strcpy, wcscpy, _mbscpy


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Copies a string. More secure versions of these functions are available; see strcpy_s, wcscpy_s, _mbscpy_s.


_mbscpy cannot be used in applications that execute in the Windows Runtime. For more information, see CRT functions not supported with /ZW.


char *strcpy(  
   char *strDestination,  
   const char *strSource   
wchar_t *wcscpy(  
   wchar_t *strDestination,  
   const wchar_t *strSource   
unsigned char *_mbscpy(  
   unsigned char *strDestination,  
   const unsigned char *strSource   
template <size_t size>  
char *strcpy(  
   char (&strDestination)[size],  
   const char *strSource   
); // C++ only  
template <size_t size>  
wchar_t *wcscpy(  
   wchar_t (&strDestination)[size],  
   const wchar_t *strSource   
); // C++ only  
template <size_t size>  
unsigned char *_mbscpy(  
   unsigned char (&strDestination)[size],  
   const unsigned char *strSource   
); // C++ only  


Destination string.

Null-terminated source string.

Return Value

Each of these functions returns the destination string. No return value is reserved to indicate an error.


The strcpy function copies strSource, including the terminating null character, to the location that's specified by strDestination. The behavior of strcpy is undefined if the source and destination strings overlap.


Because strcpy does not check for sufficient space in strDestination before it copies strSource, it is a potential cause of buffer overruns. Therefore, we recommend that you use strcpy_s instead.

wcscpy and _mbscpy are, respectively, wide-character and multibyte-character versions of strcpy. The arguments and return value of wcscpy are wide-character strings; those of _mbscpy are multibyte-character strings. These three functions behave identically otherwise.

In C++, these functions have template overloads that invoke the newer, secure counterparts of these functions. For more information, see Secure Template Overloads.

Generic-Text Routine Mappings

TCHAR.H routine _UNICODE & _MBCS not defined _MBCS defined _UNICODE defined
_tcscpy strcpy _mbscpy wcscpy


Routine Required header
strcpy <string.h>
wcscpy <string.h> or <wchar.h>
_mbscpy <mbstring.h>

For additional compatibility information, see Compatibility.


// crt_strcpy.c  
// compile with: /W3  
// This program uses strcpy  
// and strcat to build a phrase.  
#include <string.h>  
#include <stdio.h>  
int main( void )  
   char string[80];  
   // If you change the previous line to  
   //   char string[20];  
   // strcpy and strcat will happily overrun the string  
   // buffer.  See the examples for strncpy and strncat  
   // for safer string handling.  
   strcpy( string, "Hello world from " ); // C4996  
   // Note: strcpy is deprecated; use strcpy_s instead  
   strcat( string, "strcpy " );           // C4996  
   // Note: strcat is deprecated; use strcat_s instead  
   strcat( string, "and " );              // C4996  
   strcat( string, "strcat!" );           // C4996  
   printf( "String = %s\n", string );  
String = Hello world from strcpy and strcat!  

.NET Framework Equivalent


See Also

String Manipulation
strcat, wcscat, _mbscat
strcmp, wcscmp, _mbscmp
strncat, _strncat_l, wcsncat, _wcsncat_l, _mbsncat, _mbsncat_l
strncmp, wcsncmp, _mbsncmp, _mbsncmp_l
strncpy, _strncpy_l, wcsncpy, _wcsncpy_l, _mbsncpy, _mbsncpy_l
_strnicmp, _wcsnicmp, _mbsnicmp, _strnicmp_l, _wcsnicmp_l, _mbsnicmp_l
strrchr, wcsrchr, _mbsrchr, _mbsrchr_l
strspn, wcsspn, _mbsspn, _mbsspn_l