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Copying files from one place to another on our desktops or laptops is a daily activity that we all do on a daily basis. All we have to do is right click on the file, select “Copy”, go to the desired location where we want to paste it, right click again and select the “Paste” option to select. A much simpler option is to simply drag and drop the file to the location you want and it will be copied automatically.
However, this native Windows process is good until it’s a small file. With larger files and batch processing, it is relatively slower and time consuming. So how do we speed up the copy and paste process for larger files? Today, there are many third-party applications that can help move files from one location to another much faster in Windows.
Robocopy (robust file copy)
This is a command line tool built into Windows, offering 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 “Command Prompt” in the search results. You can also right-click Start and select “Windows PowerShell.” In either method, type the command: robocopy /? and press Enter for instructions based on the copy parameters you want.
If you want to perform the same copy process regularly, you can create a batch file and double click to run or configure the script to run through Task Scheduler as an automated process. Batch files can also help reorganize your PC.
Upgrade hardware drives
Hardware units play an important role in determining how fast the copy process occurs. Solid State Drives (SSDs) are faster than older hard drives, so you can get an SSD for your machine for faster backups.
The same applies when copying to or from an external drive. If you use a USB 2.0 flash drive or an older external hard drive, transfer speeds will slow down. Replace it with a modern USB 3.0 drive that supports faster data transfers.
While the above methods are easy ways to copy a large number of files quickly in Windows, you can get better speeds than Windows offers by using a copy application. There are several options on the market, but the most popular is TeraCopy, whose algorithms dynamically adjust buffers to reduce seek times and speed up copy operations.
In addition, the application checks the files to make sure they are completely identical and even alerts you if you make a mistake moving files to be sure of the action.
It has a nice interface, integrates with Windows, and is actively updated. It also performs asynchronous copies, which speeds up the transfer of files between two hard drives. TeraCopy also intelligently skips problem files so you can review them later without interrupting the entire transfer. If TeraCopy doesn’t work well enough, you can also try:
- Copy Handler (free)
- Quick copy (ideal for creating backups and free)
- FF Copy (free, but not frequently updated)
Zip your files first
This can work when moving a lot of small files archiving them with WinRAR or 7zip for better compression ratio. It takes a few minutes to compress your files, leaving you with a large file that copies very quickly.
While Windows’ built-in compression tool works well enough for text files, it doesn’t always offer optimal compression for images and videos.
Handling Windows Freezing During Copy
Sometimes Windows freezes 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 problems is to close all other open applications. It’s also a good idea to pause your antivirus as they have been known to consume resources at times, especially during scans. Also, if freezing occurs frequently, consider using a copy tool. These require fewer resources than the built-in copy feature in Windows.
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