6 Ways to Copy Files Faster in Windows 10
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While you probably don’t think much about the copy dialog in Windows, it arguably could be better in some ways. It isn’t always fast when you copy a large number of files. And on Windows 7 and earlier, the entire process stops and waits for your input if there’s a conflict or other error.

Thankfully, Windows 10 doesn’t have this problem. But you can still speed up copying files in Windows in other ways. Let’s take a look at some of them.

1. Master Fast File Copy Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to work more efficiently in almost any piece of software, and the File Explorer is no exception. For basic file copying and moving, you should get some common keyboard shortcuts under your belt.

The most important ones are the basic cut, copy, and paste operations:

  • Press Ctrl + X to cut a file. This moves the file to your clipboard so you can paste it to another location. When pasted, a cut file is removed from the original location.
  • Use Ctrl + C to copy instead. Copying is like cutting, except the original file remains after you’ve pasted a copy.
  • Ctrl + V is the shortcut to paste. Use this to move a cut file or create a second instance of a copied file in a new location.

These aren’t the only File Explorer keyboard shortcuts you should know. Use Ctrl + Shift + N to quickly create a new folder to put your copied files into. Alt + Left/Right will let you jump to the previous and next folders, respectively. Use Alt + Up to jump up one level in your folder hierarchy.

For a lot more, see our huge guide to Windows 10 keyboard shortcuts Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Windows Keyboard Shortcuts 101: The Ultimate Guide Keyboard shortcuts can save you hours of time. Master the universal Windows keyboard shortcuts, keyboard tricks for specific programs, and a few other tips to speed up your work. Read More .

2. Know the Mouse Shortcuts, Too

Windows Copy Move Here Dialog

If you prefer to use a mouse, there aren’t quite as many tricks for easy copying and pasting. But you can use a few tricks.

Hold Ctrl and click multiple files to select them all, no matter where they are on the page. To select multiple files in a row, click the first one, then hold Shift while you click the last one. This lets you easily pick a large number of files to copy or cut.

Normally, clicking and dragging files with the left mouse button will move them to the new location (the same as cutting and pasting). However, if you click and drag them with the right mouse button instead, you’ll see a little menu appear. This lets you choose whether to copy or move the files; handy if you don’t want to use keyboard shortcuts for whatever reason.

3. Use Windows 10

Windows 10 Copy Dialog

We mentioned earlier that Windows 8 and Windows 10 feature a much better copy interface than Windows 7 and earlier. It’s faster and provides a graph showing the speed over time.

Even better, if you copy multiple files at once, it combines everything together so you don’t have multiple windows floating around. You can also pause and resume individual processes, letting you prioritize one operation or pause a long transfer while you use your computer for something else.

And best of all, the copy dialog in Windows 10 won’t completely stop if there’s a conflict in the operation. It continues on and lets you respond when you return. This is much better than stepping away for a while, only to return and find that the operation paused ten seconds in.

Microsoft will say goodbye to Windows 7 in 2020 4 Best Ways to Upgrade From Windows 7 to 10 Before 2020 4 Best Ways to Upgrade From Windows 7 to 10 Before 2020 Windows 7's end of life is fast approaching. Upgrade from Windows 7 to 10 before January 2020, we show you how. Read More . If you’re still using Windows 7, now is a great time to upgrade to Windows 10 and get all sorts of improvements like this.

4. Try TeraCopy

TeraCopy In Action

The above are all fairly simple ways to increase your copying speed in Windows 10. To go further, you should install a dedicated copying app. One of the most popular is the free TeraCopy.

This app goes much further than what Windows offers. It uses special algorithms to speed up the copying process. The app can verify copied files to make sure that they’re 100% identical. And if you often drag and drop files by mistake, you can enable a confirmation dialog to make sure you really meant to do it.

TeraCopy has a few other touches that make it even more polished. If you like, you can integrate the app with File Explorer so that all copy/paste operations use TeraCopy by default. It also keeps the original date and time information on copied files.

Of course, the software also intelligently skips problematic files and lets you review them later instead of freezing up the entire operation. Overall, it’s a great tool for anyone who copies files often.

