By Nicky / Last Updated October 25, 2019

User case

“I usually use Robocopy command: robocopy <Source> <Target> to copy files to a drive, but this command has a problem: Robocopy copies all files each time, which takes around 12 hours. And now, there are around 800GB files on the storage drive that make the drive almost full. Can I only copy new or changed files with Robocopy each time? Any suggestion will be appreciated.”

Why copy only changed or new files with Robocopy?

Robocopy can help you copy files between computers over a network, mirror directories anywhere the computer has access, or copy drives to another location. But why people only want to copy changed and newer files to destination with Robocopy? Here are two main reasons:

  • Time-saving: Copying all files each time with Robocopy will take a long time. As the number of files increases, the time consumption will increase.

  • Disk space-saving: Copying all the files every time will quickly run out of disk storage space, and there will be many duplicate files. In this case, you’d better copy changed or new files only.

Copying changed or new files only via Robocopy command

Step 1. Click Start and type cmd in the search box. Right-click Command Prompt from the list and select Run as administrator.

Step 2. Now, when you're in the command prompt, you can use robocopy command :

robocopy <Source> <Target> / maxage:

Note: Parameter “/maxage:” indicates that the farthest modification time, the file whose modification time is older than this will not be copied.

For example, if you only want to copy added or modified files in 7 days from folder1(D drive) to folder2 (E drive), you can run the following command:

robocopy D:\folder1 E:\folder2 / maxage:7

Robocopy

There are some common "Parameters":

  • /XC :- eXclude Changed files.

  • /XN :-eXclude Newer files.

  • /XO :-eXclude Older files.

  • /IS :- Include Same files.

  • /E:-means copy all subdirectories including empty folders

Actually, most users are not familiar with the use of the command line, and there are a lot of parameters in Robocopy that may make you feel confused. Therefore, you can use a user-friendly migration tool like AOMEI Backupper Professional to help you copy files.

Easier way to copy only new or modified files

AOMEI Backupper Professional is a reliable data migration tool for Windows 10/8/7, XP and Vista. With its Differential Backup features, only changed or new added files will be copied to destination automatically. So, the backup time and image file storage space required are both less.

In addition, if you are a Windows Server user, you can try another version–AOMEI Backupper Server.

Now, download AOMEI Backupper, install and launch it. Then, follow the detailed steps below to copy changed or new files only with AOMEI Backupper.

Step 1. Click Backup and File Backup subsequently.

File Backup

Step 2. Click Add File or Add Folder to choose the files or folders you want to backup and then click OK.

Add File Or Folder

Step 3. Click drop-down list to select the destination path you want to copy files to. Cloud drive, shared folder, and NAS are available.

Select Destination

Step 4. (Required). Click Schedule and Advanced, then tick Differential Backup and hit OK.

Schedule Settings Advanced

Step 5. If there are no other questions, click Start Backup to execute the operation.

Summery

When you sync changes only with Robocopy in Windows, you must be very careful because incorrect operation may lead to serious consequences such as data loss. If you are not familiar with this Robocopy, you can turn to AOMEI Backupper.

It is easy to use with its user-friendly design and clear interface. So, you can easily set up a differential backup, letting this software automatically detect your changed or new files and sync them to your destination.