How to Fix the Error While Copying Files Or Folders

Error copying file or folder: Unspecified error , is the most common error we all have encountered while copying files from PC to any external device such as SD card, USB device and etc. The error is caused due to various reasons like corruption in the file, file size limitation and more.

With this article, you can be sure of fixing any error that occurs while copying files or folders across different storage devices.

Error while copying file or folder

Reasons Behind Unspecified Error While Copying Files or Folders

There are various factors that lead to the error while copying files or folders across devices. The following are few of the common factors:

  1. The chances of encountering the above error is high when you are copying files to an USB or SD card. In other words, when you have an external storage device formatted with the FAT32 file system as a destination for copying files you will encounter this error. This is because FAT32 cannot copy files or folders of the size 4GB or more.
  2. A corrupt or encrypted destination drive can also lead to unspecified error while copying the files
  3. If the destination drive is write protected or in read only mode, you will not be able to copy any files
  4. Shortage of space on the external disk can also be a reason for the error while copying files or folders
  5. There are other reasons like accessing permission of a folder is set to read only mode.

How to Fix error while copying files and folders?

Below-mentioned are the few methods that help you in fixing the unspecified error during file transfer-

Convert the File System To Avoid Error During Copying Files or Folders

You might be thinking why is it necessary to convert the target disk file system into a different file system. The answer is, Not all external drives are formatted with the compatible file system like NTFS for Windows. Most of the external disk has a FAT32 file system.

If your drive is formatted with FAT32 file system, it can save upto 8TB of data, FAT32 file system doesn’t support copying of files or folders more than 4GB (individual file size).

Hence, it is necessary to convert by reformatting the drive to other file systems such as NTFS or exFAT. Follow the below cited steps to format the FAT32 file system to NTFS or exFAT file system.

Format the drive to other file system to avoid error while copying file

Note: Since the process of formatting erases all the files existing on the target USB drive, it is recommended to take a backup of the data before proceeding into converting the file system from FAT to NTFS or exFAT.

Steps to format the file system:

Step 1: Click on “This PC”.

Step 2: Locate and right-click on the USB drive. Select “Format” from the menu.

Step 3: Provide the compatible file system to your drive and click “Start”.

Step 4: Warning message pops up stating “Formatting will erase all your data”, click “OK” to confirm the process.

The destination file system will be changed to the desired file system, but what if you have formatted the drive without any backup, click here to know more on recovering data from formatted drives.

Format the Corrupt Storage Drive

If the USB drive is corrupted, there’s a high chance of encountering the unspecified error while copying files and folders. Formatting the drive is the easiest way to get rid of any unspecified error. However, you can also repair the corrupt SD card and USB to avoid the error.

Follow the steps mentioned in method 1 to format the drive and follow the same instruction as mentioned. If you do not want to change the file system, you can directly hit the Format option.

Now, try copying the files and folders to the drive and see if you are still encountering the error.

Extend the Target Partition

As mentioned earlier, shortage of space in the USB drive or SD card can be a reason for error encountered while trying to copy files or folders to the USB drive.

To Overcome this situation, you need to extend the partition using any trustworthy third party tool or make some free space on the drive.

Remove the Write-Protection from the Drive

If the drive is write-protected, you will not be allowed to copy any files from the PC to external drive. Follow the steps to remove the write-protection from the target drive using Diskpart. Also, with the help of Diskpart you can  fix failed hard drives.

To remove the write protection, follow the below given steps:

Step 1. Run “Command Prompt” as an administrator.

Step 2. Enter diskpart and click “Yes” in the prompt asking for notification.

Step 3. Now, type the following command in order:

list volume

select volume C (C is the write-protected hard drive.)

attributes disk clear readonly

Now, you will be able to move the files and folders onto the drive. If you are still unable to copy the files and continue encountering the error, please follow the next method.

Change the File or Folder Permission

You can easily copy the files and folders to the target drive by changing the permission of files and folders. Follow the below-mentioned steps to change the permission of files.

Step 1: Navigate to the folder that contains the files you want to copy to any other drive, right-click it and select “Properties“.

Step 2. Go to the “Security” tab, select your name under “Group or user names” and check its permission.

Step 3. If you want to change the permission, click “Edit“, check the permission and click “OK“.

Bottom Line

Any of the above mentioned methods should be able to allow you to copy files or folders to the target drive without any unspecified error. If your target drive, for instance USB drive is unable to be recognized by Windows, click on the above mentioned link and resolve the issue. If you have any queries regarding this article or if you were successful in fixing the error and copy the files, please share your thoughts in the comment section below.


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