Robocopy Sync Changes Only vs Easy Data Migration Software

Whether you want to sync changes only with robocopy or an easy way, you can get them. Hurry up and learn more below.


by Delia Updated on December 16, 2022

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Need help: Robocopy - only copy new/changed files


The Robocopy command works well in prvious, but when I try to copy files to a samba share, a problem occurs: 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.  Below is the command line I'm using:

robocopy d:\ \\samba\share\ /e /z /r:0 /w:0 /copy:DAT /xd $RECYCLE.BIN /xd "System Volume Information

Can I only copy new or changed files with Robocopy each time? Also, is there any better solution thant Robocopy? 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.

How do I use robocopy sync changes only without any obstacle?  

Step 1. Click Start and type cmd in the search box. Then, 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. Its syntax is: robocopy source destination [file[file]...] [options], here we will use parameter /XO and or /maxage:n

To be specific: 

robocopy source destination  [file[file]...] /maxage: n


robocopy source destination [file[file]...] /XO  /maxage: n

Parameter “/maxage: n” indicates that the farthest modification time or the specific date, the file whose modification time or date is older than this will not be copied.
Parameter "/XO" is used to exclude older files, and usually done with the parameter"/maxage: n".

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

Also, you can type as:

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


There are some common parameters you may use while performing robocopy copy only newer files to destination. For more parameters, you can type robocopy /? to learn and find the one you need. 

  • /XC :- eXclude Changed files.

  • /XN :-eXclude Newer files.

  • /XD dirs [dirs]: - eXlude directories mathcing given names and paths.

  • /S: -Copy subdirectories, excluding empty ones

  • /Z: - Restartable mode

  • /fft: -make the modify time comparison more tolerant(2 seconds granularity)

  • /Mir: Mirror a directory tree

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 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista that can help you sync changes only. It has two useful features, namely, "Incremental Backup" and "Differential Backup", which is designed to copy only changed or new added files to destination automatically. And it works only when you set a scheduled backup task for files or folders you want to backup.

But they still have some differences you may need to know, and below is a brief chart for reference only.

Full Incremental Differential

In sum, if your backup drive is small, the incremental backup will be the best choice, because it requires the shortest backup time and the least backup storage. 

But if your disk is big enough to hold all of your files, you'd choose the differential backup to backup only changed or new files. Because it has advantages of backup speed and backup storage, and each backup is independent, thus, even if any backup in the middle is damaged, you still can restore files from backup in the event of a disaster.

Now, download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it. Then, follow the detailed steps below and copy changed or new files only with it. But if you are a Windows Server user, you can try another version–AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Click Backup and File Backup subsequently. Also, you could use the Cloud Backup feature.

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 Backup > Enable Scheule Backup and select backup settings you want. 


Then, select Backup Scheme at the lower location, and then choose Incremental Backup. By default, this software will create 6 incremental backups after one full backup. Besides, you can still delete old backup images regularly by enabling automatic backup cleanup.

Backup Only Changes

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


When it comes to robocopy sync changes only in Windows 11/10/8/7, 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 a GUI-based software AOMEI Backupper Stanard. 

It is easy to use with its user-friendly design and clear interface. So, you can easily set up a scheduled backup task, either incremental or differential backup, letting this software automatically detect your changed or new files and backup them to your destination. Anyway, you can get your files back no matter what happens.

Except for file backup, this software still supports system backup, disk backup, partition backup and cloud backup. And all the backup options, backup schedule and backup scheme also applies to these functions.  Please download it to have a try right now!

Delia · Editor
Delia owns extensive experience in writing technology-related blog posts, and has been a part of AOMEI since 2020 to provide expertise in data security and disaster recovery. She works with Windows operating systems, SQL databases, and virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V, specializing in troubleshooting and advising on data protection and migration.