Microsoft DOS robocopy command

Updated: 2018.01.07 by The Guru

About robocopy

A robust file copy command for the Windows command line that allows you to copy files, directories, and even drives from one location to another.


The robocopy command is an external command that is available in the below Microsoft operating systems as robocopy.exe or just 'robocopy'.  It is available in all server versions of Windows after Server 2000 (with resource kit) and it all desktop versions after (but including) XP.

Robocopy syntax

Take your's full-featured and powerful but complicated).  Testing strongly suggested

ROBOCOPY source destination [file [file]...] [options]

source Source Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path)
destination Destination Dir (drive:\path or \\server\share\path)
file File(s) to copy (names/wildcards: default is "*.*")

Copy options

/S Copy Subdirectories, but not empty ones.
/E Copy subdirectories, including Empty ones.
/LEV:n Only copy the top n LEVels of the source directory tree.
/Z Copy files in restartable mode.
/B Copy files in Backup mode.
/ZB Use restartable mode; if access denied use Backup mode.
/EFSRAW Copy all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode.
/COPY:copyflag[s] What to COPY for files (default is /COPY:DAT).
(copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps).
(S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info).
/DCOPY:T COPY Directory Timestamps.
/SEC Copy files with SECurity (equivalent to /COPY:DATS).
/COPYALL COPY ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU).
/NOCOPY COPY NO file info (useful with /PURGE).
/SECFIX FIX file SECurity on all files, even skipped files.
/TIMFIX FIX file TIMes on all files, even skipped files.
/PURGE Delete dest files/dirs that no longer exist in source.
/MIR MIRror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).
/MOV MOVe files (delete from source after copying).
/MOVE MOVE files AND dirs (delete from source after copying).
/A+:[RASHCNET] Add the given Attributes to copied files.
/A-:[RASHCNET] Remove the given Attributes from copied files.
/CREATE CREATE directory tree and zero-length files only.
/FAT Create destination files using 8.3 FAT file names only.
/256 Turn off very long path (> 256 characters) support.
/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.
/IPG:n Inter-Packet Gap (ms), to free bandwidth on slow lines.
/SL Copy symbolic links versus the target.
/MT[:n] Do multi-threaded copies with n threads (default 8).
n must be at least 1 and not greater than 128.
This option is incompatible with the /IPG and /EFSRAW options.
Redirect output using /LOG option for better performance.

File Selection Options

/A Copy only files with the Archive attribute set.
/M Copy only files with the Archive attribute and reset it.
/IA:[RASHCNETO] Include only files with any of the given Attributes set.
/XA:[RASHCNETO] eXclude files with any of the given Attributes set.
/XF file [file]... eXclude Files matching given names/paths/wildcards.
/XD dirs [dirs]... eXclude Directories matching given names/paths.
/XC eXclude Changed files.
/XN eXclude Newer files.
/XO eXclude Older files.
/XX eXclude eXtra files and directories.
/XL eXclude Lonely files and directories.
/IS Include Same files.
/IT Include Tweaked files.
/MAX:n MAXimum file size - exclude files bigger than n bytes.
/MIN:n MINimum file size - exclude files smaller than n bytes.
/MAXAGE:n MAXimum file AGE - exclude files older than n days/date.
/MINAGE:n MINimum file AGE - exclude files newer than n days/date.
/MAXLAD:n MAXimum Last Access Date - exclude files unused since n.
/MINLAD:n MINimum Last Access Date - exclude files used since n.
(If n < 1900 then n = n days, else n = YYYYMMDD date).
/XJ eXclude Junction points. (normally included by default).
/FFT Assume FAT File Times (2-second granularity).
/DST Compensate for one-hour DST time differences.
/XJD eXclude Junction points for Directories.
/XJF eXclude Junction points for Files.

Retry Options

/R:n Number of Retries on failed copies: default 1 million.
/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).

Logging Options


/L List only - don't copy, timestamp or delete any files.
/X Report all eXtra files, not just those selected.
/V Produce Verbose output, showing skipped files.
/TS Include source file Time Stamps in the output.
/FP Include Full Pathname of files in the output.
/BYTES Print sizes as bytes.
/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.
/NP No Progress - don't display percentage copied.
/ETA Show Estimated Time of Arrival of copied files.
/LOG:file Output status to LOG file (overwrite existing log).
/LOG+:file Output status to LOG file (append to existing log).
/UNILOG:file Output status to LOG file as UNICODE (overwrite existing log).
/UNILOG+:file Output status to LOG file as UNICODE (append to existing log).
/TEE Output to console window, as well as the log file.
/NJH No Job Header.
/NJS No Job Summary.
/UNICODE Output status as UNICODE.

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.

Robocopy examples

robocopy c:\blah c:\blah2 *.txt

In this first example, any .txt file would be copied from the blah folder into the blah2 folder.

Whenever you want to copy one or more files and not a complete folder the file must be specified after the destination folder.

robocopy c:\blah c:\blah2

In the above example, the robocopy command would copy all files (not folders) in the blah folder to the blah2 directory.

robocopy c:\blah c:\blah2 /e

In the above example, all files and folders (including empty ones) will be copied from the blah folder to the blah2 folder.

robocopy c:\blah c:\blah2 /MIR

This example will MIRror what is in c:\blah into c:\blah2 and purge any files in the blah2 folder that do not exist in the blah folder.

Use the /mir switch CAREFULLY since it will be deleting files in blah2 that do not exist in the blah folder.

robocopy \\computer\blah C:\blah2

This example would copy any of the files in the blah folder on the network computer named 'computer' to the current computer's blah2 folder.