15 Free File Copy Tools Tested for the Fastest Transfer Speeds

Most of us know that it is possible to perform folder and file copy or move operations in Windows by either using your mouse to copy and paste, drag and drop or by using a number of keyboard shortcuts. Obviously the single biggest factor affecting the speed of any transfer is what medium you’re copying from or to such as hard drives, SSD’s, USB sticks, network etc. Another factor is how Windows itself deals with these operations, and all versions of Windows have never been quite as efficient at it as they could be.

Windows 8 Copy Dialog Box

With this in mind, it is entirely possible to shorten the duration of any copying or moving of files if you use a piece of third party software to take over operations instead of relying on the Windows built-in function. Not only can this help the speed of transfers, but you can also get other benefits like better information, queuing copies, pausing, skipping, and dealing with problematic files far better than what Windows does. We were curious to find out just how fast some of these programs actually are when copying and moving files around in Windows, so have gathered together 15 freeware tools to have a closer look. A few simple tests were carried out to try and determine which file copying tools are the fastest at performing file transfers in a few different real world scenarios. To try and cover some common file copy operations, 3 tests were conducted;

Test 1: Copy a number of small to medium files from one HDD to another.

4GB totaling 24,185 files / 6193 folders with sizes of a few bytes to 320MB.

Test 2: Copy 2 large files using the same source and destination as test 1.

2x Windows 8 ISO’s (x86 and x64) totaling 5.8GB.

Test 3: Copy over a 10/100 LAN network to the same destination as tests 1 and 2.

450MB totaling 5665 files / 723 folders with sizes of a few bytes to 320MB.

The source drive was a 10,000 RPM WD Raptor and the destination was a standard 7200 RPM SATA drive, both defragged. All the 3rd party software was run using their default transfer settings on a clean and fully updated install of Windows 7 64-bit. Each test was run twice and an average of the times was taken.

If you want to jump straight to the results table and a summary of the findings about who performed best and worst, they can be found on page 2.

1. Copy Handler 1.32

Copy Handler is a tool that while it sits in your system tray, can take over the file copying operations from Windows or monitor the clipboard for files. During a copy a small and simple window will appear with basic details, double clicking will give you the full window with a wealth of stats and past / present operations. There’s a number of pause and resume buttons, context menu entries can be added and an options window to configure most areas of the program.

Copy Handler

Multiple file copy test 1: 154 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 141 seconds
Network copy test 3: 98 seconds

Download Copy Handler


2. ExtremeCopy Standard 2.1.0

There are 2 different version of ExtremeCopy, the standard free one and the full shareware version. Functions such as copy or collision options, window position, failed file recovery and the buffer size are disabled in the free version, but you can still integrate it into Explorer to take over the standard Windows file copy functions. Pause, skip and verify are also present. A small options window pops out from the copy dialog using the arrow in the top left. For the USB stick a slightly older portable version is also available.

ExtremeCopy

Multiple file copy test 1: 111 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 86 seconds
Network copy test 3: 262 seconds

Download ExtremeCopy Standard


3. FastCopy 2.11

FastCopy is a tool that’s been recommended by a lot of people over the years because it’s a simple and yet incredibly fast file copier. There are a number of buffer options to tweak the performance even further, basic or advanced file filters, an NSA method wipe and delete option, verify and copy / sync / differential / overwrite copy modes. It also has several options for adding context menu entries and extensive command line options, although something missing is a pause or skip button. Watch out for the weird uninstaller where you have to rerun the setup exe.

FastCopy

Multiple file copy test 1: 110 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 86 seconds
Network copy test 3: 79 seconds

Download FastCopy


4. FF Copy 1.0

FF Copy is relatively simple copying tool where you select or drag and drop multiple selections of files and folders onto the window and they will be copied or moved to the destination you select from the button or drop down. There are no other options to speak of and this tool probably functions best when you want to quickly send files from multiple locations to several different folders and then let it process them.

FF Copy

Multiple file copy test 1: 163 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 86 seconds
Network copy test 3: Refused to copy the folder, gave an error every time.

Download FF Copy


5. KillCopy 2.85

KillCopy is a copy tool that doesn’t look too great out of the box and the theme below called “Standart” was about the best built into the program. There are some downloadable themes from the website but they aren’t that great either. The program itself has several useful features such auto resuming after a system crash, parallel copy mode and several boosting and buffer settings to try and eek out that extra few MB/s. KillCopy can place copy and move entries onto the context menu and can also be setup to be the default copy handler replacing Explorer.

KillCopy

Multiple file copy test 1: 131 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 88 seconds
Network copy test 3: 78 seconds

Download KillCopy


6. Mini Copier 0.5

This copying tool is a little different than the others here because it was written in Java meaning there are different versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, although this does make for a hefty 20MB installer. The program is similar in looks to SuperCopier but adding files and folders is done entirely by dropping them onto the red basket in the program’s window. When you’re ready to copy, drop the destination folder onto the right icon and the process will begin. Standard pause and skip buttons are available.

MiniCopier

Multiple file copy test 1: 166 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 89 seconds
Network copy test 3: 130 seconds

Download Mini Copier


7. NiceCopier 12.10.31

NiceCopier does actually live up to its name and is quite a nice looking tool and will show you either a small progress window in a corner of the desktop or expand to a full dialog window where you can alter the transfer speed and edit the files list including any ignore / replace / rename options that need to be configured. NiceCopier will take over Windows file operations while it’s running in the system tray and while there’s a lot of information in the dialog windows, it’s all relevant and well laid out. A large window will alert you to any file collisions etc.

NiceCopier

Multiple file copy test 1: 147 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 87 seconds
Network copy test 3: 129 seconds

Download Nice Copier


8. PerigeeCopy 1.6

PerigeeCopy has several useful functions built in such as replacing Explorer for default file operations, using or ignoring the recycle bin when deleting files, leaving errors until the end of the copy process and 6 different overwrite options. The main copy dialog is quite informative but there are no extra features like pause, queue or skip for that extra bit of control.

PerigeeCopy

Multiple file copy test 1: 186 seconds
ISO copy test 2: 89 seconds
Network copy test 3: 101 seconds

Download PerigeeCopy

File copy tools 9 – 15 and the results/summary are on page 2.

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