How Do I Copy a File in Windows?

Copy Files in Windows 7, Vista, & XP

There are many, many reasons why you might want to copy a file in Windows, especially if you're trying to fix a problem.

A file copy might be necessary during a troubleshooting process if, for example, you suspect a corrupt or missing system file. On the other hand, sometimes you'll copy a file to provide a backup while you make changes to an important file that might have a negative impact on your system.

No matter the reason, the file copy process is a standard function of any operating system, including all versions of Windows.

"How Do I Copy a File in Windows?"

A file copy in any version of Windows is most easily accomplished from within Windows Explorer.

It's really, really easy to copy a file from within Windows Explorer, no matter which Windows operating system you're using. You might know Windows Explorer as Computer or My Computer but it's all the same file management interface.

Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP all have slightly different processes for copying files:

See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which of those several versions of Windows is installed on your computer.

Important: Keep in mind that a file copy is just that - an exact copy. The original file is not removed or altered in any way.

Note: In addition to the file copy methods I've linked to above, you can also copy a file from within Recovery Console in Windows XP and from the Command Prompt in any version of Windows.