Download: TeraCopy (Free, premium version available)

5. Get Geeky With Robocopy

Robocopy Windows Example

If you don’t mind digging into the Command Prompt, you can try a handy built-in tool called Robocopy (short for Robust File Copy). While average users shouldn’t need to worry about it, it offers more power for advanced users who need to run complicated file copy operations.

Using it makes running repetitive copy jobs much easier. Those who need a fast copy method over a network will find Robocopy essential too.

To use Robocopy, open a Command Prompt or PowerShell window. The command starts with robocopy and takes a number of parameters based on what you want it to do. Reviewing all of these is beyond the scope of this discussion; check out Microsoft’s help page on Robocopy or type robocopy /? at the Command Prompt for instructions.

If you need to run the same copy operation regularly, consider creating a batch file How to Create a Batch (BAT) File in Five Simple Steps How to Create a Batch (BAT) File in Five Simple Steps This article covers how to create a batch file using five simple steps for the Windows operating system. Read More that you can simply double-click to run. You can even set the script to run via the Task Scheduler so it requires no manual work from you.

6. Upgrade Your Drives to Speed Up Copying Files

While the above are all software tweaks, we have to mention that hardware plays a major role in how fast data copies, as well.

As you probably know, older hard disk drives (HDDs) are much slower than solid-state drives (SSDs). Copying files on an HDD 7 Effective Tools to Increase Your Hard Drive Performance on Windows 7 Effective Tools to Increase Your Hard Drive Performance on Windows Windows slows down over time, but you can improve the speed and efficiency of your hard drive with these HDD optimization apps. Read More will take longer than the same operation on an SSD. If you don’t have an SSD in your machine yet, consider upgrading to make moving and copying files much faster.

This is also a consideration when copying to or from an external drive. If you have an older external hard drive or flash drive that uses USB 2.0, you’ll experience poor transfer speeds. For best results, use a modern USB 3.0 drive that supports much faster data transfer. You’ll recognize these by their blue coloring; find out more in our guide to USB cables and ports Understand USB Cable Types and Which One to Use Understand USB Cable Types and Which One to Use Why are there so many different USB cable types? Learn the differences between USB connector types and how to buy the best cable. Read More .

Fast File Copying Is in Your Hands

We’ve looked at several ways to make copying files more efficient in Windows. You’ll find lots of other programs that perform a job like TeraCopy, but they’re all pretty similar. Most people should be happy with what TeraCopy offers.

Combined with the other tips mentioned here, you’ll be transferring files in no time at all. If you want to get even more out of your file management, check out the best extensions to enhance the File Explorer The 10 Best Windows File Explorer Extensions for File Management The 10 Best Windows File Explorer Extensions for File Management If you use Windows 10, you're using File Explorer. Try out these handy extensions to get more out of File Explorer! Read More .

Explore more about: Clipboard, File Explorer, File Management, Windows Explorer.

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  1. Gaurav Rai
    November 4, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    The best way to increase copy speed is to close the antivirus program at that time.
    100% works.

  2. Dr. Michael Ecker
    August 18, 2019 at 2:02 am

    Article ignores the fact that some Windows 7 copying is superior. Example: Copying a single file to a destination that has a file with the same name. In Win 10, you have to click again for more information to help you decide about whether to replace or not. In Windows 7, you see right away the file information, including the dates, without having to click again.

    Insofar as many users, myself included, most often copy a single file, I consider this a great advantage of Windows 7 and a HUGE deficiency of Windows 10. Simplistic articles that portray things just one way are not as great a service as the author or publisher may think. Come on! Give us pros AND cons.

  3. Mr Mook
    June 21, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for the clear, simple instructions!

    Solution #4 worked like a charm.

    Appreciate it!

  4. Mr Mook
    June 21, 2019 at 5:03 am

    Thanks for the clear, simple explanations! Number four worked like a charm. Really appreciate it.

