Robocopy GUIs: Driving Robocopy with the Mouse

Published:15 March 2022 - 8 min. read

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Robocopy is an exceptionally versatile tool for robust copying using the Windows command line. While an allure to some, all these versatilities can be daunting to others. But have you heard a Robocopy GUI exists?

There’s more than one GUI way to enjoy Robocopy’s power in a user-friendly package. And in this tutorial, you’ll get to explore a number of graphical interfaces to Robocopy.

Read on and feel the mouse clicks when copying from time to time!

Prerequisites

This tutorial will be a hands-on demonstration. If you’d like to follow along, be sure you have the following:

  • A Windows PC – This tutorial uses Windows 10, but later Windows versions will work.
  • An account with sufficient privileges to perform copy operations.
  • A source and destination folder – This tutorial uses the E:\pics path as the source folder and the D:\pictures path as the destination folder.

Mirroring a Directory with ChoEazyCopy as Robocopy GUI

The first out of a curated list of Robocopy GUI wrappers that you’ll examine in this tutorial is ChoEazyCopy. The command-line Robocopy tool allows you to mirror a directory using the /MIR switch. But ChoEazyCopy’s intuitive GUI attempts to give you full access to all the functionality Robocopy has.

1. Download and extract a copy of ChoEazyCopy from Cinchoo’s Github page. The version used in this article is 1.0.0.23.

2. After extraction, double-click the executable to launch ChoEazyCopy. You’ll be greeted with a screenshot similar to the one below.

Starting ChoEazyCopy
Starting ChoEazyCopy

3. Select the Source Directory under CHOOSE FOLDERS section. You can either type in the path or click the folder icon on the right of the text box. This source directory is where ChoEazyCopy will copy files/directories from.

Setting ChoEazyCopy’s Source Directory
Setting ChoEazyCopy’s Source Directory

4. Next, select the destination directory as you did in step one. This directory is where the files/directories you copied from the source directory will go.

Setting ChoEazyCopy’s Destination Directory
Setting ChoEazyCopy’s Destination Directory

5. Enable the MirrorDirTree option from the RoboCopy Options pane on the right-most side of the window. You can either scroll down to the corresponding checkbox or search for it in the search field, as shown below.

The MirrorDirTree option tells ChoEazyCopy to mirror the entire source directory you specified.

ChoEazyCopy doesn’t give you access to the command line directly. The commands are constructed under the ROBOCOPY COMMAND section based on selected options.

Checking ChoEazyCopy’s MirrorDirTree option
Checking ChoEazyCopy’s MirrorDirTree option

6. Now, enable the CopyFilesRestartableMode option in the RoboCopy Options panel, as shown below. This feature is known as restartable mode, which lets you resume a copy operation should interruptions occur, such as impromptu shutdown or network failure.

After enabling the CopyFilesRestartableMode option, you’ll see an additional parameter (/Z) in the command.

Enabling the Restartable Mode for Copy Operations
Enabling the Restartable Mode for Copy Operations

7. Enter the path of the log file to the AppendOutputLogFilePath option to enable logging in append mode, as shown below.

Enabling Logging with a Custom Log File
Enabling Logging with a Custom Log File

8. Finally, click on Run to start the copy operation.

You can enable the Test Run option to see the effect of a set of switches without actually copying anything.

You’ll see the copy operation progress in the OUTPUT section, as shown below.

Executing a Copy Operation
Executing a Copy Operation

Driving Robocopy with Robocop

Although you’re here to learn how to drive Robocopy with GUI tools, knowing that Robocop lets you manually type in a Robocopy command may come in handy.

Robocop is also a worthy alternative to other Robocopy GUI you’ve discovered so far. Robocop’s home page may look it’s missing a lot of options, but wait until you see what’s in the Advanced Options window.

Mirroring a Directory with Robocop

Like ChoEazyCopy, Robocop also has a straightforward GUI that lets you mirror an entire directory with a few clicks. The only difference is that Robocop creates a script rather than generating a command to perform a copy operation.

1. Download and run a copy of Robocop’s executable from SourceForge. The version used for this tutorial is 3.2.0.0.

You’ll see Robocop’s initial page like the one below.

Opening Robocop
Opening Robocop

2. Next, click on the text under Source to open a file explorer window and select your desired source directory, as shown below.

Setting a Source Directory to Robocop
Setting a Source Directory to Robocop

3. Like the source directory, click on the text under Destination to open a file explorer window and set the destination directory.

Setting the Destination Directory
Setting the Destination Directory

4. Now, check the MIR (Mirror) checkbox to set an action to mirror a directory.

Enabling Directory Mirroring in Robocop
Enabling Directory Mirroring in Robocop

5. Finally, click on Build Script, and you’ll be greeted with a prompt to agree to run your script immediately. Select Yes to start the copy operation.

Building Script to Perform Copy Operation
Building Script to Perform Copy Operation

Copying in Restartable Mode

Robocop does not give you access to most available options on the welcome screen. So what if you prefer to do something apart from the default options presented?

Thankfully, Robocop allows you to build your command by typing in the exact switches you want or selecting from a list of options.

