How do you copy files from one drive to another drive?

Updated: 09/15/2017 by Computer Hope

copy filesWhen working with multiple drives you may need to copy files from one drive to another drive. Below are the steps on how to copy and move files between multiple drives.

Microsoft Windows users

To copy files from one drive to another drive in Windows, perform the same copy actions you typically would to copy a file in Windows and then paste the files into the new drive location. For example, if you wanted to copy pictures from a USB flash drive, open the drive from My Computer and copy the pictures or folder containing the pictures. Once copied, move to the location you want to copy the pictures and paste them into that location. For example, you could copy the pictures into the My Pictures folder.

Tip: If you are unfamiliar with how to copy files on a computer, see our how to copy files page for further information and examples.

MS-DOS and Windows command line users

To copy files between drives in MS-DOS or the Windows command line, use one or more of the commands below.

copy c:\myfile.txt d:

The above command would copy the file "myfile.txt" on the C: drive to the d: drive.

copy *.txt e:

The above command uses a wildcard to copy all text files in the current directory to the E: drive.

copy f:\example.xls

The above command would copy the file "example.xls" on the F: drive to the current directory. For example, if you were in the C:\> drive, it would copy it to the root of the C:\ drive.

Tip: If you need to switch between drives, type the letter of the drive followed by a colon at the command line. For example, to switch to the 'I' drive, type "i:". If done correctly, it should change your prompt to "I:\>". Once at the desired drive, the same commands above can still be used, substituting the drive letter for where you want to copy the files.

Other Graphical User Interface (GUI) users

Today, all GUI operating systems operate the same way by using the copy and paste functions to copy files and other objects. To copy files from one drive to another ,follow the steps below.

  1. Browse to the location of your files you want to copy.
  2. Select the files you want to copy and then right-click and select Copy in the pop-up menu. You can also use the Ctrl+C keyboard shortcut to copy the selected files.
  3. Once the files have been copied, move to where you want to copy the files, right-click and select Paste to copy the files to that location. You can also use the Ctrl+P keyboard shortcut to paste the copied files.