Copy-Item

Copies an item from one location to another.

Syntax

Copy-Item
    [-Path] <String[]>
    [[-Destination] <String>]
    [-Container]
    [-Force]
    [-Filter <String>]
    [-Include <String[]>]
    [-Exclude <String[]>]
    [-Recurse]
    [-PassThru]
    [-Credential <PSCredential>]
    [-WhatIf]
    [-Confirm]
    [-FromSession <PSSession>]
    [-ToSession <PSSession>]
    [<CommonParameters>]
Copy-Item
    -LiteralPath <String[]>
    [[-Destination] <String>]
    [-Container]
    [-Force]
    [-Filter <String>]
    [-Include <String[]>]
    [-Exclude <String[]>]
    [-Recurse]
    [-PassThru]
    [-Credential <PSCredential>]
    [-WhatIf]
    [-Confirm]
    [-FromSession <PSSession>]
    [-ToSession <PSSession>]
    [<CommonParameters>]

Description

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies an item from one location to another location in the same namespace. For instance, it can copy a file to a folder, but it can't copy a file to a certificate drive.

This cmdlet doesn't cut or delete the items being copied. The particular items that the cmdlet can copy depend on the PowerShell provider that exposes the item. For instance, it can copy files and directories in a file system drive and registry keys and entries in the registry drive.

This cmdlet can copy and rename items in the same command. To rename an item, enter the new name in the value of the Destination parameter. To rename an item and not copy it, use the Rename-Item cmdlet.

Examples

Example 1: Copy a file to the specified directory

This example copies the mar1604.log.txt file to the C:\Presentation directory. The original file isn't deleted.

Copy-Item "C:\Wabash\Logfiles\mar1604.log.txt" -Destination "C:\Presentation"

Example 2: Copy directory contents to an existing directory

This example copies the contents of the C:\Logfiles directory into the existing C:\Drawings directory. The Logfiles directory isn't copied.

If the Logfiles directory contains files in subdirectories, those subdirectories are copied with their file trees intact. By default, the Container parameter is set to True, which preserves the directory structure.

Copy-Item -Path "C:\Logfiles\*" -Destination "C:\Drawings" -Recurse

Note

If you need to include the Logfiles directory in the copy, remove the \* from the Path. For example:

Copy-Item -Path "C:\Logfiles" -Destination "C:\Drawings" -Recurse

If the path C:\Drawings does not exist the cmdlet copies all the files from the Logfiles folder into a single file C:\Drawings.

Example 3: Copy directory and contents to a new directory

This example copies the contents of the C:\Logfiles source directory and creates a new destination directory. The new destination directory, \Logs is created in C:\Drawings.

To include the source directory's name, copy to an existing destination directory as shown in Example 2. Or, name the new destination directory with the same as the source directory.

Copy-Item -Path "C:\Logfiles" -Destination "C:\Drawings\Logs" -Recurse

Note

If the Path includes \*, all the directory's file contents, including the subdirectory trees, are copied to the new destination directory. For example:

Copy-Item -Path "C:\Logfiles\*" -Destination "C:\Drawings\Logs" -Recurse

Example 4: Copy a file to the specified directory and rename the file

This example uses the Copy-Item cmdlet to copy the Get-Widget.ps1 script from the \\Server01\Share directory to the \\Server12\ScriptArchive directory. As part of the copy operation, the command changes the item name from Get-Widget.ps1 to Get-Widget.ps1.txt, so it can be attached to email messages.

Copy-Item "\\Server01\Share\Get-Widget.ps1" -Destination "\\Server12\ScriptArchive\Get-Widget.ps1.txt"

Example 5: Copy a file to a remote computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies test.log from the D:\Folder001 folder to the C:\Folder001_Copy folder on the remote computer using the session information stored in the $Session variable. The original file isn't deleted.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server01" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "D:\Folder001\test.log" -Destination "C:\Folder001_Copy\" -ToSession $Session

Example 6: Copy a folder to a remote computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies the D:\Folder002 folder to the C:\Folder002_Copy directory on the remote computer using the session information stored in the $Session variable. Any subfolders or files are not copied without using the Recurse switch. The operation creates the Folder002_Copy folder if it doesn't already exist.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server02" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "D:\Folder002\" -Destination "C:\Folder002_Copy\" -ToSession $Session

Example 7: Recursively copy the entire contents of a folder to a remote computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies the entire contents from the D:\Folder003 folder to the C:\Folder003_Copy directory on the remote computer using the session information stored in the $Session variable. The subfolders are copied with their file trees intact. The operation creates the Folder003_Copy folder if it doesn't already exist.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server04" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "D:\Folder003\" -Destination "C:\Folder003_Copy\" -ToSession $Session -Recurse

Example 8: Copy a file to a remote computer and then rename the file

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies scriptingexample.ps1 from the D:\Folder004 folder to the C:\Folder004_Copy folder on the remote computer using the session information stored in the $Session variable. As part of the copy operation, the command changes the item name from scriptingexample.ps1 to scriptingexample_copy.ps1, so it can be attached to email messages. The original file isn't deleted.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server04" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "D:\Folder004\scriptingexample.ps1" -Destination "C:\Folder004_Copy\scriptingexample_copy.ps1" -ToSession $Session

