memcpy, wmemcpy

Copies bytes between buffers. More secure versions of these functions are available; see memcpy_s, wmemcpy_s.


void *memcpy(
   void *dest,
   const void *src,
   size_t count
wchar_t *wmemcpy(
   wchar_t *dest,
   const wchar_t *src,
   size_t count


New buffer.

Buffer to copy from.

Number of characters to copy.

Return value

The value of dest.


memcpy copies count bytes from src to dest; wmemcpy copies count wide characters. If the source and destination regions overlap, the behavior of memcpy is undefined. Use memmove to handle overlapping regions.


Make sure that the destination buffer is large enough to accommodate the number of copied characters. For more information, see Avoiding buffer overruns.


Because so many buffer overruns, and thus potential security exploits, have been traced to improper usage of memcpy, this function is listed among the "banned" functions by the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL). You may observe that some VC++ library classes continue to use memcpy. Furthermore, you may observe that the VC++ compiler optimizer sometimes emits calls to memcpy. The Visual C++ product is developed in accordance with the SDL process, and thus usage of this banned function has been closely evaluated. In the case of library use of it, the calls have been carefully scrutinized to ensure that buffer overruns will not be allowed through these calls. In the case of the compiler, sometimes certain code patterns are recognized as identical to the pattern of memcpy, and are thus replaced with a call to the function. In such cases, the use of memcpy is no more unsafe than the original instructions would have been; they have simply been optimized to a call to the performance-tuned memcpy function. Just as the use of "safe" CRT functions doesn't guarantee safety (they just make it harder to be unsafe), the use of "banned" functions doesn't guarantee danger (they just require greater scrutiny to ensure safety).

Because memcpy usage by the VC++ compiler and libraries has been so carefully scrutinized, these calls are permitted within code that otherwise conforms with the SDL. memcpy calls introduced in application source code only conform with the SDL when that use has been reviewed by security experts.

The memcpy and wmemcpy functions are only deprecated if the constant _CRT_SECURE_DEPRECATE_MEMORY is defined before the #include statement, as in the following examples:

#include <memory.h>


#include <wchar.h>


Routine Required header
memcpy <memory.h> or <string.h>
wmemcpy <wchar.h>

For more compatibility information, see Compatibility.


See memmove for a sample of how to use memcpy.

See also

Buffer manipulation
memchr, wmemchr
memcmp, wmemcmp
memmove, wmemmove
memset, wmemset
strcpy_s, wcscpy_s, _mbscpy_s
strncpy_s, _strncpy_s_l, wcsncpy_s, _wcsncpy_s_l, _mbsncpy_s, _mbsncpy_s_l