Fix: Are You Sure You Want to Copy This File Without its Properties?

Sometimes, when moving or copying a file from an NTFS drive to a drive that is formatted as FAT (FAT16, FAT32 or any other kind of FAT file system), your Windows computer might display a popup that asks you the following question:

“Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties?”

Are You Sure You Want to Copy This File Without its Properties

The popup goes a bit further and explains that specific properties of the file in question can’t be copied or moved from the source to the destination drive and presents the user with three options – to copy or move the files without the properties, to skip the file and move on to the others and to cancel the operation entirely. The reason why some properties of some files can’t be copied or moved from an NTFS drive to a FAT drive is the fact that the NTFS file system is capable of storing some properties (such as properties pertaining to ADS and file encryption information) that drives formatted with the FAT file system simply can’t store.

Copying or moving a file without some of its properties from an NTFS drive to a FAT drive will simply mean that the properties that can’t be transported will be lost, but the file itself will remain intact and functional. That being the case, it is completely safe for you to, when faced with this popup, click on Yes and copy/move the file in question without some of its properties. However, when moving or copying files in large batches from an NTFS drive to a FAT drive, the process is paused every time one of these dialogs pops up, and having to sit there and manually dismiss each and every single one of these dialogs is something no person would want to do.

The problem here is that this dialog is not really an issue – it is merely a warning displayed by the Windows Operating System, and a pretty fair one at that. Since this dialog is a warning and not an actual problem, it can’t be solved. However, thankfully, there are a number of effective workarounds that can allow you to copy or move large batches of files without ever being faced with even one of these dialogs, and the following are some of the best ones:

Convert the destination drive to NTFS

These dialogs are only created when you copy/move files from an NTFS drive to a FAT drive, which means that you can make sure that these dialogs are never even created by simply converting the destination drive to NTFS. However, for a drive to be recognized as a storage device by some machines (such as radios and some Operating Systems other than Windows), the drive needs to be a FAT drive, and if that’s the case with your drive, this workaround is a no-go for you. If that’s not the case, though, the following is what you need to do in order to turn a FAT drive into an NTFS drive:

Connect the FAT drive to your computer.

Hold down the Windows Logo key, and while doing so, press R to open a Run

Type diskmgmt.msc into the Run dialog and press Enter.

In the top pane of the Disk Management utility, locate and right-click on the FAT drive that you want to convert to NTFS.

Click on Format… in the context menu.

Open the dropdown menu in front of File system and click on NTFS to select it.

Name the drive whatever you want in the Volume label

Click on OK and wait for the drive to be formatted.

Once the drive has been successfully formatted to NTFS, you will be able to successfully copy/move as many files as you want to it without ever being met with the “Are you sure you want to copy this file without its properties?” popup.

Use a script that automatically dismisses these dialogs for you

The most effective way to work around these dialogs is to have them automatically answered and dismissed almost as soon as they are created. While no human being can (or has the time to) click on Yes and dismiss these dialogs as soon as they are created, the same effect can be achieved by using a script designed to automatically dismiss these dialogs by instructing them to copy/move the files in question without the properties that can be copied/moved. To use this workaround, you need to:

Download and install AutoIT, a pretty decent and completely free script compilation program, from here.

Click here to download a .ZIP file containing the raw materials for the script that is going to be the answer to your calls for help.

Uncompress the downloaded .ZIP file using a compression program such as WinRAR.

Among the contents of the uncompressed .ZIP file, locate a file named stop-copy-dialog.au3, right-click on it and click on Compile script (x86) in the context menu. This option has been added to your context menu by AutoIT.

AutoIT will now create an .EXE file using the stop-copy-dialog.au3 The .EXE file is the finished script, so you are going to need to place a shortcut to it in your Startup folder to make sure that your computer starts running it as soon as it boots up. First and foremost, move the .EXE file to a safe location, right-click on it and click on Create shortcut. In order to get to your Startup folder, press Windows Logo key + R, type shell:startup into the Run dialog and press Enter. Move the shortcut to the .EXE file created by AutoIT to this location.

Once you have performed all of the steps listed and described above, you are free to uninstall AutoIT and delete both the .ZIP file you downloaded and its uncompressed contents.

Once the script is in place, it will start running and answering these pesky dialogs for you at near lightning speed as soon as your computer boots up.

Use a third-party file copying and moving program

This dialog – this warning – is displayed by Windows every single time a file that has properties that can only be stored on NTFS drives is moved or copied to a FAT drive using Windows’ File Explorer, the key phrase here being “using Windows’ File Explorer”. If you are one of the many Windows users who are entirely convinced that this dialog is a nuisance and don’t want to see this dialog anymore, you can bypass it entirely by using a third-party program for all of your file copying and moving needs.

Almost all of the third-party file copying and moving programs out there don’t halt the copying/moving progress and warn the user every single time they try to copy/move a file with properties that can only be stored on NTFS drives to a FAT drive – they just copy/move the file without the properties in question. A prime example of a third-party file copying and moving program that you should use if you want to work around these dialogs is TeraCopy.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Are You Sure You Want to Copy This File Without its Properties?

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