Robocopy Backup Mode: How to Use It & Easy Alternative

What is Robocopy Backup Mode? How do I use it? Is there an easier way to replace it? Follow this article to find out.


By Miya Updated on December 8, 2023

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What Is Robocopy Backup Mode?

what is Backup Mode in Robocopy? Robocopy Backup Mode, often referred to as the "Backup" or "/B" mode in Robocopy, is a specific feature of the Robocopy (Robust File Copy) command-line utility in Windows. Robocopy is a powerful file copy tool that allows users to efficiently copy files and directories while providing various options for customization.

Robocopy Backup Mode

When Robocopy operates in Backup Mode, it ensures that files are copied while preserving various attributes and settings crucial for creating reliable backups. The key features of Robocopy Backup Mode include:

  • File Attributes: Copies file attributes such as read-only, archive, system, and hidden attributes.
  • Timestamps: Preserves file creation and modification timestamps, allowing the copied files to retain their original time information.
  • Security Settings: Copies security settings and access control lists (ACLs) associated with files and directories.
  • Ownership Information: Maintains file and folder ownership information during the copying process.

Next, we will show you how to use Robocopy in Backup Mode and give you a Robocopy backup example. If you don't want to use a complicated command line tool, you can use a free and easy-to-use Robocopy alternative program - AOMEI Backupper.

How to Use Robocopy in Backup Mode

To use Robocopy copy files in Backup Mode, you need to employ specific command-line options and switches that are designed to facilitate efficient and reliable file backups. The key parameters for backup mode include preserving file attributes, timestamps, and security settings. Here is an example command for using Robocopy in backup mode:

  • robocopy source destination /B /E /COPYALL /DCOPY:T /R:2 /W:2 /LOG:backup_log.txt

Explanation of the switches used in this example:
●source: Specifies the source directory.
●destination: Specifies the destination directory.
●/B: Copies files in Backup mode, allowing Robocopy to override file and folder ownership.
●/E: Copies subdirectories, including empty ones.
●/COPYALL: Copies all file information, including attributes, timestamps, security settings, and ownership.
●/DCOPY:T: Copies directory timestamps.
●/R:2: Specifies the number of retries on failed copies (adjust as needed).
●/W:2: Specifies the wait time between retries (adjust as needed).
●/LOG:backup_log.txt: Creates a log file to record the details of the backup operation.

Adjust the source and destination paths to match your specific setup. Additionally, you may customize other options based on your requirements. For a complete list of Robocopy options, you can refer to the official Microsoft documentation or use the robocopy /? command in the command prompt.

Attention: It's important to run the command with the necessary administrative privileges to ensure that Robocopy can access and copy all required files and directories.

Using command line tools is very complicated, which can be very painful and error-prone for people who don't know much about computers. In fact, you can choose another way to help you, that is, to use an easy free Robocopy alternative - AOMEI Backupper!

I'm going to tell you more about this program and how to use it, please read it carefully!

Easily Backup Files via Best Robocopy Alternative

Consider utilizing the excellent free backup software, AOMEI Backupper, for a straightforward file backup process without the complexity of the Robocopy command line. Let's delve into the features of this software:

✍Compatibility Across Operating Systems: AOMEI Backupper supports file backup on multiple operating systems, including Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista.
Automated File Backup: Enjoy the convenience of automatic file backups on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, scheduled at specific times. Say goodbye to concerns about forgetting to safeguard your crucial data.
✍Versatile Backup Types: Choose between full, incremental, and differential backup options. Opt for an exact copy of all files or capture only the changes. (Note: Differential Backup is a premium feature.)
✍Diverse Backup Locations: Variety of backup destinations, including auto backup files to external hard drives, internal hard drives, USB flash drives, network drives, cloud storage, network shares, or NAS devices.
✍Comprehensive Backup Scope: In addition to file backup, AOMEI Backupper enables you to back up your system, entire disk, or specific partitions with ease.

Experience the efficiency and flexibility of AOMEI Backupper for your backup needs, eliminating the complexities associated with command-line tools like Robocopy. Download this software now and follow these steps to perform file backup in Windows.

AOMEI Backupper

Best free Robocopy Backup Mode Alternative 

Step 1. Initiate AOMEI Backupper Standard by clicking its icon, revealing its distinctive deep-blue interface. Next, navigate to the Backup tab and select File Backup.

File Backup

Step 2. Select either Add File or Add Folder based on your specific requirements. Then, pick the files or folders you intend to include in the backup.

Add File or Add Folder

Step 3. Select the backup destination by clicking on the second box. Choose external hard drives, NAS network locations, or any other location detectable by Windows to store your backup files.

Select Destination

Step 4 . Utilize the Schedule Backup feature to automate the file backup task. Schedule backups according to your preference, whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, event triggers, or initiated upon USB plug in.

Schedule Settings

Explore two additional options located at the lower section: Options and Backup Scheme, providing customization for your file backup task.
Options: Customize your backup by adding comments, enabling email notifications, adjusting compression levels, and creating pre/post-commands.
Backup Scheme: Choose from 4 different backup schemes, enabling the deletion of older backups to free up disk space while retaining the latest versions. Note that this feature is available on AOMEI Backupper Professional at a minimum.

Step 5. Ensure all settings are satisfactory, and click Start Backup to initiate the file backup process.

Start Backup

Winds Up

This article describes in detail what Robocopy Backup Mode is and how to use it, and gives specific examples. Of course, command line tools are still too complicated for most common people, so you can follow the instructions in this article to back up your files using the novice-friendly free backup software - AOMEI Backupper!

This program is very easy to operate and can meet your different backup needs, providing you with a full range of security for your data! Why not try it now?

Miya · Editor
Miya has an excellent insight and receives professional and systematic technical training since joining AOMEI. She has a comprehensive understanding of computer issues, aiming at helping users troubleshoot all kinds of problems. A lot of computer users around the world have found her articles very helpful!