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How can I copy a file using DOS commands into a directory structure that may not yet exist? I need to be able to force the creation of the directory path to the target file location if that location doesn't already exist.

For example, there is already a file.txt in this location:


And I want to copy it to


but at this time


and all the subdirectories may or may not yet exist.

Basically, I am looking for a "copy and create the target path if necessary" command. What would you recommend is the best way to achieve this?

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Is this question actually about DOS (or MS-DOS), or is it about the command line found in NT based Windows versions (2000, XP, Vista, 7, 8, Server)? –  Bob Jun 21 '12 at 13:34
I meant the DOS-like Windows CLI. What do you recommend is the best way to describe "DOS-like Windows CLI" for the post title? –  nodmonkey Jun 24 '12 at 8:11
Generally, I would use Windows command line in the title/body, along with the tags windows and command-line (note that cmd.exe is a tag synonym of command-line). The tag ms-dos should be removed; and the tag dos should not be used at all under any circumstances. –  Bob Jun 24 '12 at 9:13
However, in this case, with the existing/accepted answers being for DOS/MS-DOS, you may as well leave it as-is. For future reference, DOS is/should be interpreted as the operating system(s). While the Windows command line is based on them, there are some notable differences. –  Bob Jun 24 '12 at 9:15
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3 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yeah, that's xcopy. Here's what it'll look like:

xcopy file.txt c:\example\new\path\to\copy\of\file\file.txt

XCOPY info at

You might also want to look into ROBOCOPY, in the XP resource kit and standard in Vista, Windows 7, and Server 2008.

robocopy . c:\example\new\path\to\copy\of\file file.txt
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DOS, wow! Anyway you use the XCOPY command.

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I tried using something like:

xcopy file.txt c:\example\new\path\to\copy\of\file\file.txt

But it would ask me if it was a file or directory. Since I had that in a batch file with 40000 files, it would be impractical. This solution only solves partially my problem: it creates the directory structure, but it requires user interaction. I found the solution to my problem here:


Which is basically to add a "*" at the end of the destination file:

xcopy file.txt c:\example\new\path\to\copy\of\file\file.txt*
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