Robocopy – Reliable incremental backup for Windows

Robocopy is a Windows console copy command that can be used for recursive conditional backup of files, folders and disks.  It is more efficient than drag/dropping in the UI and capable of copying deeply nested long file names that normal Windows copying will fail on.


robocopy d:myfolder h:backups /e /xo /fft /xd "system volume information" /xd $RECYCLE.BIN /xf "locked.file"

This command will copy the contents of myfolder from volume D to a folder called backups in the H: drive.  If backups doesn’t exist, it will be created automatically.  The flags do the following:

/e – copy empty folders

/xo – exclude older files (ie: only copy newer or non-existant files)

/fft – FAT file system time format (for determining newer/older)

/xd – exclude directory (in this case, the protected file system folders that can’t be copied)

/xf – exclude individual files – files that may be locked or uncopyable.  Also can be used with wildcards to exclude whole classes (e.g.: /xf *.mp4).


Comprehensive documentation can be found here: