5 free tools to enhance your cut/copy/paste experience in Windows

Cut, copy, and paste (any combination of the three) has got to be one of the most widely used commands in Windows… ever. Come on… who here has never used any of the three before (please raise your hand so I can slap some sense into you)? Heck, sometimes, without any purpose except for entertainment, I just randomly Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V just because I can. Yes, I admit, I am kind of psycho.

One problem with cut/copy/paste is that if you cut/copy large files or a large number of files, Windows can take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to paste them. Well to help ease the pain I am going to tell you about 5 free applications that can help make your cutting/copying/pasting faster and more enjoyable (allowing pause, skip, etc.).

  • TeraCopy


***TeraCopy is free for home users only I believe

  • FastCopy


  • RichCopy


  • CopyHandler


  • SuperCopier


All five of the above listed applications have their individual perks, such as the excellent shell integration by TeraCopy and CopyHandler or the advanced settings by FastCopy or RichCopy, but the main purpose of all five is to help you cut/copy and paste files faster than Windows normally would. So instead of comparing all the programs feature by features, lets get down to the raw data.

Now keep in mind my tests were not done in a manner which would be approved by the Scientific Journal so results will vary from person to person, computer to computer, and heck even file transfer to file transfer. My intention was to give the general public a general idea of which program is the best… not be scientifically accurate.

To find out which is the “best” I ran a simple test; I copied 3.97 GB of file files (videos, documents, installation files, etc.) with each program at default settings for all the programs. I used Windows Vista default copy to use as a control group. The following are my findings (by category):

Windows Vista default copy (no third party software used) took 7 minutes and 51 seconds to transfer all the 3.97 GB.

Fastest Transfer

  1. FastCopy (4 minutes and 45 seconds)
  2. TeraCopy (4 minutes and 55 seconds)
  3. CopyHandler (5 minutes and 55 seconds)
  4. RichCopy (8 minutes and 23 seconds)
  5. SuperCopier (8 minutes and 54 seconds)

Least Hog on CPU During Transfer

***These values are ballpark averages. The cpu usage for all the programs spiked regularly and at at double digit values above these averages.

  1. FastCopy (10%)
  2. CopyHandler (10%)
  3. TeraCopy (16%)
  4. SuperCopier (17%)
  5. RichCopy (20%)

Least Hog on RAM During Transfer

  1. RichCopy (6 MB)
  2. SuperCopier (12 MB)
  3. CopyHandler (20 MB)
  4. FastCopy (38 MB)
  5. TeraCopy (60 MB) ***RAM usage fluctuated highly

Most “easy to use” and “easy to understand”

  1. TeraCopy (excellent shell integration!)
  2. CopyHandler
  3. FastCopy
  4. SuperCopier
  5. RichCopy

I was very surprised at my findings of “Fastest Transfer”… especially that of RichCopy. Two of the five programs were actually slower than the default Windows Vista transfer. I don’t know about you but I am not about to use a third party program to cut/copy/paste that will do it slower than Windows itself. So RichCopy and SuperCopier were immediately marked off my list of king candidates. So that left TeraCopy, FastCopy, and CopyHandler.

CopyHandler was also significantly slower than TeraCopy and FastCopy (by about a minute) but it, overall, is more light on computer resources than the other two. So if you want to be able to cut/copy/paste files faster than Windows but have an older, slower machine, CopyHandler is a very viable option for you. However I also marked CopyHandler off my list because I, personally, am more concerned with speed and less with computer resource usage. That left TeraCopy and FastCopy.

Between FastCopy and TeraCopy the choice of “best” was obvious: FastCopy was slightly faster, more light on computer resources, and still offered shell integration. However, being picky as I am, I really liked the TeraCopy shell integration. It allowed me to literally replace the Windows cut/copy/paste function with TeraCopy. I could do Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V and use TeraCopy instead of Windows. To add salt to the wound, FastCopy shell integration had a small bug where FastCopy(paste) would not show up in the right click menu until I set it to show up as a sub menu. TeraCopy is also a lot less confusing (more simple – not so many options) to use and has a much better interface. So yes while FastCopy is faster and more light on computer resources, the best Windows cut/copy/paste enhancer software for me is TeraCopy. However FastCopy, and even CopyHandler, are still excellent and viable options. It just depends on your needs and preferences.

