How to Copy & Paste Files Using Command Prompt

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Although many people regard the command line as something to be relegated to the dustbin of computing history and forgotten, it is still a powerful tool for accomplishing any number of basic computer tasks. One task that is commonly done using a graphical user interface is the copying of files. In a GUI, this procedure takes two distinct steps--copying and pasting--on a command line, it can be done in a single step.


Finding the file to be copied

Step 1

Open a command prompt. On a Windows computer, press "Windows-R" to get the run prompt, and then type in "CMD.exe." On a Unix-based machine, open your terminal program.


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Step 2

Wait for the terminal to appear. On a Windows machine, type in the following to select the drive your files are located on: ":/" Replace with the appropriate letter corresponding to your drive. Skip this step for a Unix-based operating system.

Step 3

Type in the following: "cd /" Replace with the name of the folder that your target folder resides in. Replace with the target folder's name. There may be more than one parent folder; if so, add the them into the path as follows: "cd //"


Step 4

Make a note of the destination folder you wish to copy your files into. It should be something like this: "/"


Step 5

Enter the following command to copy your chosen file from the original folder to the new one:


In Windows: "copy <example.txt> :///"

In Unix: "cp <example.txt> ///

Replace the variables with the above-mentioned info, and make sure to include all of the spaces and slashes.



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