Fix Unspecified Error When Copying File or Folder on Windows 10

Tracy King updated on Oct 13, 2020 to Data Recovery Resouce | How-to Articles

You may receive the notification 'error copying file or folder' with unspecified error in Windows 10, 8, or 7 when you try to copy files or folders. Here we will show you how to effortlessly remove the unspecified error while copying files or folders on Windows and how to recover data with EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard if there is data loss on your device.

Here you'll clearly know the causes and solutions to the unspecified error. Before reading further details, this is the quick navigation:

Workable Solutions Step-by-step Troubleshooting
Fix 1. Format the target drive Open Windows Explorer, right-click on the drive and choose Format...Full steps
Fix 2. Extend partition Use the computer program or apply free partition manager software to extend hard drive partition...Full steps
Fix 3. Remove write protection Run Command Prompt > type diskpart > type the following command lines...Full steps
Fix 4. Decrypt files If it's the target disk is corrupted or the file is encrypted, you can format the disk or decrypt the files...Full steps
Fix 5. Change the User Account You may have no permission to make changes to the files and folders using your current account....Full steps
Fix 6. Change Permission In Properties, switch to Security, and click the name under Group or user names...Full steps

'Error Copying File or Folder' with Unspecified Error on Windows 10/8/7

"Hi guys, do you know how to solve the problem when you are trying to copy a file or a folder to a target partition on your PC when an error message pop up and warn you with an unspecified error of copying file or folder? Yesterday, I was trying to copy a file folder with about 2GB of files to the F: drive. But when I clicked 'Paste', the computer warned me that I couldn't copy files to the destination partition with 'Error Copying File or Folder' warning message. I'm now using Windows 10, by the way. So is there a way that can help me fix this issue so that I can copy and save my files on target partition or hard drive? How?"

Error: copying files or folder with unspecified error.

The unspecified error - 'Error Copying File or Folder' may occur to any users under Windows 10/8/7 while you are trying to copy and paste files to a new location. So what's the reason that blocks you from copying files or folder to the destination device? There are so many.

Possible Causes of Unspecified Error in Windows

If you don't know how or what caused the unspecified error of copying file or folder on your Windows computer, you may check the below to find out the cause of your current problem:

  • The copied files are larger than 4GB: if the copied files are larger than 4GB and you want to copy them to a FAT32 partition such as USB or SD, you'll be blocked by this error message
  • The disk is write-protected: If the destination partition or drive is read-only, write-protected, no data can be written in
  • The Target disk has not enough free space: if there is not enough free space and the files that you want to copy is very large, the data copy won't be completed
  • Target disk is corrupted, or the file is encrypted
  • System limitation
  • File or folder ownership changed

These are the main reasons why you receive the unspecified error message while copying files or folders.

How to Fix 'Error Copying File or Folder' Issue Without Losing Data

Don't worry if you've encountered this error and couldn't copy files or folder to the destination device or hard drive. There is more than one way for you to cope with the problem. Follow to remove 'Error Copying File or Folder' with unspecified error in Windows 10 immediately. Based on the causes listed above, there are the corresponding fixes:

Method 1. Format the Target Partition/Disk to NTFS or exFAT

If you attempt to copy a file larger than 4GB to a partition with the FAT32 file system (you can check the file system of your drive in properties), you will definitely fail. Why? Although the total size of the files that you can copy to a FAT32 drive could be up to 2TB, the size of each individual file cannot exceed 4GB.

If the files that you want to copy is more than 4GB, you can compress the file with WinRAR or ZIP so to get a smaller file. But if this doesn't work or if the destination device offers no access for you to reach with ‘The parameter is incorrect’ message, you can directly convert the target partition or disk to NTFS or exFAT, which can be done by formatting the drive.

However, since formatting will erase all the files on your target drive, you should back up the files with free backup software or copy them elsewhere in advance. To format a drive:

Step 1. Open "This PC".

Step 2. Find and right-click your target partition. Choose "Format" in the menu.

Step 3. Assign a Windows-compatible file system to your drive and click "Start".

Step 4. In the warning window, click "OK" to confirm the operation.

Fix unspecified error while copying file or folder -  format the drive

You can also refer to the guide on how to format a hard drive in Windows 10 to see how to format the target partition in alternative ways.

Method 2. Extend the Partition Showing the Unspecified Error

If the unspecified error of copying files or folder caused by not enough free space on the target hard drive partition, you can either free up space on your computer or directly apply free partition manager software to extend hard drive partition to resolve this issue by simple clicks.

Method 3. Remove Write-Protection on the Target Disk

If your device was write-protected when you came into the 'Error Copying File or Folder' on your computer, you could follow the steps below to remove the write-protection on your device using diskpart:

Step 1. Run "Command Prompt" as an administrator.

