Robocopy is a file replication command tool which enables you to perform large file copy operations. This post will show you some practices for working with Robocopy and teach you how to transfer files over the network in Windows 10 with Robocopy. It also introduces a powerful alternative to Robocopy - MiniTool ShadowMaker. View MiniTool website to get more information.

What Is Robocopy?

Robocopy is also called as Robust File Copy. It is a command-line directory or you can regard it as a file replication command tool in Windows. Robocopy replaces Xcopy in function with more options. 

Starting with Windows NT 4.0, Robocopy serves as part of the Windows Resource Kit. In Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Robocopy was first introduced as a standard feature. 

With more than 80 switches, Robocopy is a powerful enough tool to transfer files.

Best Practices for Working with Robocopy

When you want to copy a few files, copy is always your choice. However, if you need to perform complex or large file copy operations, the process can take you a long time. Thus, if you want to transfer large files faster and more reliably, Robocopy is a great choice for you. 

Tip: Sometimes, you may receive an error message saying “The parameter is incorrect” when you are copying files to a USB flash drive, SD card, pen drive or external hard drive. Read this post to get the methods to fix this error – Fixed – the Parameter Is Incorrect Copying Files (Focus on 2 Cases)

Although Robocopy is useful, it is a bit complex to use. Therefore, this section will explain which switch you are likely to use most often.

Copying File Attributes

With /COPY switch, you can specify exactly which parts of the file to copy, which gives you a way to ensure that replicated data retains information. 


If you need to copy a group of files, you may also need to copy subdirectories that may exist. /S switch copies only the subdirectories containing the data, ignoring any empty subdirectories. /E switch copies any subdirectories including empty subdirectories. 

Preventing Errors

Restartable Mode enabled by /Z switch allows you to resume the transfer from the point of failure, so you don’t need to restart the operation from the beginning. 

If you are transferring user data without permission to get all the files of user, the files copy will fail, so you need Backup Mode enabled by /B switch to fix the issue. 


You can use /MT switch to reduce the amount of time required for the replication process to complete.

Transfer Files over the Network Fast with Robocopy in Windows 10

Robocopy in Windows 10 includes features that allow you to quickly copy files, but you need a wired connection to get the best experience. The time it takes to complete the transfer will depend on driver performance and network connection speed. 

If you want to know how to use Robocopy in Windows to transfer files over the network quickly, here is the answer. You need to configure the file sharing on the source device firstly, and then you can perform the transfer on the target device. 

Configuring File Sharing in Windows 10

In order to copy files between two computers, file sharing must be enabled on the source device. Only with file sharing enabled, Robocopy can access and copy files from the target device. 

Follow the steps below to enable file sharing on the local network with the express settings.

Step 1: Open File Explorer in Windows 10.

Step 2: Find the folder with the files that you want to migrate. 

Step 3: Right-click the folder and then choose Properties

Step 4: Under the Properties section, click Sharing and click the Share… button

click Share under Sharing

Step 5: Choose the Everyone group and then click Add

Step 6: Under the Permission Level part, choose the permission level you want the folder has. Read is selected by default, and it allows you to view and open your files. Read/Write allows you view, open, modify and delete the content of your sharing folder.

choose people to share with

Step 7: Click Share to continue. 

Step 8: After receiving a message that says “Your folder is shared”, click Done and then click Close to exit. 

After you finish all the steps above, note down the folder path and the IP address of the source computer. 

Copy Large Files Fast Using Robocopy in Windows 10

Since file sharing is enabled on the source device, now you can start to copy the files with Robocopy in Windows 10 in the target device. 

Follow the steps below to copy files fast with Robocopy. 

Step 1: Type cmd in the search bar, right-click Command Prompt and then choose Run as administrator

Step 2: In order to copy the files over the network, type the command robocopy \\source-device-ip\path\to\share\folder C:\destination-device\path\to\store\files /S /E /Z /ZB /R:5 /W:5 /TBD /NP /V /MT:16. Now press Enter to execute the command.

type the command to copy the files over the network

Great Free Alternative to Robocopy in Windows 10

Although you can transfer files over the network with Robocopy in Windows 10, it is a little troublesome with these long and complex instructions. Besides, you have to be careful enough when you are using Robocopy because you can’t take a step back when you do something wrong. Sometimes, you may also not copy files with Robocopy.

Thus, you need a powerful free Robocopy alternative – MiniTool ShadowMaker, a piece of backup software. With the Backup function of it, you can easily and safely transfer files to network.

MiniTool ShadowMaker not only allows you to back up and restore files, partitions, OS and disks, but also enables you to clone the whole hard disk. It is also a piece of file sync software which enables you to sync files and folders. Besides, when your computer can’t boot normally, you can also restore system to a normal state by using a created bootable media with the Media Builder function of it. 

