Windows has come a long way as an operating system, but copying files from one location to another is one aspect that continues to disappoint. While copying/pasting files is generally fine, trying to copy a large number of files quickly in Windows 10 may give you issues.
You may get a constant graphical indication of the current copying speed; in fact, it starts off quickly, 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. It may even freeze up. 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 command line tool in Windows, 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, open Start, 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.
If you want to perform the same copying process regularly, you can create a batch file and double-click to run or set the script to run via Task Scheduler as an automated process. Batch files can also help with reorganizing your PC.
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.
If you’re not sure which you have, there are easy ways to check.
3. Copying App
While the above methods are simple ways to copy a large number of files quickly 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.
If TeraCopy doesn’t work well enough, you can also try:
- Copy Handler (free)
- Fast Copy (ideal for creating backups and free)
- FF Copy (free, but isn’t updated often)
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, leaving you with one large file which copies very quickly.
While the built-in compression tool in Windows works well enough for text files, it doesn’t always offer optimal compression for images and videos.
Dealing with Windows Freezing During Copying
Sometimes Windows freezes up during the copying process when you try to copy a large number of files in Windows. Typically, this is because copying is a resource-intensive process. Since the copying process is so slow, you may have other programs running at the same time.
The best way to help reduce freezing issues is to close all other open apps. It’s also a good idea to pause your antivirus, as these are known to eat up resources at times, especially during scans.
Also, if the freezing occurs often, consider using a copying tool instead. These are less resource intensive than the built-in copy function in Windows.
With any of these methods, you can now copy a large number of files quickly in Windows. A copying app is sure to make the process less frustrating and more effective. If you are having issues with copying and pasting in Windows, try these solutions.