Windows Software: Copy Handler to replace windows worst built-in file copy/paste feature!

How many time you wished you could have nice file copying feature in your windows! Following is short list of problems I feel windows built-in copy feature suffers from:

  • Multiple copy starts same time, resulting in higher defragmentation (or you have to wait till first completes, before starting next)
  • No priority control so no matter how important is copy operation to you, other programs will suffer performance loss
  • In case source and destination folder have same name windows return error no matter the folders have different content
  • No special provision for bulk data transfer (No auto shutdown after batch-copying, etc)
  • If window restarts between copy operation, all the progress just get lost without any recovery!
  • No logging at all so chances are more after some time you may loose track of what have you copied , where you have copied and so on!
  • No buffer management which can result in performance variations for devices with different speed
  • No pause/resume of a copy operation
  • N0 disk space check. (Ideally a copy operation should check it before hand whether destination have enough disk space to continue with copying)
  • Gush… The list is endless… I am tired now 🙁

But as someone said if there is a wish, there is a way and like most of the windows problem this one have third-party but open-source solution!

Eureka, its copy-handler! Its freely available for download with manuals, FAQs, installtion guide, screenshots, etc! I tested it for more than a year now and I just cant think of using windiows without it! It solves all problem listed above with additional features like…

  • Auto-start with windows (optional)
  • Overriding default windows copy-operation (optional)
  • Changing target after copy operation is started
  • Allocate custom buffer size for different devices
  • Can shutdown when copy finishes
  • Ask to resume/restart remaining operation after accidental reboots!
  • Can provide default actions for things like delete source file if already exist and so on..
  • There are more…

Copy Handler

For developers, development manuals is here ! You can download source code from this page!

I am using tons of third-party software on my windows machine! Starting from today I will write about those I liked and tested over the years! Hope you will enjoy this and find it useful 🙂


Rahul Bansal April 25, 2007

@Blogger Whale
Thanks pal for your valuable inputs.
I was really reconsidering banner design from long time but nothing could strike my mind! 🙁
As you have same suggestion I will definitely do it soon! Actually limiting factor is page load time! I want to optimize design for dial-up users so cant put heavy graphics on this blog!
Well thanks again for spending time for this blog! 🙂

Blogger Whale April 25, 2007

Hi Rahul,
I stumbled upon your blog while surfing Indianpad.You’ve got a good WEB2.0 blog out here.But i’ll recommend you to tweak your Blogger template a bit,as the default templates are a major turn off among most readers.A tip i can give is to design a better banner with an attractive background that defines your blog.By the way your site navigation is smartly done.Happy blogging.

richard November 15, 2008

i found your site on a search. my complaint is that i run files on two computers. i want to copy one directory onto the other of the same name and AUTOMATICALLY replace only with the newer file date and not replace if a later date is on the target drive. all i can do with windows is look at each file and decide what to replace or not, which is totally impractical. do you have a solution?

Rahul Bansal November 25, 2008

Have you tried copy handler for above problem.
As far as I know, it supports copying across network as well.

Please let me know if its enough for you…

richard November 26, 2008

what is copy handler?

Rahul Bansal November 26, 2008

It is a software. To know what it does, read post above. 😉

richard November 26, 2008

@Rahul Bansal

thank you! will try it! richard

Rahul Bansal November 28, 2008

Your welcome buddy… 🙂
Welcome To Devils Workshop! 😉

richard November 28, 2008

i downloaded it. as far as i can tell, it is no better for my purpose than windows copy replace. i dont see where it allows me to specify “replace older files only”.

this seems like such an obvious option. i dont know why it isnt available!

any other ideas?


Rahul Bansal December 1, 2008

With copy handler, you start file copying/moving the normal way.
When duplicates files-names are encountered, it prompt for you take an action like replace, delete etc. It displays other info like size, date, etc about both file in question.
Also prompt screen allows you to set your choice for entire operation.
When duplicate directories are encountered, they are always merged.

What I said above is about default settings. You can go to copy handler settings and set answers to all such “prompt questions” in advance as well.

Also you can pause/resume copying in between. 🙂

richard December 1, 2008

that is no different than Windows copy. that is exactly what i DONT want to do: to assess EACH duplicate file for whether it is new or not. i have 1000 to go through that way. a computer program can assess the date/time and make the switch. i dont need to spend the time doing it, and it is impractical.

after more snooping around, i found a program called second copy. it does exactly what i want. it will even synchronize the two directories so they are exactly the same, no matter which was used for storing the most recent version. this allows me to work between two computers and update them as i wish.

Rahul Bansal December 1, 2008

Its nice to know your problem is solved richard.

Just for info, copy-handler can do same job. It may not seem user-friendly to you but it is capable of doing this.
For example, for 1000 file… you just need to do 2/3 clicks and all will go fine! 🙂

Anyway… thanks for telling me about second copy! I will definitely try it… 🙂

richard December 1, 2008

i tried copy handler. it does not have an option to AUTOMATICALLY query and replace destination file ONLY if there is a newer file on the copy-from directory. it is all manual query. thus, it could not help me.

Rahul Bansal December 2, 2008

Thanks for more inputs. 🙂
I will use second copy if I stuck in future.

BLBush May 14, 2009

Richard’s request is met by the Windows command-prompt command
XCOPY {source} {destination} /Y /S /D
for example
cd {source_dir}
XCOPY *.* {destination_dir} /Y /S /D
/D : compare file datestamps (I don’t know whether Created or
Modified — please check this} and copy only if newer
/S : traverse subdirectories of {source_dir}.
(I don’t know if it creates subdirs as needed).
/Y : suppresses prompting

Alternative /D:{date_description} tests source datestamp
against a fixed date rather than destination file date.
This is good for incremental backups.

To see lots of other options (EXCLUDE lists, etc), XCOPY /?

The Command Prompt is available in Windows XP as
I put it onto my Start menu. Don’t know about Windows Vista.
Rather than type {source_dir}, {target_dir}, just drag them
from the Windows Explorer into the command prompt window;
filepath string will be pasted within double_quotes.
Be sure to leave spaces on either side.

Super-easy, super-effective. Thanks to Rahul and to Richard
for inciting me finally to look for a Windows equivalent to
Unix (rsync) and (xcopy) [duh… it’s “XCOPY”!).

RONron November 6, 2009

I don’t think that’s how XCOPY works exactly. If the /D switch copies the file is the date is the same or newer, as far as I can tell.

Serkan Birkan January 12, 2010

Hello Rahul,

The Copy Handler is a very nice and detailed program. The only need is an extra filter like “copy the newer file only” 🙂 Richard tried to mean that but I think there was a misunderstanding between you and him.

In the actual version, we have to click on ‘copy’ or ‘skip’ buttons whenever there exists a file with the same name. But with a filter I mentioned above, we can get rid of such a question. so the program automatically copy and replace only the newly modified file.