Robocopy for Backups

Office Space Robocopy Meme

The Problem

The library uses a Synology NAS device for staff documents. The original hardware came with the Data Replicator Software that would back up the contents of the NAS to a USB Drive attached to one of my computers. A few months ago said backup started to take upwards of 18 hours. So I went a-googling for answers. Turns out Synology discontinued that app years ago. So I needed to find a replacement.

When I couldn’t find any free software, my mind wandered back to my previous life as an applications analyst. Specifically to Robocopy. Alas! I’m sad to say the “robo” does not stand for “robot” but rather “robust”. Heartbreak aside, it turns out I could easily and, more importantly, quickly create a backup copy of the NAS myself. I simply created a .cmd file to robocopy the NAS to the USB Drive and then created a scheduled task to kick off the file every night. Here’s how you can do it, too.

Creating the .CMD File

Start in c:\Windows\System32\ 

1.) Right-click the any white space

2.) Hover over New

3.) Click Text Document

4.) Type Robocopy Backup.cmd and hit enter

Note: Make sure you change the extension (the part to the right of the .) from txt to cmd.

5.) Click OK to the warning about changing the file type.

6.) Right-click the Robocopy Backup.cmd

7.) Click Edit

Screenshots of how to create a robocopy.cmd file on the desktop

8.) Type Robocopy \\SourceServer\SourceShare\ \\DestinationServer\DestinationShare\ /MIR /R:2 /LOG+:RobocopyBKUP.txt

Note: Make sure the entire command is on one line or else Windows won’t understand.

9.) Hit ctrl+s to save the file.

Robocopy commands with explainations

Task Scheduler to Kick off the .CMD File

10.) Go to Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Task Scheduler

Path to Task Scheduler

11.)  Go to Action > Create Basic Task

12.) Type Robocopy Backup in the Name: field and click Next

13.) Make sure the Daily circle is selected as a Trigger and click Next

14.) Specify a time (you probably want to make sure this is when you’re closed) and click Next

15.) Make sure the Start a program circle is select and click Next

16.) Click Browse

17.) Navigate to the Robocopy Backup.cmd you just created and click Open

18.) Click Next

Basic Task Specifics

19.) Make sure all the settings are correct and click Finish

All Basic Task Settings

You can run it manually to make sure it works by clicking the task to select it and clicking Play on the right


Since each computer is slightly different, things may not work exactly like I say.  Click the task to select it and click Properties on the right and then check the following settings:

  • Make sure the Run whether user is logged on or not circle is selected
  • Make sure the Run with highest privileges box  is selected
  • Make sure the ID you’re using has access to both source and destination paths


Change user on Basic Task

For a list of robocopy  command, see here:


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