Best Free File Copy Utility

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Introduction

Hard drives are becoming larger with each advance made in the hardware industry. With the increase in storage size available the amount of files the average user keeps on their computer has also greatly expanded.  But when you want to backup those files safely to either another partition or an external hard drive you need a copy utility that will not run into problems. I used my own music collection at 21.7GB and used several free copy utility programs to see which of them was the fastest, most reliable, and easy to use.

 
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Discussion

FastCopyFastCopy is my choice for the best file copy manager. When it comes to stability and speed, FastCopy gave me consistent results and beat every other manager in the running by several seconds. I also noted that during the transfer, even with the 64MB cache that it used, I was still not seeing a significant jump in resource usage. My RAM usage stayed consistently low throughout the entire transfer. The program is excellent which made it my top choice of the file managers I tested.

It also includes shell integration with the program and x64 capabilities. The program can also be run without being installed which is a very nice touch if you only need it for certain tasks. It also includes an installer for shell integration and for use as your default copier. It will not override your Windows file copier even when installed.

There are a lot of great things about this program but I cannot give this program a 10/10 for the following reasons. First, the uninstalling utility would probably be confusing for the average user since you have to enter the C:\Program Files\FastCopy folder in order to run setup again and choose to uninstall the program. With that said it did not show up in the "Uninstall Program" section of Windows 7 Control Panel which would be the optimal place for the program to be uninstalled. Secondly, shell integration must be configured via the "Options" menu and in order to choose what FastCopy options you would like added to the right-click menu since it does not automatically override your Windows copier. 

These to me are minor gripes as the shell extensions added manually are excellent and you can even choose to hide the transfer window in the system tray and hover your mouse over to see the transfer speeds. Also, built into the program is a file wiping utility that performs up to three passes over the file it is deleting for those wanting secure deletion of their files. A big thank you to the commenters for bringing this program, and its benchmarks, to my attention.

 

UltraCopierUltraCopier has some pretty exciting features including an excellent file resume option, which allows for resuming of a file transfer from a disconnected USB key. So, for those of you playing at home, if you're in the middle of a file transfer from a USB key and it somehow becomes disconnected, when you plug it in again all you have to do is to hit resume and it will pick up where you left off! A great innovation, especially if you have a finicky Windows install that randomly disconnects your drive.

It has also other useful options such as speed limitation and searching through the copy list. And as far as looks go, UltraCopier is a much more visually attractive copier replacement. It's open source, runs on multi-platforms including Windows, Mac and Linux.

All of the software I reviewed here is excellent and it is up to the user to try these out and decide which one they prefer. For now, I'll be using FastCopy for large transfers and UltraCopier for daily transfers side by side.

 

Unstoppable CopierThe next program that I tested was Unstoppable Copier. This one wins hands down in the reliability category. Not only does it transfer faster than the normal Windows copier, it is also able to recover partial files from damaged media or corrupt areas of a hard disk drive. This program is not a miracle worker but I gave it several scratched DVDs that were denied by my Windows copier and it was able to get me a complete backup of the files on the disk. I am very impressed by the software and its uses.

I do not believe it is the intention of the project to do so, but I think this could be an even better program if it was able to be used in place of the Windows copier. It is portable and installable but both versions must be launched in order to do file transfers. The output of the program is outstanding and gives you a very good idea of which files have copied successfully and which files will be re-attempted. With its unique ability to recover damaged files, this copying program is the most reliable of the programs I tested.

 

TeraCopyI recently used the 2.22 version of TeraCopy. I've seen a lot of complaints about stability with this program and so I decided to push it to the limits. Full on 21.7GB transfer of small files, pausing and resuming of said files, follow-up verification of the total transfer, and killing and re-starting of the same transfer. I will say that these features worked as intended on my setup which is Windows 7 x64 Home Premium.

While this program is a beta, the features I tested performed as they should on my setup. My results are as individual as they come because obviously I cannot account for every variation but the method I used involved TeraCopy as the only program running. Even when I wasn't 'harassing' it by pausing and resuming, my setup is RAID 0, I tried copying small files and one ridiculously large file several times. Each time it did exactly what I asked it to do. The file verification also reassured me that everything transferred correctly even if I did manually verify later.

