Using Robocopy to Mirror Directories

by Barry Dysert
(last updated October 9, 2017)

3

Robocopy is the tool to use when working with entire directories, since that's what it was designed to do. Let's say you want to "mirror" directories, i.e., make two directory trees contain identical files/folders. This is similar to using the /E switch (which is covered under the tip titled "Using Robocopy to Copy Entire Directories") along with the /PURGE switch. (The /PURGE switch tells Robocopy to delete destination files/folders that no longer exist in source.) The shorthand switch to mirror directories is /MIR, so the command to mirror directories is:

C:\> ROBOCOPY C:\Temp1 C:\Temp3 /MIR

This results in the creation of C:\Temp3, and all of the files and folders under C:\Temp1 will be copied to the newly built tree under C:\Temp3. In addition, if C:\Temp3 already existed, any files in its tree that are not in the C:\Temp1 tree will be deleted from the C:\Temp3 tree.

 This tip (13197) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Barry Dysert

Barry has been a computer professional for over 35 years, working in different positions such as technical team leader, project manager, and software developer. He is currently a software engineer with an emphasis on developing custom applications under Microsoft Windows. When not working with Windows or writing Tips, Barry is an amateur writer. His first non-fiction book is titled "A Chronological Commentary of Revelation." ...

MORE FROM BARRY

What are the Limits on File Names?

It's good to know what the limits are when naming files, although in most cases the limits are sufficiently high that ...

Discover More

Understanding Windows Defender

There are a myriad of computer viruses always looking for new systems to infect. You can mitigate your risk of being ...

Discover More

Capturing a Screen Shot

There are a lot of reasons why you may want to capture screen shots. This tip shows how easy it is to do it.

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Specifying a Copy Schedule in Robocopy

There are a few ways to set up a copy schedule in Robocopy by using its options. This tip explains how.

Discover More

Changing User Permissions for a File

All objects on your computer (e.g., files) have permissions that allow or deny various types of access. This tip shows ...

Discover More

Encrypting a File Folder

Want to make the data stored on your system more secure? Think about enabling the built-in encryption capabilities of ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 4?

2018-03-02 23:45:56

george renee

Just to share one thing I read on a Microsoft TechNet:
Although useful in some scenarios, using /Z switch makes copying much slower.
"Copying files in restartable mode is about 6x slower over a network than in normal or backup mode due to the necessary management overhead."
..I use GS RichCopy Enterprise which has features like copying long file path names, copying NTFS file permissions and is not too costly..


2018-02-12 13:08:43

vikas

use robocopy


2017-10-10 11:55:22

Len Richard

I didn't understand exactly what mir did. I copied around 300 cds to an external drive, then delete them from the folder they were in, so I could store more there for backup. When I again backed up this folder to my external drive it wiped out everything i had previously backed up. I did a googlie on this and discovered I was not the only person who got screwed. There needs to be a clear Warning Visible that nobody can miss explaining this. I tried 10 free recover tools, none worked. I finally found a trial version of a recover software, it worked and it cost be 70 bucks to purchase it. It was either that or lose everything. Nice to notice you have this explained. Too bad every other person offering advice doesn't.


Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.