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Python Script for Recursive Copying of Files and Directories

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Python is one of the most powerful and versatile programming languages in the world today. With its wide range of libraries and tools, it provides developers with the perfect platform to create unique and complex applications. One such tool that can be used for file and directory management is Python’s recursive copying script.

If you’re a developer or system administrator who frequently works with large sets of files and directories, then you understand the importance of organizing and managing these files effectively. The recursive copying script in Python allows users to take an entire directory tree and not only copy over the files but also all the subdirectories and files within them.

Whether you’re working on a simple project with a few files or managing an entire website with thousands of files, the recursive copying script in Python can save you countless hours by automating this time-consuming task. By using the script, you can easily copy all your files and directories in a single command, allowing you to focus your valuable time on more important tasks.

In conclusion, if you’re looking for a more efficient way to copy files and directories in Python, the recursive copying script is the perfect solution. It’s easy to use, versatile, and can save you valuable time and effort. So why not give it a try and see how it can help you manage your files more effectively today?

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“Copy File Or Directories Recursively In Python” ~ bbaz


Copying files and directories is a task often needed for various reasons, such as backups or creating duplicates of a project. Python has a built-in module that allows recursive copying, named shutil. But there are also other ways to achieve this task, such as using the command line or writing a custom script. In this article, we’ll compare two methods: the shutil module and a custom Python script.

Shutil module

The shutil module provides functions to work with files and directories, such as copy(), copy2(), and copytree(). The latter two are used for copying directories, with copy2() being preferred when preserving metadata is needed. Copying files is simpler and can be done with copyfile() or copy2().


The copytree() function is commonly used for recursively copying directories, but it has some limitations to consider. If the destination directory already exists, the function will raise an error, unless the optional argument exist_ok is True. This parameter also determines if errors such as permission denied should be ignored. By default, symlinks are followed unless symlinks=True is passed, in which case they are copied as links.


The copy() function is similar to copytree() but meant for copying individual files. It also has an optional argument to preserve metadata when possible, preserve_times. There are some differences when copying files between different filesystems, such as using hard links instead of full copies when possible.

Custom Python script

Writing a custom Python script for copying files and directories can give more control over the process, but requires more time and effort. It may also perform better in certain situations, depending on the implementation. In this example, we’ll use os and shutil modules to recursively copy files and directories.


The os module provides a function named walk() that can go through a directory tree and return information about each file and directory, including their paths. This can be used to iterate over a directory and its subdirectories, processing each file or directory according to the desired action.


The shutil module is used again in this custom script, for actually copying files and directories. This function is more versatile than copy() and can also preserve metadata such as permissions and times. It can also follow symlinks, but not by default.


Method Pros Cons
shutil – Easy to use
– Built-in
– Preserves metadata
– Follows symlinks (optional)
– Limitations with copytree()
– May require extra checks for destination folder
Custom script – More control
– Can optimize for specific cases
– Can integrate with other tasks
– Requires more code
– Not built-in
– May require learning about os module


Both methods have their strengths and weaknesses, and the choice between them may depend on the specific requirements of each use case. For simple copying tasks, the shutil module is often sufficient and straightforward to use. On the other hand, when more complex file manipulation is needed or performance is crucial, a custom script can provide more flexibility and control. Regardless of the chosen method, it’s always good practice to test the code with sample data before doing any destructive actions.

Thank you for taking the time to read our article on Python Script for Recursive Copying of Files and Directories. We hope that it has provided you with valuable information on how to streamline your file copying process and improve your overall workflow. By following the simple steps laid out in our article, you can easily copy all files and subdirectories within a directory to a new location, without having to manually copy each file.

We understand that every individual’s needs may differ and that not all solutions are a perfect fit for everyone. However, we encourage you to give our Python script a try and see how it can benefit your specific needs. With Python being a versatile and adaptable programming language, there are countless ways in which you can customize this script to meet your individual requirements.

If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, feel free to leave them in the comments section below. Our team of experts is always happy to answer any questions you may have and help you to achieve your goals. Thank you once again for taking the time to read our article.

Here are the most common People Also Ask questions about Python Script for Recursive Copying of Files and Directories along with their corresponding answers:

  1. What is a recursive copying of files and directories?
    Recursive copying refers to the process of copying files and directories along with their subdirectories and files contained within them.
  2. How do I install Python on my computer?
    You can download and install Python by going to the official Python website and selecting the appropriate version for your operating system. Follow the installation instructions provided on the website.
  3. What is the syntax for recursive copying in Python?
    The syntax for recursive copying in Python is as follows: shutil.copytree(src, dst). Here, src is the source directory and dst is the destination directory.
  4. Can I exclude certain files or directories from the recursive copy?
    Yes. You can use the ignore parameter in the shutil.copytree() function to exclude files or directories. For example, if you want to exclude a directory named logs, you can use the following code: shutil.copytree(src, dst, ignore=shutil.ignore_patterns('logs')).
  5. Is it possible to overwrite existing files during the recursive copy?
    Yes. You can use the copy2 function from the shutil module to overwrite existing files. For example, if you want to overwrite a file named file.txt, you can use the following code: shutil.copy2(src_file, dst_file).
  6. Can I copy files and directories between different operating systems?
    Yes. Python’s shutil module provides cross-platform support for copying files and directories. However, you may need to take into account differences in file and directory structures between different operating systems.