Replace existing files in a directory. If used with the /a option, this command adds new files to a directory instead of replacing existing files.


replace [<drive1>:][<path1>]<filename> [<drive2>:][<path2>] [/a] [/p] [/r] [/w]
replace [<drive1>:][<path1>]<filename> [<drive2>:][<path2>] [/p] [/r] [/s] [/w] [/u]


Parameter Description
[<drive1>:][<path1>]<filename> Specifies the location and name of the source file or set of files. The filename option is required, and can include wildcard characters (* and ?).
[<drive2>:][<path2>] Specifies the location of the destination file. You can't specify a file name for files you replace. If you don't specify a drive or path, this command uses the current drive and directory as the destination.
/a Adds new files to the destination directory instead of replacing existing files. You can't 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 don't 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 don't specify /w, this command begins replacing or adding files immediately after you press ENTER.
/s Searches all subdirectories in the destination directory and replaces matching files. You can't use /s with the /a command-line option. The command doesn't 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 can't use /u with the /a command-line option.
/? Displays help at the command prompt.


  • As this command adds or replaces files, the file names appear on the screen. After this command is done, 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're using floppy disks and you need to switch disks while running this command, you can specify the /w command-line option so that this command waits for you to switch the disks.

  • You can't use this command 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 This command successfully replaced or added the files.
    1 This command encountered an incorrect version of MS-DOS.
    2 This command couldn't find the source files.
    3 This command couldn't find the source or destination path.
    5 The user doesn't 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.


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


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