Switches that you can use with xcopy and xcopy32 commands

This article describes switches that you can use with xcopy and xcopy32 commands.

Applies to:   Windows 10 - all editions
Original KB number:   289483

Summary

The xcopy and xcopy32 commands have the same switches. This article describes the switches that are available when you run the commands:

  • outside of Windows (in MS-DOS mode).
  • from an MS-DOS window.

Syntax and switches in MS-DOS mode

The following command line includes the syntax and the switches that you can use with the xcopy and xcopy32 commands in MS-DOS mode:

xcopy **source** [**destination**] [/a | /m] [/d: **date**] [/p] [/s] [/e] [/v] [/w]

Note

The square brackets ([]) indicate optional switches. The brackets aren't part of the command.

The following table describes the optional switches you can use with xcopy and xcopy32:

Optional switches Description
source Specifies the file to copy.
destination Specifies the location and the name of new files.
/a Copies files with the archive attribute set. This switch doesn't change the attribute.
/m Copies files with the archive attribute set, and turns off the archive attribute.
/d: date Copies files changed on or after the specified date.
/p Prompts you before creating each destination file.
/s Copies folders and subfolders except empty ones.
/e Copies any subfolder, even if it's empty.
/v Verifies each new file.
/w Prompts you to press a key before copying.

Warning

Long file names aren't retained in MS-DOS mode.

Note

In Windows Millennium Edition (Me) only, an /h switch is added to the xcopy and the xcopy32 commands. This switch copies hidden and system files in MS-DOS mode. However, the Xcopy files aren't automatically included on the Windows Me boot disk.

Syntax and switches in MS-DOS window

The following command line includes the syntax and the switches for the xcopy and xcopy32 commands when you run it from an MS-DOS window:

xcopy **source** [ **destination** ] [/a | /m] [/d: **date**] [/p] [/s] [/e] [/w] [/c] [/i] [/q] [/f] [/l] [/h] [/r] [/t] [/u] [/k] [/n]

Note

The square brackets ([]) indicate optional switches. The brackets aren't part of the command.

The following table describes the optional switches you can use with xcopy and xcopy32 when you run the command in an MS-DOS window:

Optional switches Description
source Specifies the file to copy.
destination Specifies the location and the name of new files.
/a Copies files with the archive attribute set. This switch doesn't change the attribute.
/m Copies files with the archive attribute set, and turns off the archive attribute.
/d: date Copies files changed on or after the specified date.
/p Prompts you before each destination file is created.
/s Copies folders and subfolders except for empty ones.
/e Copies any subfolder, even if it's empty.
/w Prompts you to press a key before copying.
/c Continues copying even if errors occur.
/i If the destination doesn't exist, and you're copying more than one file, this switch assumes that the destination is a folder.
/q Doesn't display file names while copying.
/f Displays full source and destination file names while copying.
/l Displays files that are going to be copied.
/h Copies hidden and system files.
/r Overwrites read-only files.
/t Creates a folder structure, but doesn't copy files. Doesn't include empty folders or subfolders. Use the /t with the /e switch to include empty folders and subfolders.
/u Updates the files that already exist in that destination.
/k Copies attributes. Typical xcopy commands reset read-only attributes.
/y Overwrites existing files without prompting you.
/-y Prompts you before overwriting existing files.
/n Copies using the generated short names.