How to Transfer Files With Robocopy on Windows

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Georgi Karaivanov
Written by
Georgi Karaivanov

Updated · Oct 25, 2023

Georgi Karaivanov
Freelance Writer | Joined March 2022 | LinkedIn
Georgi Karaivanov

His fascination with technology ignited at an early age, thanks to computers and video games. Apart ... | See full bio

Florence Desiata
Edited by
Florence Desiata


Florence Desiata
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
Florence Desiata

Florence is a dedicated wordsmith on a mission to make technology-related topics easy-to-understand.... | See full bio

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Robust file copy, or Robocopy, is a command line replication tool for Windows Servers. It is effective for replicating folders and files as a standard Windows feature.

With over 74% of desktop users having Windows as their OS, most people can copy files faster with Robocopy.

Robocopy is a powerful and flexible file-transferring tool. However, it would still need a wired connection for the best experience.

Keep reading to learn more about Robocopy and how to use it.

What is Robocopy?

Robocopy is a command line of the Windows operating system. It became a part of the Windows resource kit with Windows NT 4.0.

This tool allows a faster folder and file copying process. It also ensures that the time, attributes, and properties are precise when copied.

With Robocopy, users can send several files from one network to another. Here are more explanations from TechSnips by ATA Learning:

Steps to Transfer Files on Windows With Robocopy

Using Robocopy to transfer files would be more convenient as you only need two steps. 

How to Transfer files with Robocopy on Windows

The first one is configuring your file sharing on a Windows PC. After the configuration, you continue to use your Robocopy to transfer files.

To maximize the use of Robocopy, here are the steps to configure file sharing in Windows 10

Step 1: On Windows 10, open File Explorer.

Step 2: Browse and choose the folder with the files you want to transfer. 

Step 3: Select the Properties option and click the Sharing tab. 

File Manager in Windows

Step 4: Click the Share button.

MyShareFiles Properties in Windows

Step 5: Confirm the network path for the files that other users will need to access the content over the network. 

File Sharing Option in Windows

Once you configured file sharing, you can copy the files using the Robocopy.  

Pro Tip

If the file transfer takes time, even when using Robocopy, it can be a problem on your hardware. To confirm, you can check how fast your RAM is and learn how to boost it.

Continue to the next section to learn how to copy files faster on Windows 10 with Robocopy.

Copying Files Fast on Windows 10 Using Robocopy

After setting up file sharing, you can transfer files quicker on Windows 10 with Robocopy. 

Step 1: Click the Windows logo key and the X button simultaneously. 

📝 Note

Sometimes, the Windows key may not work due to several problems. Here are some methods you can do to fix a non-working Windows key.

Step 2: Choose the Command Prompt from it.

Step 3: Type the following common, and then press Enter. 

robocopy\\source-device-ip\path to share folder C:\destination-device\path to store folder /S /E /Z /ZB /R:5 /W:5 /TBD /NP /V /MT:16

The following section will show you how to use Robocopy on a Windows 11 desktop.

Using Robocopy to Move Files Fast Windows 11

You can configure file sharing in Windows 11  using the same method as Windows 10. You can continue transferring your files by Robocopy on your Windows 11. 

Step 1: Open Start and search for Command Prompt

Step 2: When the result comes out, click right-click and select the Run as administrator option. 

Step 3: Type this command to add the network user and password to Windows 11. 


Step 4: Press Enter to finish this. 

👍 Helpful Article

If you want other options for your file transfers, you can use third-party data migration apps. These tools do all the work, so you don't have to deal with the technical stuff as you do with Robocopy.

Explaining Robocopy Command Options

To use Robocopy better, here are some command options and what they mean for easier and faster use of this tool. 

Command Option



This command is for copying sub-directories, including all the empty ones.


This command is for copying sub-directories but not empty ones. 


This command is for copying files in restartable mode.


This command uses restartable mode. 


This command would retry five times. You can also specify a number. 


This command means Robocopy will wait five seconds before retrying. 


This command means Robocopy will wait for shared names To Be Defined.


This command means Robocopy won’t display the percentage copied. (No Progress)


This command will produce verbose output. Thus, it will show you the skipped files.  


This command does multithread copies with n threads.

Robocopy vs XCopy: Which is Better?

Robocopy is best for transferring files large-scale quicker. While XCopy is used to copy several files from one source to another. 

These tools are very convenient for transferring large or complex files. However, there are differences in using these tools as a copy command. 




Supported Operating System

Windows NT4 and later




SISNE plus


eComStation, ArcaOS







Offers directory mirroring or syncing

Does not support mirroring


Needs /MON or /MOT command to monitor the files and directories

Does not need monitoring


Supports copying all attributes like security, owner, timestamps, and auditing information 

Only supports fewer attributes than Robocopy

In a Nutshell

Robocopy has more features than XCopy. Thus, it's more suitable when transferring complex and large files. Meanwhile, XCopy is best for migrating several files simultaneously. 

Final Thoughts

Robocopy is a command line replicating commands for Windows operating system files. It's a helpful tool for large file transfers.

It is more efficient in copying and mirroring files than the standard copy file command. This tool also has features like perverse file attributes like timestamps. 

This tool is compatible with Windows version 7/8/10 and later versions. It had a huge help when users changed their operating system to new Windows as it would make it easier.


Does Robocopy work in CMD?

Robocopy works in CMD because it's a command line folder and file replication tool.

Does Robocopy copy everything?

Robocopy copies everything, including timestamps and all the detailed descriptions of the files. 

How fast is Robocopy data transfer?

Robocopy transfers files at around 128 MB per second. It's faster than XCopy, which is only about 121 MB per second.


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