I personally switch file copiers because I want something faster and more reliable than the Windows copier. In this respect as a Windows copier replacement TeraCopy still shines. I will have some people I know test this program and see if they run into any problems that perhaps I could not. But I still have to say that this is the most actively developed and impressively integrated file copier out right now.

The fact that they have a freeware version that works with Windows 8 x64 (seriously, look at their page) and smooth total integration still makes this one of the best file copiers I've used to date. Which is why it remains a contender for the top spot. If a new release ends up equalling FastCopy on speed, resource usage and stability, then you all will be seeing a new top spot recommendation from me.

 
Other File Copiers

Besides the recommended file copy utilities, I'd also mention SuperCopier and KillCopy since both are stable and reliable. Both are faster than the built-in Windows copier. They run from the system tray and are light on resources. KillCopy is quite a bit faster on transfers and has a plethora of options for the advanced user. It gets a hard time for its looks but it has many skins available on its webpage if you do decide to go that route. None that make it as attractive as UltraCopier, in my opinion, but it does help.

 
Related Products and Links

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Quick Selection Guide

FastCopy

4.5
 
Gizmo's Freeware award as the best product in its class!

Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Fastest of all utilities tested | Light on system resources | Auto-selects settings for copying | Works without installation
Must be uninstalled from original installer | Manual shell integration | Does not override Windows Copier
2.11
372 KB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
To use this program as a portable version, run the executable "fastcopy.exe". No shell extension in this case.
Windows 98 - Windows 7

UltraCopier

5
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Start and resume the copy process | Speed limitation | Search through the copy list | Cross-platforms.
1.0.1.13
5.9 MB
32 and 64 bit versions available
Open source freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.

Unstoppable Copier

4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Good transfer speeds | Recovery of damaged files | Can rebuild files even if not completely copied from source
Lacks Windows integration | Not recommended for single file transfer
5.2
427 KB
Unrestricted freeware
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
Non-English languages supported: Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Windows 95-Windows 7, Linux

TeraCopy

4
 
Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Seamless Windows integration | Easy install and usage | Simple and elegant GUI and design
Transfer speeds | Resource usage
2.3
2.5 MB
32 bit but 64 bit compatible
Free for private use only
A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
This program can be installed as a portable version.
Windows 2000 - Windows 7
 
 
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Comments

This thread might be a little old for this question, but has anybody had trouble with FastCopy dropping files? I tried several times to copy a directory from one drive to a backup drive across my network. File counts match in the log match the source directory, but when I check the destination, a handful of files are missing. No errors in the log file, and the files were not in use when FastCopy was running. Tried several times, with option Copy Overwrite selected each time, but the same files seem to come up missing. FastCopy says it copied all 277, but in reality it only got 269.

Did you activate the 'Verify' option ?

After a short test between Ultracopier and Teracopy, I have to admit that Ultracopier is faster. Even though if it is faster, I still hate the delay it has when it starts to copy something.

Be it a lot of small files or large files, when I compared the two, Ultracopier was much faster, with both of them have activated the checksum test. Actually, Ultracopier does not seem to get much if any at all slower when the checksum test is activated. It does make me feel a bit uneasy that is passes it so fast, but then again, I doubt they would add such an option without it being working right.

Even though Ultracopier in speed is better, I still abhor how when I try to copy/move any kind of files, even if it is a shortcut or a textfile less than a kb, I have to wait for a couple of seconds before Ultracopier will decide to work. If I rush it and start moving a lot of small files around at the same time, the app goes in a "not responding" state, and I have to wait a bit more.

Most of my everyday move/copy actions are of smaller files and I definitely prefer to wait longer when I transfer really large files, rather than have to wait for the copy program to every time start the copy.

If anything I prefer to have teracopy to replace my windows default copier and use another copier for special cases of really huge transfers. The reason I post this is because Ultracopier gets 5 stars and absolutely no negatives.

As a sidenote, I am using an SSD, so it is not my HDD taking it's time.

Like with another post 2 years back, I think you should state if each utility Verifies the destination matches the source bit-by-bit 100% ! The only reason I look for a Copy Utility, is I am not happy with the Copy cmd in Windows, as it does not report copy errors when copying bulk data/drives. Therefore a primary feature I seek is Verification. BTW, when I perused your link for Ultracopier I could not even find a reference to Verification, so I guess it may not do that all-important function. Your review would benefit from including a at-a-glance table of vital Copy features for each Utility.

