If you’re using Windows 8 as your primary PC, you’ve probably noticed a significant upgrade in performance and user interface when copying files. In the end, Microsoft decided to improve some core functions of the operating system, which makes using Windows 8 much better than Windows 7…sometimes.
Unfortunately, even with all the great new security and updates for core features, Windows 8 is plagued by the dual-monitor interface and Start screen. Personally, I switched back to Windows 7 because I found the Start Screen and lack of Start button annoying. However, back in Windows 7, I no longer have the new, more reliable copy functions of Windows 8.
In addition to faster performance, Windows 8 also handles file conflicts and other errors better than previous operating systems. The best part is that you can actually pause and resume the copy operation, which is really helpful.
However, until Microsoft fixes Windows 8 properly, I’ll stick with Windows 7 and that means having to use third-party apps to copy large amounts of files. In this post, I will list some of the best file copying utilities out there that you can use for Windows. Depending on your copying needs, some programs are better than others. I can’t say that there is one “best” copy program.
Instead of just listing them in random order, which doesn’t really help anyone, I’ll break them down into categories: fastest (local), fastest (network), data processing broken and most features.
Fastest file copier (local)
FastCopy has been tested by many people and the results show that it is the fastest copy program available for Windows. If you just need raw speed, then this program is the best.
Advantages: super fast copy, shell integration, x64 capabilities, run without installation, strong command line support, NSA file removal utility for secure deletion, good handling of long paths, ability to view files/message which items will be affected before executing with the enumeration node.
Defect: Very raw and unintuitive interface, can’t pause transfer, uninstall is not intuitive.
2. ExtremeCopy Standard
ExtremeCopy Standard is a freeware and does a great job of really fast local data transfers. For whatever reason, it’s pretty terrible for network transfers, so don’t bother downloading this program if you have to transfer data over your LAN. It is faster than TeraCopy and very close to FastCopy.
Advantages: fast copy data, direct integration into Explorer so you can copy and paste as usual, x64-bit version, ability to pause copy operations.
Defect: standard version has no user interface, except options, bad for network transfer, professional features are freely available in other clone programs, must install the program to run.
KillCopy has a terrible-looking interface when you’re copying files, but it gets the job done very quickly. It is also old and not updated like TeraCopy, UltraCopier and other popular copying programs.
Advantages: can resume copying on crash, parallel read/write, resolution options in case of errors or file conflicts, several enhancement options for faster performance, excellent network performance Great for copying, ability to securely erase data before copying.
Defect: terrible looking interface, not updated often, must be installed to run.
Fastest File Copier (Network)
1. RichCopy 4
The tool was created internally by a Microsoft employee and was not made publicly available until many years later. It’s a bit old and hasn’t been updated since 2009, but it’s fast to switch networks. However, it is very slow to copy locally, so don’t use it for anything other than network transfers.
Advantages: Very fast for network copying, parallel copying, ability to pause and resume copying, ability to continue copying even if network connection is lost, clean interface.
Defect: hasn’t been updated for a long time, very slow for local copying.
2. KillCopy – KillCopy is only slightly slower than RichCopy when performing network transfers. Unfortunately, because of its terrible looks and lack of updates, it is not very popular even though it is very fast.
3. FastCopy – This is your best bet if you are looking for a cloning program for regular use. It’s not the fastest for network transfers, but it’s close, and since it’s the fastest for domestic transfers, it’s probably the best copying utility overall.
UltraCopier is fast, but speed isn’t the main selling point. It has a nice interface and has a lot of useful features. Development has slowed, but it’s still updated every 6 months or so.
Advantages: works on both Linux and Mac, supports third-party plugins to extend functionality, start/stop copying, speed limit, search through copy list, simple and clean interface .
Defect: above average speed, but nothing special.
Copy corrupted data
1. Unstoppable copier
This is the only program that you can use to copy not only a large number of files, but also corrupted files. In terms of copy speed, it is very slow compared to all other programs, but that is because it is the most reliable of all copiers. If you have any data that you think could be corrupted such as data stored on a hard drive with bad sectors or on a scratched CD or DVD, then you should use Unstoppable Copier.
Advantages: can recover data from damaged files while copying, batch mode, various settings for data recovery
Defect: very slow in copy speed
File Copier – Most Features
If you are looking for a copier that is more fully featured and looks better, then TeraCopy is the best choice. It really would be the best overall if its copying speed was on par with FastCopy, however, it’s just average. Where it makes up for all the nice features and interface.
Advantages: very nice interface, fully integrated with Windows, works with Windows 8 x64, stop and start, error recovery, corrupted file list, very active updates.
Defect: copy speed is just average.
In addition to the file copyrs mentioned above, there are a number of other programs that can help you copy files in different ways. Here are two of my favorites.
XXCOPY is a command line copier program without a GUI interface. However, if you know how to use the command line, it has over 230 command line switches that you can use to create very specific copy operations that you can’t do with any other program. Want to copy only files older than a certain date, larger than a certain size, and with a certain word in the filename? XXCOPY can do that.
Advantages: great command line option, works with all versions of Windows, remote network storage access
Defect: only copy non-stop, can’t recover error, can’t pause and resume
2. Beyond Compare
Another clever way to copy files is to simply compare two directories and see what’s different. That’s how Beyond Compare works. Even if it crashes midway or has some errors, you can always run it again and since it’s comparing everything it will copy every remaining item. However, it’s the only program that doesn’t have a free version, so you’ll have to shell out $30 for it. However, there are many programmers and IT Professionals who fully endorse this program.
There are a bunch of other file copying programs out there, but there’s really no point in mentioning them all as you’d be better off using one from the list above. If you use a file copier not mentioned above or prefer one over another, let us know in the comments. Interesting!