows 10.

Step 2: Navigate the folder including the files that you want to migrate.

Step 3: Right-click the folder and then click Properties.

Step 4: Under the Properties section, click Sharing and click the Share… button.

Step 5: Select the Everyone group and then click Add.

Step 6: Under the Permission Level section, select Read or Read/Write.

Step 7: Click Share to continue.

Step 8: When receiving a message that says Your folder is shared, click Done and then click Close.

After finishing all the steps above, write down the folder path and the IP address of the source computer.

Copy Large Files Fast with Robocopy

Now you can copy the files with Robocopy in Windows 10 in the target device. Just follow the steps below.

Step 1: Type cmd in the search bar, right-click Command Prompt and then choose Run as administrator.

Step 2: To copy the files over the network, type the command robocopy \\source-device-ip\path\to\share\folder C:\destination-device\path\to\store\files /S /E /Z /ZB /R:5 /W:5 /TBD /NP /V /MT:16. Now press Enter to perform the command.

Great Free Alternative to Robocopy

There is no doubt that transferring files over the network using Robocopy is useful, but the operation process is a little troublesome and complex. In addition, you can’t take back when we do something wrong, so you must be careful when you are using Robocopy.

Therefore, here is a free Robocopy alternative – MiniTool ShadowMaker. It is a piece of powerful backup software. By using the Backup function of it, you can transfer files to the network easily and safely.

With MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can back up and restore files, partitions, OS and even whole disks. With the Clone function of it, you can also clone the whole hard disk. Meanwhile,  MiniTool ShadowMaker is also a powerful file sync program. With the Sync function of it, you can easily sync files and folders.

What’s more, if our computer fails to boot, you are allowed to restore the system to the normal version with bootable media. You need to use the Media Builder function of it to create bootable media.


Click to get more details about Transfer Files with Robocopy in Windows and Its Alternative.