Best Free File Copy Utility

 
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

You might want to check out these articles too:

 
Quick Selection Guide

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.
Windows, Mac, Linux
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.
Windows 98 - Windows 7

To use this program as a portable version, run the executable "fastcopy.exe". No shell extension in this case.

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.
Windows 95-Windows 7, Linux

Non-English languages supported: Dutch, English, French, German, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish

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.
Windows 2000 - Windows 7

This program can be installed as a portable version.

 
Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Victor Laurie. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

 
Tags

copy files, fast copy files, best free copy software, free file copy software.

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Comments

by George.J on 26. May 2014 - 4:39  (116423)

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.

by sicknero on 1. July 2014 - 14:30  (117059)

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!

by crombierob on 8. December 2013 - 6:36  (112836)

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

by PBJ on 18. November 2013 - 13:50  (112334)

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.

by Panzer on 3. June 2013 - 8:40  (108234)

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

by George.J on 20. May 2013 - 8:31  (107885)

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...

by stkamman on 31. May 2013 - 4:54  (108172)

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.

by alpha_one_x86 on 16. May 2013 - 21:28  (107793)

Now Supercopier 4 based on Ultracopier. And Ultracopier 1.0.1.2!

by Stereoeggs on 14. March 2013 - 2:15  (106229)

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.

by Anupam on 14. March 2013 - 7:35  (106232)

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.

by alpha_one_x86 on 23. January 2013 - 12:48  (104752)

Supercopier 3 and Ultracopier 0.4.0.4 is out!

by Chris Chris (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 21:19  (99878)

Fast Copy - Anyone have a compilet version without virus ?
https://www.virustotal.com/file/acc89ee0f9c00708c599b01eebeec1af50baf694288f1677ee41aeab1707f921/analysis/

by UtilityNerd (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 22:20  (99884)

Its only 1/41 if you downloaded it from their website or a alternative website with good reputation (for example softpedia) you should have no worry, just a false positive.

by Chris Chris (not verified) on 27. September 2012 - 22:43  (99887)

Thanks for reply. OK will try that.

by cf (not verified) on 26. August 2012 - 16:41  (98324)

Have a look at this one : http://nicecopier.sourceforge.net/

by UtilityNerd (not verified) on 24. August 2012 - 17:31  (98258)

Another alternative would be Bit Copier on www.utilitynerd.com

by Anonymous_tvcxbg (not verified) on 20. August 2012 - 5:58  (97997)

Would be nice to have a program that offers shell integration, hashes the files and offers a slow and steady transfer mode with pause and resume. I don't need to transfer files at 500,000,000,000,000 GB per second, i just need to know that the files transferred are identical to the original. Is that so hard?

by Epsilon on 6. May 2013 - 12:07  (107490)

TeraCopy has never failed me. One of the main things I like about it is that it shows CRC matching data as the process is being performed. You can have it auto verify file copying and/or click a "Verify" tab to check manually or check again just to be safe.

I have used all the others like FastCopy (which did let me down badly) and most of the File Synchronization programs, but for my money TeraCopy is the best.

by Mike C on 9. August 2012 - 7:19  (97449)

Just thought this article was of interest in this category. The reason I use FastCopy is because I seem to get some corrupted or incomplete file transfer with the Windows 7 explorer, and it doesn't let me know this. However, if speed is of interest this article is very insightful. Got this from the news tab here on Gizmo. Do copy acceleration utilities actually lower file transfer speeds? Our tests say yes — freewaregenius.com

by Keith B.R. (not verified) on 25. July 2012 - 15:16  (96653)

I prefer "Extreme Copy" for it's simplicity & speed. When will u add it....?

Thx,

Keith

by Anupam on 25. July 2012 - 15:24  (96654)

The category is in need of an editor presently. When an editor takes over, he will look into the suggestions.

by Epsilon on 6. May 2013 - 12:10  (107491)

"...he will look into the suggestions."
^
Doesn't this website permit female editors?

:)

by Jim Carter (not verified) on 24. July 2012 - 21:49  (96620)

I just tested Fastcopy with a 28.8GB collection of files--mostly photos and some videos. Using XP I copied the files from the internal HDD to an external HDD. After adjusting the buffer to 768 in Fastcopy, I saved about 3 minutes times versus a simple drag and drop of the files in Windows. The program has it's uses, but I personally won't bother with it again for any transfer under 30GB.

by JF (not verified) on 21. July 2012 - 7:16  (96462)

When I try to download Fastcopy, it leads to a page entirely in Japanese
???

by JF (not verified) on 21. July 2012 - 7:20  (96463)

PS. Correction. When I try to download the executable, it downloads an html.file (ill_access.html), and when I run this, I get a page entirely in Japanese.

by Anupam on 21. July 2012 - 7:26  (96465)

Are you clicking on the download link at the top of their page... under FastCopy 2.11 download?

I am clicking on those links, and I am getting a Japanese info page, but the download starts after that.

by JF (not verified) on 21. July 2012 - 7:42  (96469)

But that link disappeared very quickly and download starts immmediately - of the Japanese html-page.
But download in English succeeded from:
http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/File-Management/FastCopy.shtml

by Anupam on 21. July 2012 - 7:45  (96471)

Well, don't know why it didn't work for you. Anyways, it's good that you downloaded from Softpedia. I was going to suggest that.

by Centauri27 (not verified) on 19. July 2012 - 20:07  (96413)

I've been using TeraCopy for a while and it's pretty quick and generally reliable. However one problem that has plagued me is that if you start a copy, then start another copy, TeraCopy is suppose to queue the second copy until the first is complete. But I've seen TeraCopy simply lock up or ignore my second copy in these instances. Tech Support for TeraCopy is very poor.

by Ultracopier (not verified) on 13. July 2012 - 21:41  (96149)

Ultracopier 0.3.1.0 is out

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