  5. Stephen West
    June 20, 2019 at 6:25 pm

    "the copy dialog in Windows 10 won’t completely stop if there’s a conflict in the operation. It continues on and..." I don't think that works all the time. Last night I left my work computer copying 12 Gb files of files. And when I came back in in the morning it was paused at 10 percent with a "file is locked" dialog. Now it is saying I have 6 ½ hours left. I should have skipped the node modules folder. :/ Win 10 Enterprise 1803

    • Warren Warshaw
      June 28, 2019 at 3:01 pm

      Stephen - interesting. I used to use Ycopy with Windows 7 to avoid the dreaded Windows file copy stopping if there was a problem. I just read in this article that Win 8 & 10 supposedly fixed this, but now you're saying it's still a problem. I wouldn't be a bit surprised it this was true (disappointed, but not surprised).

  6. Cog I Tate
    December 13, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    I just did a 62GB/25,000 file copy from a QNAS NAS server (TS-231P2-4G) and Windows 10 1803 copy blew away robocopy. Same machine, connected on a 1GB local hardwire (Cat6) network.

    both were mapped to the source files using \\\, target was the local C:\ drive

    Robocopy ran for 3 hours and failed

    Windows drag and drop between two explorer windows (source dragged to target) and finished in under 30 minutes.

  7. vikas khandola
    April 3, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    use robocopy

  8. JACK REACHER
    November 25, 2017 at 2:34 am

    good article

  9. Samantha James
    May 30, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    Dont say ctrl-c and ctrl-v are the fast way to copy files in windows. Windows does not provide multi threaded transfer nor do your softwares listed here! I was looking for a multi threaded file transfer software, then my friend suggested me to try GS Richcopy 360. I have been using it for an year now and yet no complains at all. It solved majority of my problems like long path name error, provides fast transfer speed and is easy to use. Try it, it never disappoints!

  10. Sophia Jason
    May 27, 2017 at 9:39 am

    I have used many of the software available in the market using robocopy, terracopy, shadow copy and what not. But none of them provided me the proper and exact solution for copying huge files, until I found GS Richcopy. This software is just awesome, it provided me all the features that I wanted plus it had many extra features too. It provided me long path name support which is necessary when copying huge files, copying locked files, multi threaded file transfer for fast transfer speed, pre scheduled file transfer and many others. Try it, it never disappoints!

  11. Mia lee
    May 16, 2017 at 6:24 pm

    Nice article but I would like to suggest you a really simple method. Just use GS Richcopy 360, I have been using it for almost an year. I'm very relaxed because of it, it is multi threaded so it can copy files faster than other file copying software. Not only that, I can even schedule my files for copying. It sends me an email when the transfer is done. Its amazing, all in one software by Guru Squad. Try it, hope it helps you all too!

  12. Colinsh Maye
    May 3, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    Nice article which told me 4 ways to copy files faster in windows, I would like to tell you 1 more way which I have been using for almost 2 years. That's GS Richcopy 360, this software is a masterpiece of how software can be simple to use and yet very powerful. This is a highly recommended software for my side( and my colleagues too). When it comes to copying files faster this software has multi threaded file transfer which makes file transfer super fast. Try it, hope this helps!

  13. Anurash Sinh
    April 23, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    Few years ago when I asked this question there were not many solutions but now it has many. To completely solve this problem I found a software GS RichCopy 360 which made my life easy and I am still using it. I have suggested this to my colleagues also, it's really aweosme. Hope it helps!

  14. Alanah Frank
    April 13, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Forget teracopy I have used it earlier and it does not provide long path names. When it comes to copying loads of file you need that feature. After searching a lot I found that GS RichCopy 360 provides that. It is simple to use and it uses multi threading file transfer to speed up the process. I would recommend it to you all.

    • anon
      February 8, 2018 at 5:43 am

      Teracopy has had long filenames for many years. Version 2.3 is highly recommended.

      However, for the moment I advise staying away from version 3. v3 has issues copying over networks: the speed fluctuates wildly when copying large files, and when copying groups of files, it sometimes stalls for unknown reason, and sometimes also triggers Explorer to rescan the remote directory before it can resume.

  15. ArKay
    February 11, 2017 at 12:35 pm

    I am currently moving data from a 5TB HDD to a bigger 8TB version and I've been at it FOR DAYS now. I have tried a few programs and most of them suck for that task.

