Ways to Copy Files Faster in Windows 10 and 11

Transferring files from one location to another is a task we often take for granted—that is until we’re faced with a large volume of data and the transfer speed seems akin to a snail’s pace. Whether for work or personal use, slow file transfer can be a frustrating hindrance. Fortunately, there are several methods to speed up this process on both Windows 10 and Windows 11, ensuring your files move swiftly and your productivity doesn’t take a hit.

ways to copy files faster in windows 10 and 11

Using File Explorer

Despite its straightforward interface, File Explorer in Windows 10 and 11 is a powerful tool that can handle file transfers efficiently.

  1. Begin by opening File Explorer with the shortcut Win + E.
  2. Navigate to the files you wish to transfer.
  3. Select the files or folders by clicking on them. For multiple items, hold Ctrl and click on each one.
  4. Right-click on the highlighted items and choose “Copy” or “Cut”.
  5. Go to the destination folder.
  6. Right-click on an empty space and select “Paste”.

Summary: This method is user-friendly and doesn’t require any additional software, making it ideal for users of all levels. However, its speed is standard and might not be the fastest option for larger files.

Utilizing Shortcuts

Keyboard shortcuts offer a faster alternative to copying files, eliminating the need for a mouse.

  1. Open File Explorer (Win + E).
  2. Locate and select your desired files using Ctrl or Shift for multiple files.
  3. Press Ctrl + C to copy or Ctrl + X to cut.
  4. Navigate to the destination folder.
  5. Press Ctrl + V to paste.

Summary: Keyboard shortcuts can streamline the copying process, though the improvement over traditional methods may only be marginal for the average user.

Setting Process Priority

Altering the process priority can expedite file copying by giving the task more system resources.

  1. Start copying your files using File Explorer.
  2. Open Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  3. Go to the “Details” tab.
  4. Find the “explorer.exe” process, right-click, and navigate to “Set priority”.
  5. Select “Above normal” or “High”.

Summary: This can make file copying slightly faster, but be cautious as increasing the priority may affect the performance of other applications.

Disabling Search Indexing

Search indexing can slow down file copying since it’s another process that consumes resources.

  1. Press Win + S and search for "Indexing Options”.
  2. Click “Modify” and uncheck locations that are often involved in file transfers.
  3. Click “OK” to apply the changes.

Summary: Disabling search indexing will speed up file copying especially on HDDs, but might slow down file searching.

Using Robocopy Command

Robocopy is a command-line utility that provides more control and faster transfer speeds.

  1. Search for “Command Prompt” in the Start menu.
  2. Right-click and run as administrator.
  3. Use the Robocopy syntax: robocopy [source] [destination] [file(s)] [options].
  4. Press Enter.

Summary: Robocopy can significantly increase speeds, but requires a bit of command-line knowledge.

Turning Off Remote Differential Compression

This feature can sometimes slow down transfers as it checks for file changes during a transfer.

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Go to “Programs” and then to “Programs and Features”.
  3. Click on “Turn Windows features on or off”.
  4. Locate “Remote Differential Compression” and uncheck it.
  5. Click “OK” and restart if required.

Summary: Turning it off can help in some cases. However, the average user might not notice a significant speed increase.

Using Alternative File Managers

Third-party file managers can be more efficient than the built-in File Explorer.

  1. Download and install a reputable third-party file manager.
  2. Open the program and use its interface to copy files, which often mirrors the steps used in File Explorer.

Summary: These can be faster, provide additional features, but might overwhelm a novice user with options.

Updating Drivers

Outdated storage drivers can throttle speeds. Ensure they’re updated for optimal performance.

  1. Open Device Manager with Win + X.
  2. Expand “Disk drives”.
  3. Right-click on your drive and select “Update driver”.

Summary: This can help if drivers are outdated, though it may not have a noticeable impact if drivers are already up to date.

Optimizing Drives

Over time, drives can become fragmented, especially HDDs, slowing down file transfers.

  1. Search “Defragment and Optimize Drives” in the start menu.
  2. Select your drive and click “Optimize”.

Summary: This can improve overall system performance, including file transfer speeds.

Configuring Performance Options

Adjusting system settings for best performance may help speed up transfers.

  1. Press Win + S and search for “Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows”.
  2. Under the “Visual Effects” tab, choose “Adjust for best performance”.
  3. Click “Apply” and “OK”.

Summary: This could make the system faster but will reduce the visual aesthetics of Windows.

In conclusion, slow file transfers can be a nuisance but, with these methods and tips, you should see a noticeable improvement in transfer speeds on Windows 10 and 11. Whether by leveraging built-in utilities like Robocopy, optimizing system settings, or using third-party file managers, there are several ways to streamline the process. The key is to find the balance between improving speeds and maintaining system stability and usability.


Can these methods damage my computer or files?

No, these methods are safe to use and should not damage your computer or files when followed correctly.

Will these methods work with all types of files?

Yes, these methods can be used to copy all types of files, but performance may vary depending on file size and type.

Do I need any special software to copy files faster?

While you can use third-party software to potentially increase speed, many of the methods listed use built-in Windows features.

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