Since Windows is meant to be all things to most people, it leaves room for improvement on many fronts, such as copying files. Copying speed in Windows is mostly determined by your system's resources, but that's the point: by maximizing the copying according to your system's capabilities, it's possible to copy even very large files faster than Windows can. How much faster? Up to eight times faster, according to Easersoft, makers of ExtremeCopy Free, which optimizes copying speed based on your machine's resources. The standard version is free for personal and home use, though a licensed Pro version offers some extra features for commercial users. ExtremeCopy Free comes in specific downloads for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems. We tried it in 64-bit Windows Home Premium SP1.
ExtremeCopy Free runs from context menus in Explorer, once you've configured its options, but it also places an icon on the desktop, if you don't deselect the option. Clicking this icon produced a pop-up message advising us that ExtremeCopy lacks a standard user interface but instead runs from context menus, just like the built-in Windows utility. But the program offers a Configuration sheet that let us set various options, including making it Explorer's default copying utility, writing to a log file, updates, and always on top. It has a neat feature that displayed the copying tool's progress dialog on a desktop image. You drag the box into place and click OK, apparently, and from then on, the dialog appears in that spot. The OK button was inactive, leaving the tool inactive, too; apparently it's one of the Pro features, as is the Copy Data Buffer Size selector, the Same Name and Error Retry options, and the Max. Failed Files in List box.
But the Free version doesn't sacrifice any of the program's speed, as we found when we tried copying and moving a variety of files and folders, including chunky stuff like large video files -- and we could pause and resume the job. We ran the Windows tool, too, but ExtremeCopy was faster. If you regularly copy or back up lots of data, it's worth a look.