Replaces files. If used with the /a option, replace adds new files to a directory instead of replacing existing files.


replace [<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName> [<Drive2>:][<Path2>] [/a] [/p] [/r] [/w] 
replace [<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName> [<Drive2>:][<Path2>] [/p] [/r] [/s] [/w] [/u] 


Parameter Description
[<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName> Specifies the location and name of the source file or set of files. FileName is required, and can include wildcard characters (* and ?).
[<Drive2>:][<Path2>] Specifies the location of the destination file. You cannot specify a file name for files you replace. If you do not specify a drive or path, replace uses the current drive and directory as the destination.
/a Adds new files to the destination directory instead of replacing existing files. You cannot use this command-line option with the /s or /u command-line option.
/p Prompts you for confirmation before replacing a destination file or adding a source file.
/r Replaces Read-only and unprotected files. If you attempt to replace a Read-only file, but you do not specify /r, an error results and stops the replacement operation.
/w Waits for you to insert a disk before the search for source files begins. If you do not specify /w, replace begins replacing or adding files immediately after you press ENTER.
/s Searches all subdirectories in the destination directory and replaces matching files. You cannot use /s with the /a command-line option. The replace command does not search subdirectories that are specified in Path1.
/u Replaces only those files on the destination directory that are older than those in the source directory. You cannot use /u with the /a command-line option.
/? Displays help at the command prompt.


  • As replace adds or replaces files, the file names are displayed on the screen. After replace is finished, a summary line is displayed in one of the following formats:
    nnn files added
    nnn files replaced
    no file added
    no file replaced
  • If you are using floppy disks and you need to switch disks during the replace operation, you can specify the /w command-line option so that replace will wait for you to switch the disks.
  • You cannot use replace to update hidden files or system files.
  • The following table shows each exit code and a brief description of its meaning:
    |Exit code|Description| |---------|-----------| |0|The replace command successfully replaced or added the files.| |1|The replace command encountered an incorrect version of MS-DOS.| |2|The replace command could not find the source files.| |3|The replace command could not find the source or destination path.| |5|The user does not have access to the files that you want to replace.| |8|There is insufficient system memory to carry out the command.| |11|The user used the wrong syntax on the command line.|


You can use the ERRORLEVEL parameter on the if command line in a batch program to process exit codes that are returned by replace.


To update all the versions of a file named Phones.cli (which appear in multiple directories on drive C), with the latest version of the Phones.cli file from a floppy disk in drive A, type:

replace a:\phones.cli c:\ /s

Additional References