# Python : How to copy files from one location to another using shutil.copy()

In this article, we will discuss how to copy files from one directory to another using shutil.copy().

### shutil.copy()

We have a function named shutil.copy() provided by python shutil module.

shutil.copy(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True)

It copies the file pointed by src to the directory pointed by dst.

Parameters:

• src is the file path.
• dst can be a directory path or file path.
• if src is a path of symlinks then,
• if follow_symlinks is True, it will copy the path.
• if follow_symlinks is False, then it will create a new dst directory in a symbolic link.

It returns the path string of a newly created file.

Now, we will see what module is required, the first step is to import the module.

import shutil

Now, we will use this function to copy the files.

## Copy a file to another directory

newPath = shutil.copy('sample1.txt', '/home/bahija/test')

The file ‘sample1.txt’ will be copied to the home directory ‘/home/bahija/test’ and after being copied it will return the path of the newly created file that is,

/home/bahija/test/sample1.txt
• If the file name already exists in the destination directory, then it will be overwritten.
• If no directory exists with the name test inside the /home/bahija then the source file will be copied with the name test.
• If there is no existence of the source file, then it will give an error that is, FileNotFoundError.

## Copy a File to another directory with a new name

Copy a file with new name
newPath = shutil.copy('sample1.txt', '/home/bahijaj/test/sample2.txt')
The new name will be assigned to the ‘sample1.txt’ as ‘sample2.txt’ and the file will be saved to another directory.
Few points to note:
• The file will be overwritten if the destination file exists.
• If the file is not available, then it will give FileNotFoundError.

## Copy symbolic links using shutil.copy()

Suppose we are using a symbolic link named link.csv which points towards sample.csv.

link.csv -> sample.csv

Now, we will copy the symbolic link using shutil.copy() function.

shutil.copy(src, dst, *, follow_symlinks=True)

We can see that the follow_symlinks is True by default. So it will copy the file to the destination directory.

newPath = shutil.copy('/home/bahijaj/test/link.csv', '/home/bahijaj/test/sample2.csv')

The new path will be:

/home/bahijaj/test/sample2.csv

Sample2.txt is the actual copy of sample1.txt.

newPath = shutil.copy('/home/bahijaj/test/link.csv', '/home/bahijaj/test/newlink.csv', follow_symlinks=False)

It will copy the symbolic link i.e. newlink.csv will be a link pointing to the same target file sample1.csv i.e.

If the file does not exist, then it will give an error.

Complete Code:

import shutil
def main():
# Copy file to another directory
newPath = shutil.copy('sample1.txt', '/home/bahijaj/test')
print("Path of copied file : ", newPath)
#Copy a file with new name
newPath = shutil.copy('sample1.txt', '/home/bahijaj/test/sample2.txt')
print("Path of copied file : ", newPath)
main()