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RoboCopy on Windows

Blog post created on 2015-05-13


I create full backups of my cloud storage to an external hard drive once a month (better safe than sorry). My locally synchronized cloud storage currently comes in at about 70GB and unfortunately has very long file paths within. This results in any copy operation via Windows GUI or other to most likely fail miserably. Windows, however, comes with a very stable command line copy utility that can be trusted, and, in most cases, performs very well: robocopy. To use the tool, plug in your external hard drive, open a command prompt, and type the following (replacing the relevant variables):

robocopy c:\\source\\folder f:\\destination\\folder /e

And let the copy begin. The /e flag simply enables recursive copy including empty directories. For a large amount of data, the copy may take several hours. I personally start the copy in the evening so it can run overnight. If you do so from a Windows laptop remember to disable the automatic sleep.