You can download all of the programs from the following links:

TeraCopy works on Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7

FastCopy works on Windows 98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista

No idea on requirements for RichCopy, CopyHandler or SuperCopier



CopyHandler (can be portable)

FastCopy (can be portable)

TeraCopy | TeraCopy Portable

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  • Dennis F.

    @Jean-Luc Picard:
    I’ve been using Fences for over a year and very highly recommend it. You can make the various fences as small as you like and then when you hover over them a slider appears on the right. Great program. Really gets your desktop clean, but still have all your icons available without having to use “All Programs” and trying to remember the program name.

  • Wayne

    I let few things run in my tray.
    Besides anti-virus and local area connection, I have M8 and Evernote, that I just can’t get by without.

  • David Roper


    Well I have just finished trying out M8 Clipboard, the free version you wrote about here and I like it.

    It’s “on” all the time – in my tray JIC. It saves the last 25 things I paste to the ClipBoard, automatically.

    Just install it and forget it until you need an old “paste” and then find it easily.

    WOW! Thanks for the tip.

  • David Roper

    Wayne, we ALL came from GAOTD I think. It’s like mama LUCY in Africa.

    Ashraf, there, made the most sense on the comment board and then we found out he had a board as well that deals with everything we want.

    No pizza delivery yet, though.

    Welcome aboard from me.

  • Wayne

    While on the subject of cut/copy/paste, why not bring up the fact that windows only saves a single clip.

    Lot of apps out there and I’ve looked at others but use M8 Multi-clipboard.
    Saves 25 clips that you can paste anywhere at any time.
    Can edit clips.
    Can even edit images/pics copied with a basic image editor built in.

    I see HyperWords mentioned.
    This is one of my fav. apps.
    Makes EVERY word/phrase/image/whatever on a page actionable.

    Came here from GAOTD.
    Pretty cool site.

  • Eli

    Hey!Steven,went 2Miller site 4 Puretext& found what I really wanted yesterday when Mike onGaotd said some progs change sys .dll w/ old vers& kill Ur current apps etc…this Miller’s Dependency Walker app appears 2 track .dll& other sys modules so U can hav a record of what goes legit with what on Ur sys in spite of sabotage! Thanks for the tin tip UKer! Thanks,Ashraf,as usual!

  • Ashraf

    @magallanes: Glad to see it all worked out in the end.

  • magallanes

    Hi there:

    I am having some trouble with a harddisk, the disk for some reason is quite slow. So, i decided to move a lot of gbs from one to another disk and of course, the default windows copy is not ideal, specially since it can stop asking for a confirmation, a annoying feature for a unattended process.

    So, i tried two:
    Teracopy :i can’t use the stable 1.x version, since it can’t allow to pre-custom the confirmation. So i used the 2.x beta. This worked fine for a while, then suddenly it stopped working, just the task bar stopped moving at all (about at 4 hours)

    Copy Handler:Since teracopy was unable to do the copy (move) then i decided to use Cop Handler, apparently it works a bit fast than teracopy (different partition and disk). but it is not quite clear about the confirmation dialog.

  • Ashraf

    @tolkite: Yes that is the proper link and that is the proper filename. Hoffman is the author of the utility.

  • tolkite

    Regarding the RichCopy download link: Are you sure?

    It´s resulting in downloading some HoffmanUtilitySpotlight2009_04.exe from “download.microsoft.com”. Huh?!

    Didn´t even try to download.

  • Ashraf

    @Stephen: Steve has some nice apps on his website.

  • Stephen

    @david roper:

    Here’s the link to the site with Puretext http://www.stevemiller.net/ By the way, that is NOT me! I’ve used PureText for about a year at home on XP and extensively at work on Windows 2000 (no admin privileges). Its simple but ‘it does what it says on the tin’ – an old advert slogan here in the UK.

  • Ashraf

    @david roper: You are not the only one who doesn’t use fences because he can’t manage to group his icons. Guilty as charged. :D

  • david roper

    @Jean-Luc Picard:
    Thanks Jean-Luc,

    I tried it once before. Ashraf recommended it too. The trouble was that i could not group my crap into enough fences for it to matter. It’s the best fence type program i think. I read about it a lot then.

    Sad, I know, but my mind could not “group” them except into groups, like Newspapers, stamps, gold, investments, jokes, etc etc I am a lost cause. Making the shortcuts disappear and come back allows me to remain disorganized and sloppy and yet see my grandchildren in 5 seconds by doing nothing more than taking my hand of the mouse. I chose 5 seconds, I think the default was 15 seconds. ;-)

    I appreciate the suggestion. You are very kind to care to want to help me.

