Syntax and switches in MS-DOS window or PowerShell

The following command line includes the syntax and the switches for the xcopy and xcopy32 commands when you run it from an MS-DOS window:

xcopy **source** [ **destination** ] [/a | /m] [/d: **date**] [/p] [/s] [/e] [/w] [/c] [/i] [/q] [/f] [/l] [/h] [/r] [/t] [/u] [/k] [/n]


The square brackets ([]) indicate optional switches. The brackets aren’t part of the command.

The following table describes the optional switches you can use with xcopy and xcopy32 when you run the command in an MS-DOS window:Expand table

Optional switchesDescription
sourceSpecifies the file to copy.
destinationSpecifies the location and the name of new files.
/aCopies files with the archive attribute set. This switch doesn’t change the attribute.
/mCopies files with the archive attribute set, and turns off the archive attribute.
/d: dateCopies files changed on or after the specified date.
/pPrompts you before each destination file is created.
/sCopies folders and subfolders except for empty ones.
/eCopies any subfolder, even if it’s empty.
/wPrompts you to press a key before copying.
/cContinues copying even if errors occur.
/iIf the destination doesn’t exist, and you’re copying more than one file, this switch assumes that the destination is a folder.
/qDoesn’t display file names while copying.
/fDisplays full source and destination file names while copying.
/lDisplays files that are going to be copied.
/hCopies hidden and system files.
/rOverwrites read-only files.
/tCreates a folder structure, but doesn’t copy files. Doesn’t include empty folders or subfolders. Use the /t with the /e switch to include empty folders and subfolders.
/uUpdates the files that already exist in that destination.
/kCopies attributes. Typical xcopy commands reset read-only attributes.
/yOverwrites existing files without prompting you.
/-yPrompts you before overwriting existing files.
/nCopies using the generated short names.