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While you probably don't think much of the copy dialog box in Windows, there are a few ways you can improve the copy and paste experience it offers. It's not always fast when you're copying a large number of files. And in Windows 7 and earlier, if any conflict or other error occurs, the whole process stops and waits for your input.
Fortunately, Windows 10 and 11 don't have this problem. However, you can still use other methods to speed up file copying in Windows. Let's take a look at how to copy files faster in Windows.
1. Use keyboard shortcuts to copy files faster
Keyboard shortcuts are a great way to work more efficiently in almost any software, and File Explorer is no exception. To copy, paste, and move basic files, you need a fewcommon keyboard shortcutsunder your belt.
The most important are the basic cut, copy and paste operations. You should know these shortcuts to copy and paste efficiently:
- PressStrg + Xto cut a file. This will put the file on the clipboard so you can paste it elsewhere. Once pasted, a cut file is removed from its original location.
- UseControl + Cto copy instead. Copying is like cutting, except the original file remains after pasting a copy.
- Ctrl + Vis 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. CarryCtrl + Shift + Nto quickly create a new folder to place the copied files.Alt + Left/Rightallows you to jump to the previous or next folder. CarryAlt + Cimato skip a level in the folder hierarchy.
And finally,Control + Aselects the entire contents of the current folder. This makes it easy to move everything from one place to another without having to select them all one by one. To know more, learnHow to better manage the Windows clipboard.
2. Learn mouse shortcuts to copy faster
If you prefer to use a mouse, there aren't that many tricks to just copy and paste. However, you can use some faster copy and paste methods.
Holdcontroland click multiple files to select them regardless of where they are on the page. To select multiple files in a row, click and hold the first oneChangewhen clicking the last one. This way you can easily select a large number of files to copy or cut.
Normally, clicking and dragging with the left mouse button moves files to the new location (like cutting and pasting). However, if you click and right-drag them, a small menu will appear. This allows you to choose whether to copy or move the files. So this is useful if for some reason you don't want to use keyboard shortcuts.
3. Use Windows 10 or 11 for the fastest file copy
We've already mentioned that modern versions of Windows have a much better copy interface than Windows 7 and earlier. It's faster and offers a graph showing speed over time.
Even better, if you're copying multiple sets of files at once, everything will be combined so you don't have multiple windows floating around. You can also pause and resume individual processes to prioritize an operation or pause a long transfer while you use your computer for something else.
And best of all, the copy dialog in Windows 10 and later doesn't stop completely when there is a conflict in the operation. Go ahead and let him answer when he comes back. This is much better than going away for a while only to come back and find that trading has stalled for a few seconds.
If you're still using unsupported Windows 7, now is a good timeJumpship windows 7for Windows 10 or 11 and get all sorts of improvements like this.
4. Experiment with TeraCopy
The above methods are pretty easy ways to increase copy speed on Windows 10 or 11. To go further, you need to install a dedicated copy app. One of the most popular is the free one.TeraCopyName.
This application contains many more features than what Windows offers. It uses various algorithms to speed up the copying process. The app can check the copied files to make sure they are 100% identical. And if you're prone to accidentally dragging and dropping files, you can enable a confirmation prompt to make sure you really meant it.
TeraCopy has a few other details that make it even more polished. If you wish, you can integrate the application with File Explorer so that all copy/paste operations use TeraCopy by default. Also, the original date and time information of the copied files is preserved.
In addition, the software intelligently skips problematic files and allows you to check them later instead of freezing the whole process. Overall, it's a great tool for anyone who copy files frequently.
TeraCopy is free, with an optional paid upgrade that most home users probably won't need.
5. Get geeky with Robocopy
If you don't mind sifting through the Command Prompt or Windows Terminal, you can try a handy built-in tool called Robocopy (short for Robust File Copy). While regular users don't have to worry about it, it offers more power for advanced users who want to perform complicated file copy operations.
Using it makes it much easier to run repetitive copy jobs. Those who need a quick method of copying over a network will also find Robocopy indispensable.
To use Robocopy, open a Windows command prompt, PowerShell, or terminal window. The easiest way to do this is by pressingVictory + Xor by right-clicking the Start button, which brings up a context menu with one of these options.
The command starts withRobocopiesand it takes different parameters depending on what you want to do. Checking all of this is beyond the scope of this discussion; to verifyMicrosoft help page on Robocopyhe writes itRobocopia /?in the command line for instructions.
If you need to do the same copying process regularly, this is something to considerCreating a batch filewhich you can simply double-click to run. You can even set the script to run via Task Scheduler so that it will be triggered at the regular interval of your choosing.
6. Upgrade your drives to speed up file copying
While the above settings are all software settings, it's important to note that hardware also plays a role in how quickly data is copied.
As you probably know, older hard disk drives (HDDs) are much slower than solid state drives (SSDs). Copying files to a hard drive takes longer than the same process to an SSD. If you don't already have an SSD in your computer, consider upgrading to make file moving and copying much faster. If you still can't update, try itWays to increase the performance of your hard drive.
This should also be taken into account 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 will experience slow transfer speeds. For best results, use a modern USB 3.0 or higher drive that supports much faster data transfers.
You can usually recognize them by their blue coloring; learn more in ourInstructions for USB cables and connectors.
7. Compress files before moving them
If you're moving a large number of small files, try compressing them into a ZIP file (or other file format) before moving them. Your computer can move a 1GB file faster than 1,000 files of 1MB each.
This is because there is overhead associated with every file moved. The system needs to perform many actions including reading the file information, finding free space for the copied file, moving the file and releasing its claim to the source. When you move a file, you only need to perform these actions once. However, if you're moving a lot of files, even small ones, you'll need to do these extra steps for each one.
verhow to create a zip fileto easily convert all files into one file. After copying the file to its new home,unzip the file.
The fastest copying and pasting of files is in your hands
We have discussed different methods to copy faster in Windows. You will find many other programs that will do a job like TeraCopy, but they are all quite similar. Most people should be happy with what TeraCopy has to offer.
Combined with the other tips mentioned here, you'll be transferring files in no time.