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I am using Windows 7 and I want to copy all PDF files inside a folder and inside all its subfolders in a new location. What is the command to do that?

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migrated from May 8 '13 at 4:17

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

If this a programming question? – David Heffernan May 8 '13 at 2:49
Open the main folder press Ctrl + F, type in *.pdf Select all the results and copy them to a new location. – Reda May 8 '13 at 4:54
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Use the xcopy command. You can go to a command prompt and type xcopy /? to get help using it.

For your particular question, the full command would be:

xcopy c:\sourcefolder\*.pdf c:\destinationfolder\ /e
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If you want all the PDFs to go into one folder:

copy <source path>\*.pdf <destination path> /s

If you want to keep the original folder structure:

xcopy <source path>\*.pdf <destination path> /s

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copy does not support the /s switch. – Kendall Frey Oct 20 '15 at 13:53

I strongly suggest you use RoboCopy as this has a wealth of options (far beyond the list I've provided). However, as you only want to copy PDF files, use this syntax

Robocopy C:\Users C:\UserBackup *.pdf

Robocopy Syntax
ROBOCOPY source destination [file [file]…] [options]
where source is Source Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path), destination is Destination Directory (drive:\path or \\server\share\path) and file is File(s) to copy where names or wildcards can be specified and default is “*.*” (all files).

Robocopy Options and Switches
Copy options :
/S :: copy Subdirectories, but not empty ones.
/E :: copy subdirectories, including Empty ones.
/LEV:n :: only copy the top n LEVels of the source directory tree.
/Z :: copy files in restartable mode.
/B :: copy files in Backup mode.
/ZB :: use restartable mode; if access denied use Backup mode.
/EFSRAW :: copy all encrypted files in EFS RAW mode.
/COPY:copyflag[s] :: what to COPY for files (default is /COPY:DAT).
(copyflags : D=Data, A=Attributes, T=Timestamps).
(S=Security=NTFS ACLs, O=Owner info, U=aUditing info).
/DCOPY:T :: COPY Directory Timestamps.
/SEC :: copy files with SECurity (equivalent to /COPY:DATS).
/COPYALL :: COPY ALL file info (equivalent to /COPY:DATSOU).
/NOCOPY :: COPY NO file info (useful with /PURGE).
/SECFIX :: FIX file SECurity on all files, even skipped files.
/TIMFIX :: FIX file TIMes on all files, even skipped files.
/PURGE :: delete dest files/dirs that no longer exist in source.
/MIR :: MIRror a directory tree (equivalent to /E plus /PURGE).
/MOV :: MOVe files (delete from source after copying).
/MOVE :: MOVE files AND dirs (delete from source after copying).

To use Robocopy is simple, just like how you would use Copy and Xcopy commands. For example, to copy entire folder of C:\Users to C:\UserBackup, simply type:
Robocopy C:\Users C:\UserBackup


More details

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Try this (on the command line):

for /r "c:\my\source folder" %i in (*.pdf) do copy "%~fi" "c:\my\destination folder\%~nxi"

On the explorer:

..with copy-past you can drag the source folder to the new destination while pressing the ctrl key.

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