As a past used for Ultracopier I can tell you that it can actually verify checksums if you want it to, like Fastcopy and Teracopy. The only one I can't talk about is unstoppable copier. Used it only once to test it and never again in the past. All three of the programs though need the user to actually go by himself/herself and activate that option.

Trying out FastCopy, but can't get Help to open correctly. Looks like it's supposed to be HTML, but clicking the Help (?) button opens what looks like the old-style Windows Help dialog, which can't render HTML. I get a TOC on the left, but no text on the right for any items in the TOC. Anybody else experiencing this?

I have used fast copy only twice in my life, so I can't remember precisely how the interface looks. I do remember though that when I used it to copy, it did give me an option to tick to calculate the estimated time of arrival, which twice I did not use, since I would leave the PC open and leave. Maybe you have not checked that option?

TerraCopy has released V3
They have decided to NOT make it work in XP, and their site gives scant warning about this (TCH! TCH!)
Their arrogant attitude in a recent giveaway site is -
95% of users, use more recent OS (Vista, W7 etc), so the 5% should get rid of their XP

Rob
PS whilst rummaging around looking for confirmation that XP users should all 'snap out of it', I also came across mutterings from some users about reliability.
If any program took thrice as long as others BUT was guaranteed to not falter, that would be the program I would use.

You should have specified that version 3.0 is in alpha.. nowhere near final stage.

Also, many software developers have stopped supporting XP now, so why not TeraCopy too? XP support has ended, and slowly it will phase out... although many people still use it.

They were selling version 3 half price on a giveaway site (Bits....our).
The author was answering questions from members who had v2.3 and were debating whether to purchase v3
He and members were also discussing that v3 will not work in XP
The Bits.....our site is now selling it for full price.
But I must confess the TerraCopy site is very vague about version numbers, even when I added it to the shopping cart (briefly)

Rob
PS maybe the author is using the Bits....our 'offer' as a means to get people using the alpha (Naughty)
PPS I just studied the Bits....our page, and it too is vague about the version. It may be they are flogging v2.3
Life is confusing enough for the elderly and the feeble minded, without both of those sites adding to the confusion.

Windows XP support stopped one and a half year ago. Creating new software that supports an OS that has been abandoned by the company that created and developed it, is weird. I do not say that since XP are gone they should be forgotten. V2 IMO works just fine and I have and I am using it for many long years now. But why would they create a new piece of software and afar from windows 7, 8 and 10 they would have to give support and fix bugs on an abandoned OS? I do not understand why there should be given a warning, when Windows XP are no more.

PS: I still use Windows XP on one of my laptops, since it can't work well with anything else. I am though using logic, rather than personal needs about my old system.

I was surprised to see that Best Free Folder Synchronization Utility is not included in the related articles list for file copying. The main difference with a synchronizer is that it checks what is in the destination and compares it with the source files before copying. Maybe that is an option for you.

I use FreeFileSync for both synchronizing and copying files. It is free for commercial uses and runs on Windows (XP upwards), Mac OS/X and Linux. Reliability has been excellent although I've never checked to see if there is a verify option. One caveat is that it come with an OpenCandy installer which is less than ideal.

Probably because it is not specifically for copying. I mean sure there are image editors that are great image viewers, but to suggest one as an image viewer, to a person that would not like the extra image editing capabilities, would be weird. At least to me.

I tried your link for FastCopy v3-0-6 32bit, but that took me to strange (and foreign) places.
Our readers may prefer this link -
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/File-Management/FastCopy.shtml

Why is taking so long for Windows 10 software to come out of its shell?

FastCopy has been updated to version 3.03 (full changelog at http://ipmsg.org/tools/fastcopy.html.en#history).

I'm looking for a copier that can copy from several sources to one destination. That is, browse to a file or folder somewhere, mark it, repeat until done, then copy all to destinatioin location. I don't much care where in this process the destination location is specified, or how it's specified. I just want something with the capability of marking several things and sending them (either copying or moving them) to a destination. Anyone remember XTree or ZTree? I'd love something like that, but with a GUI, not the horrible pseudo-GUI run in a DOS window.

