By Ivy / Last Updated July 7, 2020

How do I backup only new or changed files?

“ I copy my files from Windows 7 to Server 2008 with the following command, but it copies everything. I just want to copy only newer files with XCopy, because these files are very large. It’s time-consuming. How to use XCopy command to copy only newer files? Any suggestion will be appreciated.

xcopy C:\source X:\destination /s”

Why copy only changed or updated files with XCopy?

Many users are willing to only copy new or modified files with XCopy. Here are 2 main reasons in the following.

1. Copying all files are time-consuming. If you copy all files, you will spend much time, even more than the first time. Thus, you may be tired of it and want to use XCopy switch to copy only new files.

2. Copying all files will occupy much space. Compared with only copying updated files, copying all files will occupy much disk space. Sooner or later, your disk may run out of space. To avoid this situation, you will use XCopy to copy only changed files instead of all files.

What does XCopy can do for you?

The XCopy is a command line in Windows 7/8/10/XP/Vista, which is used to copy files and folders or the entire directories from original location to a new one. XCopy has many options, so you can combine them according to your needs and then use it to copy files or directories, even only copying the updated files or folders.

Below is the XCopy command syntax:

xcopy source [destination] [/a] [/b] [/c] [/d [:date]] [/e] [/f] [/g] [/h] [/i] [/j] [/k] [/l] [/m] [/n] [/o] [/p] [/q] [/r] [/s] [/t] [/u] [/v] [/w] [/x] [/y] [/-y] [/z] [/exclude:file1[+file2][+file3]...] [/?]

How to copy only newer files with XCopy?

To copy only new files with XCopy, you can use the options /i /d /y. But some users report that this command will ignore the new directories by default. To copy everything, including new directories, you should add the /e switch.

NOTE: And if there are spaces in your directory names, you need to use quotes.

Now, see below and learn the detailed steps.

Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and select it.

Step 2. To copy only updated files with XCopy, type the following commands and hit Enter after each one. Please remember to replace “D:\Source” and ”F:\Target” with the path of your files.

set SourceDir=D:\Source

set TargetDir=K:\Target

xcopy %SourceDir% %TargetDir% /i /d /y

Xcopy Copy Only Newer Files

Step 3(optional). To copy everything, type the following commands and press Enter in order. Please remember to replace the following path “D\My Source\stuff” and ”F:\My Backup\stuff”.

Set SourceDir=”D:\Source\copy files”

Set TargetDir=”K:\Target\files copied”

xcopy %SourceDir% %TargetDir% /i /d /y /e

Copy Everything

Step 4. Type exit and hit Enter to leave this window.

It’s a little complicated for common users to use XCopy to only copy files that are newer. So, an easier way is needed. I recommend you to create a differential backup with AOMEI Backupper Professional. This feature is based on full backup and only backup the changed files or newly added files.

Easier way to copy only new or modified files

If you are afraid of making mistake, you can use the trust and reliable backup and restore software AOMEI Backupper. With the help of daily/weeky/monthly backup and incremental or differential backup feature, you can automatically backup only new or modified files. In addition, this software offers users more advanced features.

  • Backup Scheme: In order to save more time and reduce disk space, you can set backup scheme with a specific role to delete file backup.

  • USB plug in: To backup your files flexibly and take it everywhere, you can prepare a USB drive and create a schedule backup with "USB plug in" feature. It does not require any human interference.

  • Event triggers: To backup files at a time that doesl not interfere with any of your operations, "system shutdown" in this feature is recommended.

  • Wake the computer to run scheduled tasks: To create a scheduled file backup during off-peak hours, you can set the backup to midnight and tick "wake the computer to run scheduled tasks". Then, your computer wake up 2 minutes before the task start.

Compared with using XCopy command to copy only newer files, this way is much easier. But this version only supports Windows 7/8/10/XP. So if you are running server-based operating system, you need to use AOMEI Backupper Server.

Then, see below and learn the specific steps.

Step 1. Download AOMEI Backupper Professional, install and launch it.

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

Step 2. Click Backup and File Backup subsequently.

File Backup

Step 3. Click Add File or Add Folder to select the files or folders you want to backup and then click OK.

Add File or Folder

Step 4. Click the drop-down menu and select a destination path for your backup.

Select Backup Destination

Step 5(Required). Click Schedule, select daily/weekly/monthly backup from the General settings, then select incremental or differential backup from the Advanced settings. After that, confirm all the selected settings and click Start Backup.

Schedule Settings General

Bonus tip

Reading here, you may know how to copy only newer files with XCopy. To be honest, it’s not suitable for common users. They rarely touch the command line. So, I highly recommend you copying the changed file with AOMEI Backupper. With a clear interface and user-friendly design, it makes all the steps become easier. You just need click the respective button.

If you still don’t create a different backup for your files, download this software and backup your files.