Example 9: Copy a remote file to the local computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies test.log from the remote C:\MyRemoteData\ to the local D:\MyLocalData folder using the session information stored in the $Session variable. The original file isn't deleted.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server01" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "C:\MyRemoteData\test.log" -Destination "D:\MyLocalData\" -FromSession $Session

Example 10: Copy the entire contents of a remote folder to the local computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies the entire contents from the remote C:\MyRemoteData\scripts folder to the local D:\MyLocalData folder using the session information stored in the $Session variable. If the scripts folder contains files in subfolders, those subfolders are copied with their file trees intact.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server01" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "C:\MyRemoteData\scripts" -Destination "D:\MyLocalData\" -FromSession $Session

Example 11: Recursively copy the entire contents of a remote folder to the local computer

A session is created to the remote computer named Server01 with the credential of Contoso\User01 and stores the results in the variable named $Session.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies the entire contents from the remote C:\MyRemoteData\scripts folder to the local D:\MyLocalData\scripts folder using the session information stored in the $Session variable. Because the Recurse parameter is used, the operation creates the scripts folder if it doesn't already exist. If the scripts folder contains files in subfolders, those subfolders are copied with their file trees intact.

$Session = New-PSSession -ComputerName "Server01" -Credential "Contoso\User01"
Copy-Item "C:\MyRemoteData\scripts" -Destination "D:\MyLocalData\scripts" -FromSession $Session -Recurse

Example 12: Recursively copy files from a folder tree into the current folder

This example shows how to copy files from a multilevel folder structure into a single flat folder. The first three commands show the existing folder structure and the contents of two files, both names file3.txt.

PS C:\temp\test> (Get-ChildItem C:\temp\tree -Recurse).FullName
C:\temp\tree\subfolder
C:\temp\tree\file1.txt
C:\temp\tree\file2.txt
C:\temp\tree\file3.txt
C:\temp\tree\subfolder\file3.txt
C:\temp\tree\subfolder\file4.txt
C:\temp\tree\subfolder\file5.txt

PS C:\temp\test> Get-Content C:\temp\tree\file3.txt
This is file3.txt in the root folder

PS C:\temp\test> Get-Content C:\temp\tree\subfolder\file3.txt
This is file3.txt in the subfolder

PS C:\temp\test> Copy-Item -Path C:\temp\tree -Filter *.txt -Recurse -Container:$false
PS C:\temp\test> (Get-ChildItem . -Recurse).FullName
C:\temp\test\subfolder
C:\temp\test\file1.txt
C:\temp\test\file2.txt
C:\temp\test\file3.txt
C:\temp\test\file4.txt
C:\temp\test\file5.txt

PS C:\temp\test> Get-Content .\file3.txt
This is file3.txt in the subfolder

The Copy-Item cmdlet has the Container parameter set to $false. This causes the contents of the source folder to be copied but does not preserve the folder structure. Notice that files with the same name are overwritten in the destination folder.

Example 13: Using filters to copy items without recursion

This example shows the results using the Include parameter to select which items should be copied.

This example uses the following folder structure containing the files to be copied:

  • D:\temp\tree\example.ps1
  • D:\temp\tree\example.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_1.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_2.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\test.txt

In this example, Copy-Item is called with a wildcard for both the Path and Include parameters. Specifying a wildcard for the Path parameter ensures that it processes all of the files and folders that match D:\temp\tree\*. The Include parameter filters the list of items to process, limiting the operation to only those paths that begin with ex.

PS D:\temp\test\out> Copy-Item -Path D:\temp\tree\* -Include ex*
PS D:\temp\test\out> (Get-ChildItem -Recurse).FullName
D:\temp\out\examples
D:\temp\out\example.ps1
D:\temp\out\example.txt

The Include parameter is applied to the contents of D:\temp\tree folder to copy all items that match ex*. Notice that, without recursion, the D:\temp\out\examples folder is copied, but none of its contents are copied.

Example 15: Using filters to copy items with recursion

This example shows the results using the Include parameter to select which items should be copied.

This example uses the following folder structure containing the files to be copied:

  • D:\temp\tree\example.ps1
  • D:\temp\tree\example.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_1.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_2.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\test.txt

In this example, Copy-Item is called with a wildcard for both the Path and Include parameters. Specifying a wildcard for the Path parameter ensures that it processes all the files and folders that match D:\temp\tree\*. The Include parameter filters the list of items to process, limiting the operation to only those paths that begin with ex.

D:\temp\out> Copy-Item -Path D:\temp\tree\* -Include ex* -Recurse
D:\temp\out> (Get-ChildItem -Recurse).FullName
D:\temp\out\examples
D:\temp\out\example.ps1
D:\temp\out\example.txt
D:\temp\out\examples\subfolder
D:\temp\out\examples\example_1.txt
D:\temp\out\examples\example_2.txt
D:\temp\out\examples\subfolder\test.txt

The Include parameter is applied to the contents of D:\temp\tree folder to copy all items that match ex*. Notice that, with recursion, the D:\temp\out\examples folder is copied along with all the files and subfolders. The copy includes files that do not match the include filter. When using Copy-Item, the filters only apply to the top-level specified by the Path parameter. Then recursion is applied to those matching items.

