Is there a way (program?) that can let you safely merge two folders in Windows XP?

Obviously this can be done manually by opening the source and destination folders and moving everything, selecting No-to-All for any conflicts, then repeating with each and every subdirectory, however this can be incredibly tedious if there are more than a small handful of conflicts (besides, the whole point to computers/software is to automate simple, repetitive tasks).

In other words, I need in Windows XP, the folder-merge function that’s built into Explorer in Windows 7.

To properly reproduce Windows 7’s behavior (which is the right way), it has to meet a few basic requirements:

  • Nothing should be copied, even temporarily, if source and destination are on the same drive
  • No new folders should be created if source and destination are on the same drive
  • No timestamps should be modified (other than for modified folders on NTFS volumes)
  • No files or folders can be accidentally deleted (obviously)
  • There should be some sort of undo function (third-party apps would have to handle it themeselves)
  • It should be easy to use and automatic (i.e., not manually selecting the files to be merged)
  • It should have Yes-to-All and No-to-All options (technically part of the previous point)

Again, the goal is to merge the folders like in Windows 7, not diff them, so before suggesting something like WinMerge, remember what moving a folder in Windows 7 is like.

Figure 1: In Windows 7, moving a folder that already exists allows you to skip existing files but process the rest

Windows 7’s folder move conflict dialog

Figure 2: In Windows XP, moving a folder that already exists either overwrites all existing files or skips the whole folder altogether

Windows XP’s folder move conflict dialog

(I just did a fresh search and all of the first dozen or so results are purple because I have already seen them.) ⊙︿⊙

  • ClassicShell adds a conflict dialog. But I don't use XP any longer so I don't know if it works there. Aug 5, 2013 at 19:19
  • 1
    @magicandre1981, no ClassicShell only supports Vista+.
    – Synetech
    Aug 5, 2013 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Best solution to your described problem I can think of is program called http://codesector.com/teracopy I doubt the undo funcionality will work as you want tho.

  • Can you confirm that it actually does the other things I specified or are you just guessing? I clearly said that it must not copy anything to move objects on the same volume (i.e., copy-then-delete), which rules out things like RoboCopy, RichCopy, TeraCopy. I know for a fact that RoboCopy does, and I think I recall seeing the same behavior from the others.
    – Synetech
    Aug 5, 2013 at 16:32
  • I just tested TeraCopy and it does exactly what I specifically said it shouldn’t; it copies to move. I tried to move a file from C:\foo to C:\bar and it complained that it cannot move the file because it needs 50MB of free space on the drive. The drive has 80MB free and the file is 130MB. Clearly it copies the files and the moves them regardless of the source and destination. So obviously you were just guessing, so no soup for you!
    – Synetech
    Aug 5, 2013 at 17:19
  • can you use USB key if disk space is a problem?
    – Augustas
    Aug 6, 2013 at 5:56
  • Disk space is irrelevant, it must not copy files to move them. What if I wanted to move a few 1GB files (e.g., the contents of a DVD)? Even if I have enough space, I am not going to sit there and wait for it to copy 4GB just so that I can move it from c:\a to c:\b; that’s absurd.
    – Synetech
    Aug 6, 2013 at 13:35

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