With large iTunes libraries, huge photo collections, and huge video files taking up more and more space on our cheaper and cheaper drives, we can all use some better file copying tools than Windows provides out of the box. The free TeraCopy software allows you to copy large files over the network faster than using the default Windows copy function.
What does TeraCopy do that Windows Explorer doesn’t? Well, have you ever started copying a large number of files and later found out that it stopped in the middle of the copy due to one damaged file? Or what if the network connection drops in the middle of the copy and you want to resume where you left off? TeraCopy can take care of such situations. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Pause and resume copying the file. If you need to pause the copying process for any reason, TeraCopy allows you to do this with one click. Click again to resume copying!
Error recovery, continue copying files – TeraCopy can continue copying files if one of the files has a problem, for example, already existing in the target directory or unreadable due to corruption. TeraCopy can be configured to handle these scenarios using one of several options, and you can continue to copy the rest of the files. After everything is complete, you can fix the problems and re-copy only the problematic files.
Checking the accuracy of the target file – TeraCopy can check the copied files against the original files to check the accuracy and integrity of the copy.
Rapid File Copy – TeraCopy claims its technology can reduce copy times through dynamically adjustable buffers and asynchronous copying.
Shell Integration – TeraCopy also integrates into Explorer in two ways: you can right-click and select TeraCopy from the menu, or you can simply perform any copy operation normally and a pop-up window will appear asking if you want to use a copy of Windows or TeraCopy to perform the operation.
Now let’s take a look at the different ways to use TeraCopy Firstly, you can simply launch it by double-clicking the desktop or the start menu icon. This will lead to a basic GUI that is pretty simplistic and straightforward.
To get started, you simply drop the files you want to copy into the program window. Once you’ve done that, click on the text “Select target folder” and then click “Browse” to select the target location. You can also click the Copy To or Move To buttons to select the target folder.
The current version of TeraCopy (2.3) will not let you do anything until it fully calculates the size of all added files, which means that for large directories this may take a while. The next version (3.0), which will be released in early 2015, will fix this issue and start copying immediately. Now you can click the Advanced button to view the complete list of files.
Once you select the destination folder to copy or move, the process will start immediately and you will see the results listed. If the file was copied or moved correctly, you will see a green check mark on the left. You can also click the Verify button after the copying process is complete to check the integrity of the file after copying.
At the top, you’ll see a summary of processed files, errors, or missing files. The popup dialog only appears when the file already exists in the target directory and you need to manually decide what to do. It doesn’t make much sense for the computer to make a decision as it has no idea about your files.
The dialog is a bit tricky, so I’ll explain it here. The buttons at the bottom are only for moving files to a new folder. If you click Current File, only the current file will be moved to a different folder and you will see another pop-up if the problem occurs again with another file. If you click Current Folder, all files from the current folder being copied will be moved to the new folder if the file already exists. When it starts copying another folder, the dialog will appear again. If you click All Files, it will simply move any file in the process of copying to a new folder when the file already exists.
The buttons on the right side will save the files in the same folder as the original directory, but will either overwrite them or rename them. Clicking the Overwrite button will simply overwrite one file, while clicking All will overwrite all instances in which the dialog box normally appears. Clicking the Rename button will rename only one of the files with a different name, while clicking All will rename all files. You can also skip, which will not copy the file.
If you enter Explorer and perform a normal copy or move operation using CTRL + C, CTRL + V, or using the context menu, you will see a pop-up dialog asking which copier you want to use.
If you uncheck the box next to Show this dialog box, it will remember what you selected and use this copier next time. When using TeraCopy in this way, it will load an interface with the source and target already filled in and should start copying automatically.
The only frustrating thing I noticed was that UAC (User Account Control) kept showing up and I had to allow the app every time I wanted to perform a copy operation. Read my previous post on understanding UAC in Windows and how to disable it. You can also read this post which explains how you can bypass UAC for a single application.
In my own tests, TeraCopy copied many smaller files faster over the network and was about the same speed as Windows when copying fewer very large files. In any case, the fact that you can pause and resume transfers, fix bugs and integrate it right into the shell is worth using instead of Explorer. Enjoy!