How To Copy a File in Windows 7

You might want to copy a file in Windows 7 for any number of reasons. You may want to copy files to replace corrupted or missing ones or maybe to provide a backup of a file while you make changes to the original file.

The basic concept of a file copy is to create an exact duplicate of the file. The original file is not deleted.

The ability to copy files is a basic function of any operating system, including Windows 7.

There are several ways to copy a file in Windows 7 but the one I describe below is easiest.

Follow the steps below to copy a file from one location to another in Windows 7.

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: Copying any file in Windows 7 should take less than a few minutes unless the file is very large.

Here's How:

  1. Click on the Start button and then Computer.

  2. Locate the hard drive, network location, or storage device that the original file you want to copy is located on and double-click to open the contents of the drive.

    Note: If you're planning on copying files from a recent download from the Internet, check your Downloads folder, Documents library, and Desktop folders for the downloaded file.

    Many downloaded files come in a compressed format so you may need to uncompress the file to locate the individual file or files you're after.

  3. Continue to navigate down through whatever drives and folders are necessary until you find the file you want to copy.

    Note: If you're prompted with a message that says "You don't currently have permission to access this folder", click the Continue button to continue to the folder.

    Important: All you do when you copy a file is make an exact duplicate - you do not delete or change the file in any way.

  1. Highlight the file you want to copy by clicking on it once. Do not open the file.

    Tip: Want to copy more than one file (or folder)? Hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard and select any files and folders you want to copy. Release the Ctrl key when you've highlighted all of the files and folders you want to copy. All of those highlighted files and folders will be copied.

  1. Choose Organize and then Copy from the menu at the top of the folder's window.

    A copy of the file is now stored in your computer's memory.

  2. Navigate to the location where you want to copy the file to. Once you've found the folder, click on it once to highlight it.

    Note: Just to reiterate, you're clicking on the destination folder that you want the copied file to be contained in. You shouldn't click on any files. The file you're copying is already in your PC's memory.

  3. Choose Organize and then Paste from the folder window's menu.

    Note: If you're prompted to provide administrator permissions to copy to the folder, click Continue. This means that the folder you're copying to is considered a system or other important folder by Windows 7.

  4. The file you selected in Step 4 will now be copied to the folder that you chose in Step 6.

    The original file will be left unchanged and an exact copy will be created in the location you specified.


  1. Not a Windows 7 user? See How Do I Copy a File in Windows? for specific instructions for your version of Windows.

  2. Having problems copying a file in Windows 7? See Get More Help for information about contacting me on social networks or via email, posting on tech support forums, and more.