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Replace
 

Updated: April 17, 2012

Applies To: Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012, Windows 8

Replaces files. If used with the /a option, replace adds new files to a directory instead of replacing existing files.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.

Syntax
replace [<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName> [<Drive2>:][<Path2>] [/a] [/p] [/r] [/w] 
replace [<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName> [<Drive2>:][<Path2>] [/p] [/r] [/s] [/w] [/u] 
Parameters

Parameter

Description

[<Drive1>:][<Path1>]<FileName>

Specifies the location and name of the source file or set of files. FileName is required, and can include wildcard characters (* and ?).

[<Drive2>:][<Path2>]

Specifies the location of the destination file. You cannot specify a file name for files you replace. If you do not specify a drive or path, replace uses the current drive and directory as the destination.

/a

Adds new files to the destination directory instead of replacing existing files. You cannot use this command-line option with the /s or /u command-line option.

/p

Prompts you for confirmation before replacing a destination file or adding a source file.

/r

Replaces Read-only and unprotected files. If you attempt to replace a Read-only file, but you do not specify /r, an error results and stops the replacement operation.

/w

Waits for you to insert a disk before the search for source files begins. If you do not specify /w, replace begins replacing or adding files immediately after you press ENTER.

/s

Searches all subdirectories in the destination directory and replaces matching files. You cannot use /s with the /a command-line option. The replace command does not search subdirectories that are specified in Path1.

/u

Replaces only those files on the destination directory that are older than those in the source directory. You cannot use /u with the /a command-line option.

/?

Displays help at the command prompt.

Remarks
  • As replace adds or replaces files, the file names are displayed on the screen. After replace is finished, a summary line is displayed in one of the following formats:

    nnn files added
    nnn files replaced
    no file added
    no file replaced
  • If you are using floppy disks and you need to switch disks during the replace operation, you can specify the /w command-line option so that replace will wait for you to switch the disks.

  • You cannot use replace to update hidden files or system files.

  • The following table shows each exit code and a brief description of its meaning:

    Exit code

    Description

    0

    The replace command successfully replaced or added the files.

    1

    The replace command encountered an incorrect version of MS-DOS.

    2

    The replace command could not find the source files.

    3

    The replace command could not find the source or destination path.

    5

    The user does not have access to the files that you want to replace.

    8

    There is insufficient system memory to carry out the command.

    11

    The user used the wrong syntax on the command line.

System_CAPS_noteNote

You can use the ERRORLEVEL parameter on the if command line in a batch program to process exit codes that are returned by replace.

Examples

To update all the versions of a file named Phones.cli (which appear in multiple directories on drive C), with the latest version of the Phones.cli file from a floppy disk in drive A, type:

replace a:\phones.cli c:\ /s