Robocopy, acronym for Robust File Copy, is a command-line directory replication and file copy command utility that first made available as feature in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, although it has been available as part of Windows Resources Kit. In Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008, Robocopy utility is further enhanced with ability to multi-threaded copy operation feature.

Multi-threaded support allows Robocopy to open multiple threads simultaneously, allowing many files to be copied in parallel. With multi-threaded copying, total time required to complete the operation will be drastically reduced and cut, when comparing with with typical copying one file at time in serial sequential order.

How to Perform Multithreaded File Copies with Robocopy in Windows 7

As Robocopy is generally a command-line only utility (although a GUI add-on is available for Robocopy), the new multi-threaded operation capability has to be called via a new switch supported by Robocopy. The new multi-threaded copy feature can be enabled and turned on with the following parameter:

/MT[:n]

Where n will instruct Robocopy to do multi-threaded copies with n threads (default 8). The value of n must be at least 1 and not greater than 128 (between 1 to 128), with 1 as single thread. In fact, Robocopy will copy files and folders in multi-threaded operation by default, with 8 threads in one go. Note that /MT[:n] switch is not compatible with the /IPG and /EFSRAW operations.

For example,

robocopy C:\MyDigitalLife C:\ILoveMyDigitalLife /MT:88

More tips and tricks on using Windows 7 is available.

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