Copy and move files faster, manage multiple tasks efficiently with Copy Handler

Windows Explorer’s file copy function is a decent option for most users. If you’re a power user and want more control over the operation, you can use third party tools like TeraCopy. Want something that’s open source? You may want to give Copy Handler a shot.

Copy and move files faster, manage multiple tasks efficiently with Copy Handler
The installer enables a Shell Extension in Windows Explorer, which is the recommended way to use Copy Handler. If you’re using the portable version without the extension, you’ll need to use the tray menu to manually add tasks, I’ll explain about this later in the article. It is worth mentioning that Copy Handler does not replace Windows Explorer’s file operation tool.

Copy Handler shell extension menu

Open Explorer and select any file or folder and right-click on it, you’ll see a bunch of new options that begin with the letters CH. These are the file copy operations added by Copy Handler.

Note: The Shell menu items won’t be available if the program isn’t running.

Even if you stick to the regular cut, copy and paste shortcuts (Ctrl + X, C, V) and you will still be able to use Copy Handler, e.g. select a bunch of files, use Ctrl + C, go to the destination folder, and use the right-click menu’s Copy CH option. This will make Copy Handler take over the file operation instead of Explorer.

Copy Handler mini-status

A small pop-up should appear near the system tray, this is the mini-status window. It has a bar to indicate the file transfer progress, and a toolbar that you may use to pause, stop, resume the operation.

Want more details about the process? Double-click on the tray icon and Copy Handler’s interface will appear. The small pane on the left-hand side lists each task that were run by the program. Select a task and its status will appear in the boxes on the right side of the screen. Use it to view the source and destination folders, the amount of data that was processed, the time taken to complete the task, the file transfer speed, etc.

Copy Handler - thread priority settings

Copy Handler’s primary GUI can be used for managing ongoing file operations, and it has options to set the buffer size, thread priority.

Copy Handler - buffer size settings

Let’s get back to the shell menu. Select some files or folders and use the menu to pick one of the following options: (CH) Copy To, or Move To, or the Copy/Move Special option. A small window pops-up which you can use to select the destination directory.

Note: I had some issues with the program’s shell menu options. If you click on CH Copy To/ Move to and try to browse Explorer without selecting the destination folder in Copy Handler, Explorer sort of freezes. To fix this, you’ll either have to close the destination picker window, or make your selection. Sometimes, there was a delay after which the window appeared. These issues seems to happen once in a while, so I can’t tell what triggers the freeze/delay.

Copy Handler file copy to window

You can avoid the three menu options, and use the CH Paste options as it has no problems. There is another method to use Copy Handler, the manual way.

Right-click on the tray icon and select “enter Copy Parameters” and a different window opens.

Copy Handler - tray menu

This GUI may look complicated, but it is not, actually. Click on the Add Files or Add Folders button (near the top-right corner) and navigate to the content that you want to transfer. Or, drag and drop the files and folders on to the GUI.

Copy Handler - manual task

Next, select the destination folder using the browse option next to the drop-down menu. Choose the file operation: Copy/Move. Advanced users may want to set the thread priority and buffer size, and also include/exclude files by size, date, attributes. Hit the OK button to process the task.

Copy Handler - manual task example

So, is it worth using over Explorer? Here’s a speed comparison that I did with Copy Handler. I used the same set of files, with programs running in the background.

Explorer file copy test start
Explorer file copy test end

Explorer completed the task in about 16 minutes, while Copy Handler finished it in just under 6 and a half minutes.

Copy Handler file copy test start
Copy Handler file copy test end

That’s sorcery, well not really because Explorer’s writing speed dropped and never really caught up, while Copy Handler tried to maintain its average speed at the cost of high disk usage. You can see the settings I used in the screenshot, they were the default options.

Copy Handler file copy test end status

Copy Handler is available in a portable version, the source code is available on this page. The program is fairly easy to use, the speeds were pretty good, but the issues with the shell menu was the only thing I didn’t like.

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