Note

The behavior of the Exclude parameter is the same as described in this example, except that it limits the operation to only those paths which do not match the pattern.

Example 15: Limit the files to recursively copy from a wildcard-specified path

This example shows how to limit the files recursively copied from a wildcard-matching path into another folder. Example 13 shows that, because the Include parameter only filters on the paths resolved for a wildcard-specifying Path, the Include parameter can't be used to limit the files recursively copied from a folder. Instead, you can use Get-ChildItem to find the items you want to copy and pass those items to Copy-Item.

This example uses the following folder structure containing the files to be copied:

  • D:\temp\tree\example.ps1
  • D:\temp\tree\example.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_1.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\example_2.txt
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\
  • D:\temp\tree\examples\subfolder\test.txt

To copy all items that begin with ex*, use Get-ChildItem with the Recurse and Filter parameters and pipe the results to Copy-Item.

D:\temp\out> Get-ChildItem -Path D:\temp\tree -Recurse -Filter ex* | Copy-Item
D:\temp\out> (Get-ChildItem -Recurse).FullName
D:\temp\out\examples
D:\temp\out\example_1.txt
D:\temp\out\example_2.txt
D:\temp\out\example.ps1
D:\temp\out\example.txt

Unlike the Copy-Item, the Filter parameter for Get-ChildItem applies to the items discovered during recursion. This enables you to find, filter, and then copy items recursively.

Parameters

-Confirm

Prompts you for confirmation before running the cmdlet.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:cf
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Container

Indicates that this cmdlet preserves container objects during the copy operation. By default, the Container parameter is set to True.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:True
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Credential

Note

This parameter is not supported by any providers installed with PowerShell. To impersonate another user, or elevate your credentials when running this cmdlet, use Invoke-Command.

Type:PSCredential
Position:Named
Default value:Current user
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Destination

Specifies the path to the new location. The default is the current directory.

To rename the item being copied, specify a new name in the value of the Destination parameter.

Type:String
Position:1
Default value:Current directory
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Exclude

Specifies one or more path elements or patterns, such as "*.txt", to limit this cmdlet's operation. The value of this parameter filters against the wildcard-matching result of the Path parameter, not the final results. This parameter is only effective when the Path is specified with one or more wildcards. Since this parameter only filters on the paths resolved for the Path parameter, it does not filter any items discovered when recursing through child folders with the Recurse parameter.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Filter

Specifies a filter to qualify the Path parameter. The FileSystem provider is the only installed PowerShell provider that supports the use of filters. You can find the syntax for the FileSystem filter language in about_Wildcards. Filters are more efficient than other parameters, because the provider applies them when the cmdlet gets the objects rather than having PowerShell filter the objects after they're retrieved.

Type:String
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Force

Indicates that this cmdlet copies items that can't otherwise be changed, such as copying over a read-only file or alias.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-FromSession

Specifies the PSSession object from which a remote file is being copied. When you use this parameter, the Path and LiteralPath parameters refer to the local path on the remote machine.

Type:PSSession
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Include

Specifies one or more path elements or patterns, such as "*.txt", to limit this cmdlet's operation. The value of this parameter filters against the wildcard-matching result of the Path parameter, not the final results. This parameter is only effective when the Path is specified with one or more wildcards. Since this parameter only filters on the paths resolved for the Path parameter, it does not filter any items discovered when recursing through child folders with the Recurse parameter.

Type:String[]
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:True
-LiteralPath

Specifies a path to one or more locations. The value of LiteralPath is used exactly as it's typed. No characters are interpreted as wildcards. If the path includes escape characters, enclose it in single quotation marks. Single quotation marks tell PowerShell not to interpret any characters as escape sequences.

For more information, see about_Quoting_Rules.

Type:String[]
Aliases:PSPath, LP
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:False
-PassThru

Returns an object that represents the item with which you're working. By default, this cmdlet doesn't generate any output.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-Path

Specifies, as a string array, the path to the items to copy. Wildcard characters are permitted.

Type:String[]
Position:0
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:True
Accept wildcard characters:True
-Recurse

Indicates that this cmdlet does a recursive copy.

Type:SwitchParameter
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-ToSession

Specifies the PSSession object to which a remote file is being copied. When you use this parameter, the Destination parameter refers to the local path on the remote machine.

Type:PSSession
Position:Named
Default value:None
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False
-WhatIf

Shows what would happen if the cmdlet runs. The cmdlet isn't run.

Type:SwitchParameter
Aliases:wi
Position:Named
Default value:False
Accept pipeline input:False
Accept wildcard characters:False

Inputs

String

You can pipe a string that contains a path to this cmdlet.

Outputs

None or an object representing the copied item

When you use the PassThru parameter, this cmdlet returns an object that represents the copied item. Otherwise, this cmdlet doesn't generate any output.

Notes

This cmdlet is designed to work with the data exposed by any provider. To list the providers available in your session, type Get-PSProvider. For more information, see about_Providers.