1. Select the settings icon shown below to bring up the Advanced Options window (step two).

Accessing Advanced Options
Accessing Advanced Options

2. Select the Copy Options tab, and check the /Z option to enable restartable mode, as shown below.

Enabling the Restartable Mode Option
Enabling the Restartable Mode Option

If you prefer to log copy operations, click on the Logging Options tab, check the /Log+.file option, and type in the log file path (E:\cplog.txt) as shown below.

Enabling Logging Copy Operation
Enabling Logging Copy Operation

3. Finally, go back to the home page of Robocop and click on Build Script to run the copy operation based on the options you selected.

Building and running Robocopy script
Building and running Robocopy script

The copy operation should begin as in the screenshot below.

Viewing Copy Operation Progress
Viewing Copy Operation Progress

Mirroring a Directory with WinRoboCopy

Next on the list of Robocopy GUIs, you’ll be working on WinRoboCopy, version 1.3.5953, to be more specific. WinRoboCopy does not present you with a simple check box to turn on mirroring, unlike the other Robocopy GUI tools. But WinRoboCopy is no less than the other ones you already worked with.

Unlike the other showcased Robocopy GUI tools, which are portable, you’ll need to install WinRoboCopy on your machine.

1. Download, install and run WinRoboCopy on your machine.

2. Next, input the source and destination folders in the From and To text fields, respectively.

You can also click on the browser folder icons beside the text fields and select the source and destination folders.

Setting Source and Destination Directories
Setting Source and Destination Directories

3. Specify the list of files you want to copy in the Files field. Or input *.* to copy all files in the source directory, as shown below.

Specifying the List of Files to Copy
Specifying the List of Files to Copy

4. Now, type /MIR in the Other text field to set directory mirroring as the copy operation.

You can manually enter switches not covered in the default list of options under the Other text field.

Setting Directory Mirroring as the Copy Operation
Setting Directory Mirroring as the Copy Operation

Additionally, enable the Copy files in restartable mode (/Z) option to set the restartable mode.

Enabling Restartable Mode in WinRoboCopy
Enabling Restartable Mode in WinRoboCopy

5. Finally, click on Robocopy! to initiate the copy operation.

WinRoboCopy comes with a visual progress bar for each folder and file being copied, as you see below.

Initiating the Copy Operation
Initiating the Copy Operation

If you prefer to have copy operation logs, you’ll manually enter the switches in the Other text field since logging is not in the list of default options. Add /LOG+:D:\cplog.txt into the text box, where D:\cplog.txt is the log file and + implies append mode, before initiating the copy operation, as shown below.

Enabling Logging in WinRoboCopy
Enabling Logging in WinRoboCopy

Mirroring a Directory with RoboMirror

The final GUI tool you’ll explore is RoboMirror, created primarily as a user-friendly wrapper for Robocopy. Unlike the other Robocopy GUI tools, RoboMirror lets you perform multiple copy operations simultaneously by creating an individual backup task for each copy operation.

Similar to WinRoboCopy, you’ll first have to install RoboMirror on your machine.

1. Download, install and launch RoboMirror on your machine.

2. In RoboMirror’s home page, click on Add task, and a pop-up window appears where you’ll configure the copy operation as a task (step three).

Adding a Backup Task
Adding a Backup Task

3. Next, provide the Source and Target folders as shown below.

RoboMirror will not purge any files in the target folder unless you check the Delete extra files and folders option.

RoboMirror supports the Volume Shadow Copy mode by enabling the Use a volume shadow copy option if you’re copying files that may be in use.

Adding the Source and Target Directories
Adding the Source and Target Directories

4. Enable the Custom Robocopy switches option, type in /MIR for mirroring, then click OK to accept the settings.

Setting Directory Mirroring for the Copy Operation
Setting Directory Mirroring for the Copy Operation

If you prefer to go with the restartable mode instead, change the /MIR switch to /Z, as shown below, and click OK to accept the changes.

Supplying Restartable Mode Switch
Supplying Restartable Mode Switch

Although RoboMirror keeps a log of copy operations and a history of tasks, perhaps you want to have your custom log file for the copy operation. If so, add the /LOG+: switch to the Custom Robocopy switches field, as shown below.

Setting Custom Copy Operation Log File
Setting Custom Copy Operation Log File

5. Now, click on Backup to initialize the copy operation.

Starting a Copy Operation in RoboMirror
Starting a Copy Operation in RoboMirror

6. Finally, review the summary changes to be applied to your system, as shown below, and click on Proceed to continue the copy operation.

Viewing Pending Changes
Viewing Pending Changes

Below, you can see that RoboMirror displays visual progress of the copy operation based on the options and switches you set.

Copying files with RoboMirror
Copying files with RoboMirror

Conclusion

Throughout the article, you’ve learned ample ways to backup your data by driving Robocopy with the mouse using different Robocopy GUI tools. You can now comfortably use any Robocopy GUI tools to copy files and directories from and to different locations.

Most of Robocopy’s power comes from its extensive feature set. So why not make your next step getting further acquainted with Robocopy?

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