How do I copy files in Python?
We can do this in a few different ways using Python’s built-in
import shutil shutil.copyfile("source-directory/file.txt", "destination-directory/file.txt")
Note that we must specify the entire path in the second argument, including the filename. If the destination is not writable by the current OS user, an
OSError exception will be raised. If the file already exists at the destination path, it will be overwritten.
We can also use
import shutil shutil.copy("source-directory/file.txt", "destination-directory")
As long as
destination-directory is an existing directory,
copy will figure that we want to place our file inside
destination-directory without changing its name. When copying a file this way, its permissions will be preserved, but other metadata, such as creation and modification times, will not. To preserve this metadata, we can use
copy2 instead of
import shutil shutil.copy2("source-directory/file.txt", "destination-directory")
To copy all files and subdirectories in a given directory, we can use
import shutil shutil.copytree("source-directory", "destination-directory")
Note that if
destination-directory already exists, a
FileExistsError exception will be raised. To prevent this, we can pass
dirs_exist_ok=True to the function as a keyword argument – this will cause
copytree to merge the source and destination directory trees and overwrite any files with matching names.