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I know that xcopy has more options however is there some benefit to using copy rather than xcopy?

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Which copy? This one? This one? –  JdeBP Feb 9 '12 at 12:12

2 Answers 2

up vote 13 down vote accepted
  1. xcopy is an external program, while copy is part of the interpreter (cmd.exe, command.com). This means that xcopy might not be present on another machine or a rescue disk.

    Since we have Windows and rescue CDs, that isn't really an issue anymore.

  2. copy can concatenate files.

    copy file1 + file2 file3
    

    creates a file (file3) which contains file1's and file2's contents.

  3. copy can copy more than just files.

    For example,

    copy con file
    

    lets you write directly from the keyboard (console) to file.

    Likewise, you can print a file using

    copy file prn
    copy file \\computer\printer
    

    where the latter is for shared printers.

    You can even combine the above: The command

    copy con prn
    

    lets you write directly to the printer.

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Also, it's one less character to type when invoking it. :) –  Scandalon May 31 '12 at 21:33
    
Wow, thanks for info regarding files concatenation. I've just found out it and understood why my result file was so big. You've made my day. –  Johnny_D Oct 10 '13 at 13:57

I think the main difference is (or was) that xcopy is able to copy folder hierarchies and copy was intended to work on files only.
That being said, I don't think there is anything to gain (functionality- or performance-wise) from using copy.

Please note, even xcopy is outdated by today's standards. Robocopy is the new copy utility of choice on modern Windows platforms.

Also note that all the mentioned copy utilities have Wikipedia articles that could contain further information:

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