    As long as those programs are writing to the Windows cache you achieve the 100MB/sec and up, but once the drive has to start empyting that cache to the disk, the copy operation comes down to a crawl (since it has to wait until the buffer has been emptied) and the transfer rate goes down to a few MB/sec. So up and down it goes all the time giving me an AVERAGE transfer rate of 20-30MB/sec. Even if I disable the cache in Windows it doesn't get faster, rather slower which is pretty odd.

    I am now using FastCopy for my task. I have been running it for the last 14 minutes and the transfer rate has been constantly somewhere between 100 and 108MB/sec. I think it doesn't use the Windows drive/write behind cache but does its own caching. In those 14 minutes I have copied 90GB. With any of the other tools I have tried it would have been 25GB at best.

  16. Aaditya Singhania
    February 8, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    Obviously TeraCopy is a popular option among fast copying software, but I am highly disappointed with few problems, clashes and data loss while using this. So I would suggest to use GS RichCopy 360 for the job to be done smoothly. Hope this helped.

  17. IronHand
    October 8, 2016 at 10:29 am

    It's no secret that Teracopy is quite popular when it comes to software copying. I've been a user myself, but has now been inconvenienced by several crashes/errors when transferring files. I had to do it all over again and it's really not worth for a busy individual like me. My friends suggested GS RIchCopy 360, and for several months it has been working perfectly fine for me. You might want to give it a try if you are looking for a reliable software. Hope this helped.

  18. Steven
    October 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    4. If you want to easily include and exclude files and folders, the best software that you can use for it is GS RichCopy 360.

  19. Steven
    October 7, 2016 at 12:53 pm

    If you want to easily include and exclude files and folders, the best software that you can use for it is GS RichCopy 360!

  20. barryk desteve
    August 20, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    Do not worry if you want to remove the blocked files or too long path files from your system, here I suggest a smooth way. Use “Long path tool” software and keep

    yourself cool.

  21. barryk desteve
    August 20, 2016 at 6:49 pm

    Do not worry if you want to remove the blocked files or too long path files from your system, here I suggest a smooth way. Use “Long path tool” software and keep

    yourself cool.

  22. frans daniel
    August 18, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Long too path error!
    "Long path tool" is very helpful for this problem. You can solve this problem like copy, delete, long path files by using this tool.
    I used to have similar problems too, but after using "long path tool" everything was solved.

  23. Bob Bobson
    November 21, 2015 at 5:26 pm

    I just wish that programs like TeraCopy or RoboCopy could integrate with the shell and replace the standard dialog instead of having to be used as a separate, standalone (and thus inconvenient) program.

  24. Anonymous
    October 29, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I had this problem for a long time.
    My friend recommended me LongPathTool for fixing this.
    I am skeptic with this king of tool but I was wrong.
    This tool can do anything.

  25. aphelix
    February 24, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    You you need to copy or delete long path files and folders I suggest you Long Path Tool.

  26. wahid
    January 17, 2015 at 1:36 am

    Hi
    I suggest to try "Long Path Tool" program.
    Before I have problem cannot copy file because file name too long on Windows 7. And after I found long path tool and now my problem solved

  27. Dan
    January 7, 2014 at 10:23 pm

    For copying large files (e.g. 100GB), I've found that FastCopy is about 20-25% faster than teracopy. Doesn't have some of Teracopy's nice features (replacing explorer copy, and pausing/resuming), but it is faster.

  28. garrydam
    September 3, 2013 at 9:34 am

    Nice post.Another software alternative that works is "LongPathTool" for error messages: Cannot read from source file or disk, there has been a sharing violation, cannot delete file or folder, the file name you specified is not valid or too long, the source or destination file may be in use and many other file managing errors.

  29. Omstavan S
    July 22, 2013 at 7:13 am

    When using teracopy, if you happen to copy a folder containing a lot of small files, you can clearly see that the copy speed is significantly slower as compared to windows.(only when large no. of small files)

  30. Jonam
    July 22, 2013 at 4:13 am

    Windows 8 already transfers files faster than any previous versions of Windows. I never understood why replace Windows Explorer, it does exact same thing as any other alternative.

