# robocopy transfer file and not folder

I'm trying to use robocopy to transfer a single file from one location to another but robocopy seems to think I'm always specifying a folder. Here is an example:

robocopy "c:\transfer_this.txt" "z:\transferred.txt"


But I get this error instead:

2009/08/11 15:21:57 ERROR 123 (0x0000007B) Accessing Source Directory c:\transfer_this.txt\


(note the \ at the end of transfer_this.txt)

But if I treat it like an entire folder:

robocopy "c:\folder" "z:\folder"


It works but then I have to transfer everything in the folder.

How can I only transfer a single file with robocopy?

• def copyFile(fromLocation,toLocation,big=False): print("copy file from " + fromLocation + " to " + toLocation) if big: iFind=fromLocation.rfind('\\') fromLocation1 = fromLocation[: (iFind+1)] fileName=fromLocation[iFind+1 :] toLocation1 = toLocation[:(toLocation.rfind('\\')+1)] strcmd="robocopy "+fromLocation1+" "+toLocation1+" "+fileName print(strcmd) os.system(strcmd) else: shutil.copy2(fromLocation,toLocation) – Gank May 24 '17 at 9:33

See: Robocopy /?

Usage : ROBOCOPY source destination [file [file]...] [options]

robocopy c:\folder d:\folder transfer_this.txt

• fwiw, at least on win2003: Quoting directory paths seems to make it hiccup. – Jonesome Reinstate Monica Sep 15 '13 at 19:52
• @samsmith I've seen it hiccup when you have a \ before the closing quote (i.e.: ROBOCOPY "c:\folder1\" c:\folder2 file won't work but: ROBOCOPY "c:\folder1" c:\folder2 file does. I expect it's a text escaping thing – Mike Goatly Oct 23 '15 at 7:22
• @MikeGoatly Excellent point. Robocopy does NOT like trailing \. It wants you to name the directories as "names" and does not want to imply in any way that it accepts anything other than a directory. – Jonesome Reinstate Monica Oct 23 '15 at 16:26

Folder copier, not file copier

Robocopy syntax is markedly different from standard copy commands, as it accepts only folder names as its source and destination arguments. File names and wild-card characters (such as *.*) are not valid source or destination arguments. Files may be selected or excluded using the optional filespec filtering argument. Filespecs can only refer to the filenames relative to the folders already selected for copying. Fully-qualified path names are not supported.

For example, in order to copy the file foo.txt from directory c:\bar to c:\baz, one could use the following syntax:

robocopy c:\bar c:\baz foo.txt


• One thing I noticed. If C:\bar has any folders in it and the option /e has been added. It will recreate all the folders with no files in them. I guess since the foo.txt acts like a filter and couldn't find any files in those folders and your keeping empty folders. Thats why the empty folders are created. – Donny V Aug 2 '17 at 20:02

Try inserting a space before the destination, like this:

robocopy "c:\transfer_this.txt" "z: \this.txt"


notice the space after the destination "folder" z:.

• This did not work for me, I had to follow @KPWINC's instructions and leave the file name out of the source path. – influent Nov 25 '15 at 0:17
• This is a troll answer? Tried and does not work (nor does it seem like it would have worked). – Pacerier May 4 '16 at 4:24

robocopy Q:\ F:\Dopbox "Microsoft Office.zip" /MT:128

• Robocopy source destination filename – Dale Jun 4 '16 at 10:34
• A command without explanation is not a useful answer. – kasperd Jun 4 '16 at 12:31