Windows has come a long way as an operating system, but copying files from one location to another is one aspect about it that continues to disappoint. While copying/pasting files are generally fine, when you are dealing with a large number of files, the whole operation will get flimsy. Windows 10 may give you a constant graphical indication of the current copying speed; in fact, it starts off quickly but then gradually goes up and down in large increments.
If you copy large files regularly, the built-in file transfer system in Windows is slow and takes a lot of time to move files. Thankfully, you can supercharge the process with a few alternative methods that can help move and copy your files much faster.
1. Robocopy (Robust File Copy)
This is a built-in tool in Windows, found in Command Prompt, which offers more power when you need to run repetitive and/or complicated file copy processes. It makes it much easier and faster, especially over a network.
To use Robocopy, click the search bar, type
Command Prompt and click on “Command Prompt” from the search results. You can also right-click Start and select “Windows PowerShell.” In either method, type the command:
and press Enter to get instructions based on the copying parameters you want.
2. Upgrade Hardware Drives
Hardware drives play a big role in determining how fast the copying process happens. Solid-state drives (SSDs) are faster than older HDDs, so you can get an SSD for your machine for faster copying.
The same applies when copying from or to an external drive. If you use a flash drive with USB 2.0 or an older external HDD, the transfer speeds will drag. Replace with a modern USB 3.0 drive that supports faster data transfers.
3. Copying App
While the above methods are simple ways of copying large files in Windows, you can get better speeds than what Windows offers you by using a copying app. There are several options on the market, but the most popular one is TeraCopy, whose algorithms adjust buffers dynamically to reduce seek times and speed up copying operations.
What’s more, the app verifies the files to ensure they’re fully identical, and even alerts you if you make a mistake when moving files just so you’re sure of the action.
It has a nice interface, integrates with Windows, and is actively updated. It also does asynchronous copying, which accelerates file transfers between two hard drives.
TeraCopy also intelligently skips problematic files so you can review them later, without terminating the entire transfer.
4. Compress Your Files First
This can work when moving many small files by archiving them with WinRAR or 7zip for better compression ratio. It takes a few minutes to compress your files, and you now have only one large file which copies very quickly.
With any of these methods, you can move files a lot faster than the usual Windows process takes, but a copying app is sure to make the process less frustrating and more effective. We’d love to hear what other ways you use that work when copying huge files. Tell us about them in a comment below.
Image credit: Teracopy