  31. Bam
    July 19, 2013 at 1:46 am

    I was amazed at how fast Windows 8 copies files. Pulling files off my NAS jumped to 70-80MB/s from around 35MB/s on WinXP using Teracopy.

    If only they'd implemented an option for queued copying like Teracopy it would have been perfect, or at the very least when pausing a file transfer in the list, have an option for the next one to automatically resume when the previous has finished.

  32. 210cab8f86b89110173d345767daac0f
    July 18, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    i have been using TeraCopy for two years, but it wasnt 100% reliable, then i swtched to FastCopy, which wasnt that practical, so i tried Ultra/Super Copier and kept it.

    TeraCopy has nice user interface and that probably kept me using it, but it isn't reliable as others, because when you migrate hundreds of thousands files to external drive you will put priority on reliability ;)

  33. Chris Reddy
    July 18, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Last year I benchmarked 14 file copy utilities (including Windows 7 File Copy) for both small and large files and found that FastCopy was hands down the best file copy utility in terms of speed, reliability, logging, repeatability, and integration. I have compiled the results if anyone is interested...

    The products I tested were:
    Beyond Compare
    CopyHandler Pro
    ExtremeCopy
    FastCopy
    PathSync
    RichCopy
    RoboCopy
    SuperCopy
    SyncToy
    TeraCopy
    ViceVersaPro
    Windows Copy
    Xcopy
    XXcopy

    • dave hook
      December 17, 2014 at 12:21 pm

      do you still have the results? could you post them please?

    • innn
      January 3, 2016 at 11:08 am

      lol at someone posting a list of the programs tested instead of just posting the results.

  34. Vishal S
    July 18, 2013 at 12:05 pm

    After reading it, I decided to try it out myself. I copied a 2.04 GB file containing 3 MP4 files of movies from my Movies folder to it's parent folder (D:/) using 3 methods- 1. Normal Mouse based copy paste. 2. Keyboard shortcuts. 3. My own entry, the cygwin terminal. Time for copy was measured using a stopwatch app on my Android smartphone. For 1 and 2, the time was 1 minute and 1 second while from the cygwin terminal with cp -r command, it was 51 seconds. However, I couldn't remove the files using Windows (as Windows gave me errors) after copy from Cygwin and had to use it again to remove it

  35. Joaquim Fonseca
    July 18, 2013 at 9:39 am

    Sometimes you can have errors related with name/path too long. I use 7zip to compress and copy, it can avoid these errors or you can choose propper comands in the referred apps to avoid so.

  36. Madflintsam
    July 18, 2013 at 8:40 am

    Q-Dir does it for me.

  37. Mowgli
    July 18, 2013 at 8:22 am

    Thank you for this information.

    After coying the files is there a way to synchronize them with Teracopy or Robocopy?.
    I have tried to synchronize a folder from :C to :E (pendrive) with Robocopy, without succes.

    • Howard B
      July 19, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Try putting the colons AFTER the drive letter.

  38. julio bastos
    July 18, 2013 at 8:05 am

    Instead of robocopy I use the Microsoft Richcopy (kind of robocopy with graphical interface).
    It is free, very fast, powerfull and works well.

  39. Muhammad A
    July 18, 2013 at 7:09 am

    does robocopy command work in windows 8?

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 31, 2013 at 1:25 am

      It's present, but many people seem to report various problems with it -- so I'm not sure.

    • Gerard
      December 29, 2014 at 6:49 am

      It works :) Even in 8.1 and its fast.

  40. Jorge Saborio
    July 18, 2013 at 6:26 am

    Upgrade to Windows 8? Change your OS so you can copy files faster... Seriously??

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 31, 2013 at 1:24 am

      It's an option. I wanted to show how improved file copying is on Windows 8. You really don't need a different tool.

  41. Jeremy G
    July 18, 2013 at 12:55 am

    Alternatively, buy a replacement for Windows Explorer such as Directory Opus. Open multiple windows and/or tabs then either drag-and-drop or use the shortcut keys to quickly copy > switch view > paste.