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

Step 3. Enter the following command in order:

Click to copy

After this, you should be able to use your target hard drive partition to save files and folder without any problems. If the "read-only" attribute remains, you can try other tips provided in the article on how to fix "Windows cannot run disk checking on this volume because it is write protected".

If you are not professional in computing management and not familiar with command lines, don't worry. EaseUS R&D team has promoted a fresh kit for helping you resolve the write-protection issue on your hard drive, external hard drive, USB or SD card, etc., devices.

EaseUS Tools M is a practical computer fixing tool that is safe and light-weighted. It's a perfect alternative to the command line. 

Use this one-click tool to solve the write-protection issues on your own:

Step 1: DOWNLOAD and install EaseUS Tools M for free.

Step 2: Run EaseUS Tools M on your PC, choose the "Write Protection" mode.

Step 3: Select the device which is now "Write-Protected" and click "Disable" to remove the protection.

Remove Write Protection from storage devices.

Method 4. Format the Disk or Decrypt the Files

If you receive the unspecified error while copying files or folders because the target disk is corrupted or the file is encrypted. You can format the disk if is corrupted to have a try. While if the files are encrypted, you only need to decrypt the items.

Method 5. Change the User Account

You may have no permission to make changes to the files and folders using your current account. Thus, switch to another account on your computer and then copy the data.

Method 6. Change the File/Folder Permission

If you are not allowed to take control of the files or folders you attempt to copy, you may get the unspecified error message while copying items from one place to another. To change the permission:

Step 1. Go to the folder that contains the files you want to copy, right-click it and choose "Properties".

Step 2. Switch to the "Security" tab, click your name under "Group or user names" and check its permission.

Step 3. If you need to change the permission, click "Edit", check the permission and click "OK".

Fix unspecified error - change permission

After this, you should be able to use your target hard drive partition to copy and save files and folder without any problems now. 

Bonus Tip. Restore Data from Hard Drive Partition with an Unspecified Error While Copying File/Folder

If you have lost important data on the destination hard drive partition or storage device with an unspecified error of copying file or folder, relax. You can directly follow the method here to restore data from the device before or after you start fixing the "Error Copying File or Folder" issue. The powerful hard drive data recovery software - EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard allows you to directly scan and find all existing or lost files on the hard drive, and recover them to another safe location on your PC by simple clicks. You can just download this software and apply it to find and extract data from your current hard drive partition which contains an unspecified error:

Step 1. Run EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard and scan lost folder.

Select a hard drive, external device and click "Scan" or choose the exact location where you lost folder under​ "Specify a location" and click "OK". Wait and let this program to scan and find your lost folder.

select a location and scan lost folder

Step 2. Find and preview the found folder with files.

Find the found folder in "Deleted Files", "Lost Files" or you can use "Search" to quickly find your lost folder by searching the folder name. Double click found files to preview them.

Preview lost folder data.

Step 3. Restore and save the found folder.

Last, select the found folder with files, click "Recover" and browse to save this folder back to a secure location on your PC.

Recover lost folder data.

The Bottom Line

There are other tips that may fix the unspecified error when you copy files and folder. You can download Windows file and folder troubleshooter and use it to repair file and folder related problems. You can also run the sfc.exe utility to check and repair the errors of your file system. If the methods we detailed fail, apply these two tips to have a try.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why choose EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard?

"EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the best we've seen. It's far from perfect, partly because today's advanced disk technology makes data-recovery more difficult than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it's fast and efficient..."PCMag

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"Recover lost files, even after deleting a partition or formatting your drive."Macworld

2. Why cannot I recover 2GB data for free?

It is recommended to check the version installed is Free or Trial because they are different versions.

Trial has data preview function but cannot save any files, while the Free version enables to recover 2 GB files. The default free space is 500 MB and you may share the product on social media to get another 1.5 GB.

3. Why cannot the recovered files be opened?

A file is saved as 2 parts on the storage device: directory info (which is comprised by file name, time stamp and size info, etc.) and data content.

If the files with original file names and folder structures cannot be opened, one possible reason is the corrupted directory info. There is still a chance to recover the data content with the RAW Recovery method in our software.

4. Why isn't it suggested to recover the files back to the original drive?

The storage structure of the lost files would be altered or damaged by any changes on the drive. If you save the recovered files back to the same drive, the original data structures and data content would be corrupted or overwritten, which causes permanent data loss. So you should prepare another disk to save the files.

5. How can I check whether my data is recoverable or not before purchase?

The Free version helps you save 2GB files, so verify the recovery quality of our product before purchase.

6. How long does it take to scan the drive?

It strongly depends on the capacity of your hard drive and the performance of your computer. As reference,most drive recoveries can be completed in around 10 to 12 hours for a 1-TB healthy hard drive in general conditions.

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