  • Jean-Luc Picard

    @david roper: Try Fences. It is actually for organizing, but just click that you’ll manage it yourself. Then double click! You can make some or all or none hide.

  • david roper

    @Ashraf: Yes, this little Gem is what MS should have included in their operating system so we all could enjoy wallpaper for our desktop and shortcuts all over the desktop at the same time. Voila! Eureka!

    I think I used it many years back and lost it somehow in upgrading laptops and PCs. It was wonderful to find it again today thanks to Jimorris77 this morning. This one is burned on a separate CD now labeled as such and in order for me to lose it now you have to pry it from my cold dead hands.

    Your ability to write about it would be the best article ever.

  • yeobaby

    Something else that might help people out is this add-on called Hyperwords for Firefox. Here’s the link https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1941

    With Hyperwords you can select any word on any web page and choose from powerful commands, including:

    • Reference • Search • Translation • Conversion • Email • Twitter • Facebook • Tag • Blog • & More.

  • MerryMarjie

    I love Iconoid and have been using it for years. It is very versatile, and being free, it’s a keeper.

    Yes, thanks Ashraf, for your great site. I started following you on Giveaway of the Day and knew you were a super tech, so I wandered over here and signed up for your alerts. I’m very glad I did!

  • Ashraf

    @TERRY: It is a false positive. AVG is known for false positives. Avira picked up nothing and VirusTotal agrees it is clean.

    @david roper: Funny I was just thinking about your need for such a software yesterday. I think Iconoid might be worth a look in my next article. Do you agree?

    @Ozzie: Thanks!

  • Ozzie

    @ Terry and DR: I just did a Virustotal check on it and the results are at http://www.virustotal.com/analisis/9c2dad176ab6a878b3fe8973c8ea8ced102e13401bc41bc0c53c284dbd1ffe20-1249323884

    I think it will be false positive. My AVs haven’t detected anything either.

  • david roper

    Thanks Terry, I checked after this message and indeed got 2 infections found and two healed when my AVG scanned this file sitting on my desktop waiting to be installed.

    Gotta wonder how AVG allowed it to be sitting on my desktop for an hour and no notice until Terry wrote here – and then I checked “manually”.???

    Now I wonder if it’s safe to use with AVG reporting 2 infections “healed”. Guess I will wait for “the Man, Ashraf” to tell us.

    BTW, anybody following this Iconoid thread of mine. I am simply LOVING it and getting to know all its tricks. Thanks, Jimorris77, for the tip. Perfect little app that MS should own. OMG, did I really say that?


    @david roper:

    Warning! AVG picked up a virus on TeraCopy portable from the link provided.

  • david roper

    @jimorris77: Iconoid 3.8.5 does the trick. That’s exactly what I wanted. Now I can see my desktop picture again whenever I want. Freeware if anyone else is reading.

    I agree with your comment to Ashraf. He does an excellent job and I cannot use a lot of the stuff although I love to read what CAN be done.

    Some times I vote and “run way” without making a comment so it looks weird not have a comment on the article yet still have a vote. Ashraf is THE MAN in the PC world these days. Raymond.CC is very good as well, running a distant second place.

  • Ozzie

    @ Stephen: for copying plain text from the web, I’ve been using a Firefox extension called, naturally enough, “Copy Plain Text”. It hasn’t been updated for the very latest FF update, but hopefully will soon. Very handy not having to open an application to do this. Worth a look.

  • jimorris77

    Ashraf: you deserve much more encouragement than you are getting! Your work is excellant. I’m on your email notificatiom list and I check each post. I’m just a home user and don’t need many of the programs you evaluate, however I appreciate the opportunity. I am downloading terracopy.

    David Roper: You might be looking for Iconoid. I use it and I think it does what you are asking!

  • Steve

    dr…maybe not at will,but I’m guessing you’ve tried hotkeys

    This link 6th post down.

  • david roper

    Stephen, can you supply a link??

    Ashraf, trying Teracopy as I write. Excellent article.

    I’m still looking for that elusive, wonderful software that will let me make all my desktop icon shortcuts disappear and reappear at will.

  • Stephen

    I like PureText. Its not about the speed of copying files, but about stripping formatting from text (font, bold, web formatting – styles/tables). It is a small utility that lets you paste whatever is on the clipboard as plain unformatted text, using . Very handy when copying text from the web.