I thought one feature that I was missing from my favorite file copy utility: FastCopy is a pause function. I did discover that today, although it's not obvious, during a file transfer, there's a speed slider below the "Buffer", that's set to full speed. While transferring files, you simply need to push the slider all the way to the left to "Suspend" the transfer. Keeping the slider in-between will let you transfer files at various percentages of the full speed, that is you can set the priority. Not only is there a pause function, it's well implemented than other file copy utilities. Hopefully this tip is useful for the users who didn't know about it.

Thanks for the pointer George : )

I have trouble with TeraCopy on large jobs ... for me it tends to hang my system when left alone to copy files for several hours. I was just DuckDuckGo-ing for an alternative that has a pause option, and your comment here popped up which has made my day. I find FastCopy much more reliable than TeraCopy and the only thing missing for me was a pause function. It hadn't even occured to me try using the speed slider.

Thank you!

Do all of the reviewed programs VERIFY the copied files ?
I am not too fussed about which program is the fastest.

Thanks. I have W/8.1 on new PC (ASRock 970 EXTREME3; AMD 6350 3.9ghz; 8bg ram) and since 8.1 installed, every time i try to copy files to every USB stick i tried, and in different ports, Windows only copies some and then ends up saying the files i am copying (from a internal sata HD) no longer exist - but they do. And then it no longer recognizes the USB stick, or shows it but cannot do anything with it.

Going into sleep/suspend and waking up again enables me to get a reinserted stick recognized sometimes, but the same issue is replicated.

However, FastCopy works file and full in copying them, even if the interface looks like W/95. Thank God for alternatives as this. Even the latest Windows needs them.

SchizoCopy: Features * Simple, Fast, Powerful and Fully Graphic User Interface * Complete Backup support for handling files operations in case of any unexpected system Shutdown * Faster Speed and Security than Windows native tool * Options for "Pause" and "Resume" for pausing and resuming any ongoing operations * Fully Unicode support. * Options for "Copying in Silent mode" - benefit to all gamers for consuming less System RAM. * Keyboard Binding with Windows support thus you copy in the same way as you use to copy with Windows native tool. Ctrl+C/Ctrl+X and Ctrl+V for Copy/Move and Paste * Drag and Drop support. * Multithreading and Multiprocessing. * Queue support for appending all files/folders. http://sourceforge.net/projects/schizocopy/ http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/File-Management/SchizoCopy.shtml
In the latest tests performed at Raymond, Fast Copy came out top as the fastest file copy utility. Extreme Copy Standard came as fast as FastCopy, and is a great piece of software but came last in copying files over n/w. http://www.raymond.cc/blog/12-file-copy-software-tested-for-fastest-tran...

Hi Raymond,
Do you know if Fast Copy will spans disks?
i.e. Copying multiple files or simply one gigantic file to a cd or dvd where the files or file will not "fit" on one disk.

Now Supercopier 4 based on Ultracopier. And Ultracopier 1.0.1.2!

Hi, all....

The revue of FastCopy mentions it can be used without being installed. Boy, do I feel dumb for asking, but could someone tell me how I go about doing that?

Also, I have an older rig running WinXP 32-bit Pro that seems to have caught a "virus" (that somehow got by my always-updated, real-time-scanning, McAfee anti-virus software) that won't let me connect to the internet, won't let McAfee run a virus scan, and won't let me copy any files (the "Copy" command is there, but the "Paste" command is absent after I highlight files and click on "Copy").

Given the situation above, can anyone suggest how I can copy the files on my C: hard drive to an external hard drive, in an effort to save them, before I (apparently have to) re-format my C: drive?

Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks, guys.

Rather than look for a different copy software, or, taking out files, you should look for ways to clean the infection out of your system. If the infection is removed, your copy process will start to work normally, and there won't be any need to take files out. Also, if you take files out before removing infection, chances are that the infected files will also be copied along with the non-infected ones, and when you copy those files back after a reformat and reinstallation, the infection will be back. So, do alternate scans with other security software, like Malwarebytes Antimalware, Superantispyware, Kaspersky Rescue Disc, etc. If you are not comfortable doing it on your own, get some help at www.bleepingcomputer.com forum, where they will guide you properly. Also, since the normal copy process is not working, I don't think a copy software will work too.

Supercopier 3 and Ultracopier 0.4.0.4 is out!