Windows

Video: Give XCopy a graphical interface with this free download

Bill Detwiler shows you how to download, install, and use TechRepublic's free graphical interface for Windows XCopy.

Many Windows power users were more than a little annoyed when Xcopy was deprecated in Windows Vista in favor of RoboCopy--especially those with lots of scripts that made use of Xcopy. Luckily, Xcopy is back in Windows 7 and TechRepublic blogger Greg Shultz has updated his Xcopy tool to work automatically in Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7. During this episode of TR Dojo, I show you how to download, install, and use this free tool.

You can download the XCopy graphical interface from TechRepublic's Software Directory.

For those who prefer text to video, you can click the Transcript link that appears below the video player window or read Greg Shultz's article, "Simplify file management with the XCopy Tool,"

You can also sign up to receive the latest TR Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

48 comments
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Gis Bun
Gis Bun

Richcopy is the "successor" to Robocopy.

PScottC
PScottC

I converted in 2001 and never looked back. Most of my projects requiring large file copies have benefitted from both the incremental copy and logging features.

DNSB
DNSB

It seems a bit strange that clicking on the View This Now link is required to download the file. One Size Fits All is not a great interface paradigm.

Mandolinface
Mandolinface

'Deprecate' (to insult, imply worthlessness) got commandeered into its IT meaning by a Java developer who misunderstood its generic meaning. I know we can't go back in time and shout that vocabulary-impaired person, "obsolescent!" you're looking for the word, "obsolescent!" but it dismays me that "deprecate," having jumped from Java to other languages, is now creeping into other places best left to what once was the sole correct word.

JohnOfStony
JohnOfStony

Xcopy should be unnecessary from a user interface viewpoint but the limitations of Windows Explorer make it necessary unless you've discovered a program which is what Windows Explorer ought to be (and more). I first got (an old version of) Directory Opus as a freebie on a computer magazine disc and I was so impressed that I bought the (then) current version. The only times I've touched Windows Explorer since have been when helping out colleagues and friends who don't have Directory Opus which will do everything that Xcopy can and much more besides such as printing out a list of the files in a folder. Why Microsoft has failed to provide this print option in Windows Explorer boggles my mind as it's such an obvious requirement. Directory Opus is available as a 60 day free trial download so if you don't believe me (and I'm just a very satisfied customer) you can try it for yourselves.

Panarchy
Panarchy

What's wrong with Ycopy?

ben.blackmore
ben.blackmore

I can see this being a useful tool, but I think it would be even better if each of the switches has a basic description of each function, i.e. /Z (copies in restartable mode) /G (allows copying of encrypted files) etc Most of the more common switches are easy to remember, but it would be nice for some of the less common used files! EDIT: OK, just found that mouse over shows a popup with the description. Even so, it would be quicker/easier with the descriptions displayed along side.

grafixmaster
grafixmaster

nice to give it a graphical interface for the quick and simple one off job. However, this tool would be even more useful if it allowed you to copy and paste the command line generated on the GUI, so you can use it in a batch file for example.

abo_shreek11
abo_shreek11

For god sake, just select the files you want, right click them, select copy and paste them where ever you want.

aabdulkader
aabdulkader

Can we use schedule backup in this tool. Still i m using the xcopy to copy my backup files in scheduled period. can we do that in this tool

AwesomeMarce
AwesomeMarce

I must admit that this is a rather plain and disappointing tool. For those of us who know Xcopy and can type it out from memory, this tool will actually slow you down. It offers a bunch check boxes for the switches. But no explanation of what the switches are. So no improvement there. If you want to make this a good tool, offer better description of the switches and put in the ability to save the command so you can just click and run it later as well. All in all, this is a poor tool.

Somewhiteguy
Somewhiteguy

I still use XCopy to copy the folder structure for applications in our corporation, if we're switching servers for some reason. It's fast and easy to use. Now that I'm learning Powershell, that might take it's place if I can figure out something easier... but I doubt it.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

In the above TR Dojo post, I show you how to download, install, and use TechRepublic's free graphical interface for the Windows XCopy. Despite Robocopy having more advanced features, such as resuming if the copy process is interrupted, many people still use XCopy. Are you one of them? Take the poll and in the post above, and let me know. Original post, download, and poll: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=1616

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

start -> run -> cmd + enter c:\dir * /b >filename.txt Open filename.txt and send to printer. Want to print a directory structure? c:\tree >directories.txt Open directories.txt and send to printer. I didn't pay anything for that ability and now I give it too you, may it serve you well.

kraftjoh
kraftjoh

I have used Total Commander (www.ghisler.com) for years. Basically a windows rewrite of the old dos based Norton Commander. I have yet to run into a file related task that I can't more easily complete with TC. It's especially useful if you prefer to work with a keyboard rather than a mouse. Cheap or free (if you don't mind clicking through a startup screen) with free updates forever. It's the first thing I install on any new computer, and the only piece of software I own that I can honestly say I'd have a tough time living without.

greg.hruby
greg.hruby

I really don't think the "transparency" of Vista/7 qualify as production features when there are real tools missing. cool ? that the dialog that doesn't have a tool I would want also doesn't impede my ability to see the data I couldn't generate? How Microsorta.

goran
goran

Simple, fast, free, small, ...

jlippens
jlippens

Agreed! Doubtful I will ever take the time to memorize these switches....thanks for a great idea!

