Fix errors when copying files or folders in Windows

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As we say, these elements could be considered as keys on any PC, but they are not exempt from possible failures in their treatment. It is precisely for that reason that sometimes we can find errors related to the files or folders that are part of the software from the PC. But as is usual in Windows, many of these errors have a solution, so we must not despair.

Faults that we can find when copying files or folders

One of these most common errors that we refer to here is the one that says Error when copying the file or folder. As you can imagine, it appears when we have to copy files or folders from one disk to another, or to another location. One of the most common reasons for the same, generally tends to be that the files that we are trying to copy are being used by some other app.

error copy file

It may also be the case that these elements that we are talking about, when trying to change their location, are busy with another process. Of course, it must be borne in mind that the operating system Windows usually blocks the files that are in use. This prevents any other process or program from modifying it in the meantime. But as we told you before, if necessary, many of these errors that occur unexpectedly in Windows have a solution, as we will see.

It must be said that most of the solutions that we will talk about below to solve this problem are related to a program that blocks access to those files.

Fix error when copying files or folders in Windows

As we have mentioned, one of the main reasons why this annoying failure can occur is that Windows has that content blocked. Sure, the problem here is that we don’t know how or the reasons for them. At that moment, what we really need is to copy that file or that folder to its new location, without further ado. Therefore, initially one of the fastest and most effective solutions is restart the pc, and try again.

This usually fixes many of the problems that occur on the Redmond system, but let’s look at other solutions if the bug persists.

Change the display mode in File Explorer

One of the possible solutions that we can use in this regard, is changing the preview to preview in the File Browser. Say that this content display mode allows us to see a preview of the files in a directory. Thus, depending on the number of these, the File Explorer may take a while to generate it, especially if we open it infrequently.

browser preview

Therefore, during the generation of the preview, the files are locked, by the system, and if we try to copy them before the process is complete, the error occurs. It is evident that to solve it we only have to deactivate the preview mode. This is something we can do from the tab Sight from the Explorer itself, or by using the keyboard shortcut ALT + P.

Close programs that use those files

As we have mentioned, while a certain program or process is using a file, it is blocked by Windows. The same can occur if these elements that we want to copy from one location to another are being used by another user. Therefore, to definitively end this process that has the file or files open, it is best to access the Task Manager.

We can enter this section using the key combination Ctrl + Shift + Esc. Here a new window composed of several tabs opens, but the one that interests us here is the Processes one. In it we will see all the system processes and the programs open at that time. After taking a look and locating what we are looking for, we just have to right-click on the entry that interests us, and select the Finish option

finish administrator task

Use Microsoft’s file troubleshooter

Another very interesting measure that we can use in this case is a specific program designed for this type of task. We actually mean a free app that we can download from this link and that it belongs to Microsoft itself.

Once we put it into operation in Windows, this software solution takes care of various problems with these components on its own. As is evident, it is also in charge of helping us if we have problems when copying files or folders.

file troubleshooter

Free up disk space to be able to copy files

A very common mistake in these cases is that we are trying to copy a certain file or one binder complete to another drive or location, but no space. This means that the destination drive is full, so Windows will inform us of this by launching an error that indicates the impossibility of copying that content. Therefore in this case the solution is very simple, we only have to delete programs or files from the destination, or choose another.

For example, to uninstall programs safely and effectively, the Control Panel has a function that will be very helpful. This can be found in the Programs / Uninstall a program section.

Uninstall a program

Scan your computer for viruses

In the event that nothing of what we have discussed so far works, perhaps the problem comes from another source, not from the system as such. And it is that there is always the possibility that there is a malicious program on the computer that is blocking those files and folders that we want copy. Therefore, if necessary, it will never hurt to carry out a complete scan of the computer using Windows Defender or any other third-party antivirus.

This ensures that we are working with a team free of all types of malware that could be damaging the functioning of the system itself. And the fact is that current malicious codes can attack practically any Windows component, as is the case at hand.