Tip: If your computer fails to boot, maybe you can try this way – You Can Fix Boot Issues by Startup Repair on Windows 10.

Click the following button to free get this powerful program.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

The following part will show you how to back up files to network with Backup function of MiniTool ShadowMaker.

Step 1: Choose the Source File

1.Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to enter its interface.

2.Click Connect in Local module to continue.

3.After entering the main interface of MiniTool ShadowMaker, click the Backup tab to continue.

click the Backup feature to continue

Tip: With the Schedule, Scheme and Options feature, you can make more advanced settings to your backup operation. If you are interested in the Scheme function, read this post – 3 Types of Backup: Full, Incremental, Differential – MiniTool

4.Click the Source module firstly and then select the source type – Folders and Files. If you want to back up partitions or disk, you can choose Disk and Partitions. Now, choose the source file which you want to copy and click OK.

select the source file

Step 2: Choose a Network location as the Destination Path

1.Click the Destination module and click Network. All the computers in the same LAN will show up here.

2.Double-click the computer you need and then type the user name and password. Click OK to continue.

type the user name and password

3.Choose the location you need to save the copy on the target computer and click OK

Step 3: Perform Backup Operation

1.Click Backup now to execute the backup operation immediately.

perform backup operation immediately

2.Read the confirmation and click Yes to continue. You can also check Shut down the computer when all the running backup tasks are finished.

confirm to start backup operation now

Tip: When the file backup process is finished, you can view the backup task in the Manage page. In this interface, you can view the state of your backup tasks and make multiple choices to arrange your backup tasks better.

After you finish the steps above, the source file is successfully backed up to the destination. You can find that transferring files with MiniTool ShadowMaker is much easier and simpler. 

If you need to restore your files, click to read this article.

In addition to Backup, you can also use Sync of MiniTool ShadowMaker to sync files to the network. The following part will show you the steps briefly.

Step 1: Run MiniTool ShadowMaker to enter its interface. 

Step 2: Select the sync source and sync destination.

select the sync source and sync destination

Step 3: Click Sync now to perform this operation immediately. 

Tip: If you want to know more about how to sync, you can read this article – How to Sync Folders Windows 10 to External Drive? 3 Tools Are Here!

After reading this post, I know much better about Robocopy in Windows 10. Meanwhile, I successfully transfer large files to a network location via MiniTool ShadowMaker.Click to Tweet


Further Reading: Robocopy VS MiniTool ShadowMaker

Easy Steps

As you can see from the above steps, transferring files with Robocopy is troublesome for you. You have to enable file sharing on the local network firstly with long instructions, and then you can transfer files. 

However, you can transfer files simply and easily with MiniTool ShadowMaker. Following the straightforward instructions, you just need to select transfer source and destination with a few mouse clicks. Then you can transfer files to network. 

In addition, during the process, you can stop the operation by simply clicking the Stop button when you are using MiniTool ShadowMaker. However, you can’t take a step back when you are using Robocopy, even if you make a mistake in the last step. 

Advanced Settings

Although there are many switches you can use to tell Robocopy the way you want to copy files, it is a bit complex. 

Now, MiniTool ShadowMaker provides you with some clear and easy function modules that you can do some advanced settings to make MiniTool ShadowMaker transfer files in the way you want. 

The Schedule function is user-friendly to help you make a backup on a regular basis. With this function, you can run backup tasks daily, weekly, monthly or on event. 

The Scheme function of MiniTool ShadowMaker offers you 3 commonly-used types of backup: full backup, incremental backup and differential backup. In order to help you manage disk space usage, it can delete the specified backup image file versions automatically. 

In order to customize the current backup task, you can also set some advanced parameters for every task by clicking the Options button. For example, if you enable email notification, you will receive an email from MiniTool ShadowMaker when the backup operation is finished. It will inform you whether the task is failed or successful. 

Other Advantages of MiniTool ShadowMaker

Manage is also a useful function of MiniTool ShadowMaker. With it, you can manage all backup tasks including backup image and file sync. Not only can you see the status of the backup task, but you can also choose several options to better arrange the backup task. 

MiniTool ShadowMaker also offers you some useful tool to meet your different needs, such as the Media Builder mentioned before, you can use it to create a bootable builder.

Right now, go download this freeware and get started.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe


In conclusion, this post has briefly shown you the information about Robocopy and taught you how to transfer files over the network with Robocopy in Windows 10. In addition, it also introduces you a powerful alternative to Robocopy – MiniTool ShadowMaker which is much easier to back up files. 

If you have any problems when using our program, feel free to contact us via the email [email protected] and we will reply to you as soon as possible.

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