DNSB
DNSB

We copy files from multiple locations as part of a disaster recovery backup, the data is stored in a SAN, 2 NASs and local drives. The copy process kicks off at 7:30PM local time on Friday and completes on Sunday in the early PM. I am not going to sit there clicking through that task -- if for no other reason, that I can guarantee that errors would happen as I was cured of insomnia. Computers are there to do dumb repetitive tasks such as copying multi-gigabytes of data to an off-site backup. Even the tool supplied by the storage vendor was pretty pathetic so we ended up with a home grown batch file that handles the entire process from a scheduled task. It may not be the fastest or prettiest solution but the main limit on copy speed is the 100Mbps link to the storage site so any speed changes on our end don't matter. It took a while to write and debug the setup. But now that it's been done, I only need to worry about any changes which happen 2 or 3 times per year.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

when you aren't there? At 3 in the morning? After drinking a case of beer? Xcopy can.

skrog
skrog

If you worked in the DOS days you would know that xcopy would not fragment the files unlike other copy methods.

pocjoc
pocjoc

Poor tool. For instance, why I must to confirm the dirs I select? Just show it in the main view once selected. Can't be saved, can't be scheduled, the switch description is hidden till they appear,...

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

and it gives a brief discription of the switch. See it's not as lame as you thought.

wildwestgoh
wildwestgoh

The switches does have the explanation, watch the video till the end. Aside from that, I would really like this tool to be able to save it to a batch file for frequent usage.

alexisgarcia72
alexisgarcia72

I move data from NAS to SANS, in the network, from DVDs, I mean Terabytes of informations. Sometime is not too much (500GB) but lot of files (millions). Xcopy and Explorer hangs or cannot handle. Because of that, I use advance copy tools: Beyond Compare TeraCopy The first one can copy and if an error is found, the copy process continue. At the end, you can see wich files are missing. You can make "mirrors" of two locations. With Teracopy, you can copy files at the max speed with advanced buffers. You can pause and resume copies. You have advanced log, rename, overwrite and other features. I don't use WIndows explorer or Xcopy. I have a 20% performance increase speed with Teracopy app.

cofra15
cofra15

Why bother? Just use Power Desk 6. Does far more, far easier.

RU7
RU7

I was trying to see if, when the complete command is displayed, it could be copied and pasted into a batch for repeated use. No joy. So instead of clicking Yes, I clicked No. My debugger came up with: Microsoft VBScript runtime error: Object required: 'Wscript' in line 201. Sorry, I have a reputation for being able to break stuff. It would also be nice to be able to graphically redirect the command's output to a file.

RichardA
RichardA

Yes. The best file management tool is XYPlorer (http://xyplorer.com). It is Explorer in steroids. I am big on free utilities and almost never would buy one, but when I tried XYPlorer a couple of years ago, I was so impressed that I WANTED to buy it. It has lived up to every expectation. It also includes file previewing (almost any format), scripting, multi-tab, shortcuts to often used folders, dual-pane, and the list goes on and on. The developer has an active user forum where people share scripts (I've picked up a couple of real handy ones) and he is active in the forums. If his users make a suggestion that is good, he will implement it. Check it out.

talawrence
talawrence

I don't use xcopy any longer because of its fail on copying large chunks of data. Does this tool fix the insufficient memory error that xcopy seems to generate these days?

twalter
twalter

If you do this infrequently, 7-zip (free download)is the easiest way to copy or move directories. Use the "tar" option. If you want to write a script to automate something, you need a command line function such as xcopy.

Brian G
Brian G

Even XCopy has a /? to see what the switches are. Giving the user clickable list of switch checkboxes of "/." is just unbelievably lame enhancement.

Campagna
Campagna

Worthless article without the download button.

PJfromOttawa
PJfromOttawa

If they would show an updated real-time view of the command-line that reflects your choices as you make them that might help teach the DOS-weary. And then save in a history file or batch file or something.

AwesomeMarce
AwesomeMarce

No, you're right... not AS lame... but still pretty lame. Honestly, the concept is great, but you could really do so much better. I'd be rather embarassed to showcase this UI.

mike
mike

Do you know how to schedule richcopy? I have seen lots of ideas of how to use batch files and MS scheduler but never one that really worked.

talawrence
talawrence

Nope. xcopy still doesn't work for me. Back to robocopy for me.

sublifer
sublifer

It would make a really nice addition if someone made an export to script button that would take your gui selected options and create one of several types of scripts that you can drop in a folder to run later in a scheduled task or just to have a clickable quick backup.

skrog
skrog

The link was right below the poll.

dirk.collins
dirk.collins

Is on the Tech Republic Menubar. A search for Xcopy Tool brought the download page right up. #admin-fail for Campagna

rograham1
rograham1

I know you are beyond it by using better utilities, but did you happen to monitor the memory usage (stress) on the Target environment? Were you copying between two systems? Did you have a very high performance connection?

mdtallon
mdtallon

I agree with sublifer wholeheartedly. The overwhelming number of times I use an enhanced copy program, it's something I will want to repeat. Being able to capture the command options from a complex copy would be very helpful.

RU7
RU7

Worthless. It seems inappropriately used here.

Campagna
Campagna

As the title says, NOT view ,as in view a document. That is why IT and Comp Sci is held in low regard by some engineers. Words mean things, and we do not like to have to read minds.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

a jerk. #admin-fail for Campagna