    • Doc
      July 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

      Why buy a replacement? There are lots of free Explorer replacements out there...

      • Jeremy G
        July 22, 2013 at 1:02 am

        I tried quite a few free Explorer replacements prior to the shareware version of Directory Opus, after which I was prepared to pay for support and quality.

  42. Esaure
    July 18, 2013 at 12:29 am

    Shortcut makes that faster than drag'n'drop, really? I haven't tested.
    _____________________________________________________
    _
    Whenever is possible, i use DOS in 7 or just switch to XP, even more for search, simply command is: dir with some of these switches /a /s /p /w /b /x
    _____________________________________________________
    _
    For deleting files and/or folders works in realtime, deleting 1 KB file under windows, can take over a minute, guess how long takes to delete 1 GB under DOS?
    _____________________________________________________
    _
    Better recommendation is upgrading to windows me, worst OS but for copy, delete, move is lots faster than vista, 7, 8, 8.1. Since vista showed up, those actions are like a pin in the butt.

    • Howard B
      July 19, 2013 at 12:05 am

      Windows 7 greatly improved file copying over Vista, and 7 has been out over FOUR YEARS now. Using a DOS (command) prompt for EVERYTHING in Windows...or "upgrading" to that trainwreck that was Windows ME...what are you, a hardcore SSH shell veteran?

      • Esaure
        July 19, 2013 at 1:38 am

        When i do a copy in windows 7 by drag&drop, 1 KB file shouldn't be noticed, taking a minute i would not call it "greatly improved", 1 GB file copy shouldn't take over ten seconds to start its copy, in windows 7 takes (up to 30) minutes to "analize". Do you think that 7 has been "greatly improved"?__________________________________________________ _ For copy of big files (from) over network, i use reget (from reget.com), it makes about 5 times faster under XP, think about win 7. __________________________________________________________ _ Win 8 have too many things that keep it away from my computers, a list would be long and i'm not hardcore nor veteran and always say "i'm noob".

        • Doc
          July 20, 2013 at 10:48 pm

          If copying a file by drag & drop takes a minute on your PC, and if something is being "analized" (lol!) for up to 30 minutes, there's something wrong with your PC or network. As far as Windows 8, I'm avoiding it like the plague because of its ugly, flat theme and the "Metro" interface just plain sucks. I've been using Windows since the Windows 3.11 days, and, for the most part, Windows 7 is the best yet.

    • DosGuy
      September 11, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      I still prefer the Dos 6.22 user interface, best OS ever.

  43. Howard B
    July 17, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    "Upgrade to Windows 8" I'll do that when the Metro interface can be turned off for good, and it has a theme that doesn't look like crud (say, a Windows 7 theme). Until then, there's TeraCopy.

    • Wepiha T
      July 18, 2013 at 8:32 am

      "It has a theme that doesn’t look like crud (say, a Windows 7 theme)."

      Well spoken, I too think the Windows 7 theme is crud but that's just like, my opinion, man.

      I rarely see the Metro interface (start8), except for the occasional pop-in from the side when I want to connect to a wireless network - how is that different from modern operating systems like say, Android?

      Which is to say a lot more convenient than a window that blocks my workflow. Metro is fine in small doses and actually useful, but there goes my opinion (again).

      TeraCopy is fantastic regardless!

      • Howard B
        July 19, 2013 at 12:03 am

        The Windows 7 theme is a vast improvement over, say, the Windows 3.11 visual style; I prefer Windows 7 (black) theme to the Windows XP theme (which was an improvement over 95/98/ME), and I install Vishal Gupta's VistaVG Black theme on new XP machines I'm going to use. (I like the window control buttons better on 7, as well as the ability to set black titlebars).

        At least the window control buttons are on the correct side...I can no longer say that about Ubuntu!

    • Chris Hoffman
      July 31, 2013 at 1:23 am

      I'm still using Windows 7 myself, but I have to give Windows 8 a hat-tip for the great improvement. Underneath all the "Modern" stuff and appearance changes is the best windows desktop ever. Sad.