Copy Directory or File in Windows PowerShell


How to copy a directory or file to a new location in Windows PowerShell? Can I use the old "copy" command?



Yes, you can still use the old "copy" command in Windows PowerShell. But "copy" is defined as an alias of the "Copy-Item" cmdlet.

The Copy-Item cmdlet copies an item from one location to another location in the same namespace. For example, it can copy a file to a folder, but it cannot copy a file to a certificate drive.

Copy-Item does not cut or delete the items being copied. The particular items that the cmdlet can copy depend on the Windows PowerShell provider that exposes the item. For example, it can copy files and directories in a file system drive and registry keys and entries in the registry drive.

Copy-Item can copy and rename items in the same command. To rename an item, enter the new name in the value of the Destination parameter. To rename an item without copying it, use the Rename-Item cmdlet.

The "Copy-Item" cmdlet requires 2 minimum parameters:

  • "-Path ..." - Specify the path of the directory or file to be moved. This parameter is defined as the first positioned parameter. So you can provide the path as the first parameter without parameter name.
  • "-Destination ..." - Specify the new directory where the item will be moved to. This parameter is defined as the second positioned parameter. So you can provide the new directory as the second parameter without parameter name.

The example below copies the mar1604.log.txt file to the C:\Presentation directory. The command does not delete the original file

PS C:\fyicenter> Copy-Item C:\Wabash\Logfiles\mar1604.log.txt C:\Presentation

The example below copies the entire contents of the Logfiles directory into the Drawings directory. If the LogFiles directory contains files in subdirectories, those subdirectories will be copied with their file trees intact. The Container parameter is set to true by default. This preserves the directory structure.

PS C:\fyicenter> Copy-Item C:\Logfiles -Destination C:\Drawings -Recurse


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2016-10-24, 507👍, 0💬