Here is a proof-of-concept of the problem I want to describe.

  • Create a my folder and inside it, create a symlink of ANY other outside file (i.e. original.txt)
  • Move the original.txt to other location, or even just rename. (its symlink still stays in my folder)
  • Try to copy/move the my folder.

Windows copy window will hang forever:

enter image description here

However, if you delete (or rename) the symlink itself, the copy will continue well.

It is very annoying as I have thousands of files (CMS, etc..) symlinked across different projects, and I am searching how to FORCE WINDOWS , NOT TO STUCK on those cases.


I cannot duplicate a hang. In Windows 10 I get instead an error dialog. You might look for it, as it might have gone below Explorer and is hidden.

enter image description here

The only solution to avoid such problems is to use another utility that continues on for such cases.

A batch utility is robocopy. According to my test it will issue an error, but will copy everything (including the faulty symlink!).

A GUI utility is FastCopy, which is true to its name. It will only copy good files, ignoring faulty symlinks. Setting the option "Nonstop" will not issue any error dialog.

  • 2
    I think the hang only occurs when the symlink's target is offline/missing/invalid. Jul 16 '20 at 19:46
  • robocopy stops at .symlink files for me. and it tries again after 30 seconds. What i did is i delete the file, it continues then i restore the file.
    – A Khudairy
    Oct 22 '20 at 13:11

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