Solved: “Calculating the time required to copy the files” takes too much time

Aleksandar Ognjanovic
by Aleksandar Ognjanovic
Troubleshooting Expert
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calculating time required to copy files

Copying files from one partition to another or from external media to your local storage should be a walk in a park. However, even the simplest of all operations can, occasionally, prove challenging. Certain Windows 10 user’s reports state that the “Calculating the time required to copy the files” screen takes ages to finish or it won’t finish at all. In which case they’re forced to unplug media or restart the PC since the operation can’t be canceled.

In order to fix this or at least find a workaround, we recommend checking the steps we enlisted below. If Windows 10 is taking extended periods of time for simple calculation, make sure to move through the list.

How to fix stuck at the “Calculating the time required to copy the files” screen in Windows 10

  1. Wait for some time
  2. Check storage for errors
  3. Disable antivirus temporarily
  4. Use alternatives

1: Wait for some time

A lot of users identify Windows time calculation as the part of the copying process. Thus, they concur that this operation slows down the copying process and want to disable it. That’s not the case and you can’t disable it. This is just a standard calculation and it’s approximate, not precise. What indeed slows down the calculating is the copying itself. For example, extra large chunks of data, a lot of files in a different format, or the overall read and write speeds of the medium are the ones that make the system take a lot of time while copying.

When the File Explorer is stuck in the “Calculating the time required to copy the files” screen and it takes more than usual, just wait it out. Of course, don’t wait for hours as that won’t lead anywhere. Also, try making some changes. Don’t just copy-paste the folder with 100 GB of raw data. Split it up in, say, 10 GB chunks. In addition, consider the number of files. If you count files in tens of thousands, it’ll certainly take more than copying a few files which equal in size.

In regards to external storages, try changing the USB port. If you’re transferring files from/to your phone, avoid MTP protocol and stick with the Mass Storage. In addition, try using Wi-Fi to transfer your files. There are a lot of programs/apps available that allow the wireless transfer. If you’re copying files from a DVD/CD, make sure that the disk and ROM are in a good state.

If you’re past that but the issue is persistent and Explorer takes ages to calculate the data, make sure to continue with the steps provided below.

2: Check storage for errors

Now, the aforementioned steps should help you speed up the copying process substantially, but the prerequisite condition is a fully functional storage. If your internal/external HDD or USB are damaged or corrupted, the calculation and processing files will take a lot more time than needed. In the worst case scenario, you won’t be able to manipulate files at all. This is a clear sign of the upcoming HDD failure and we recommend backing up your data as soon as possible.

But, what we don’t want is rushing to conclusions. Instead of that, you have various ways to check the storage for errors. There’s a lot of tools for doing so — some of them built-in utilities in Windows 10 and others third-party solutions. The go-to utility in Windows 10 (and older iterations as well) is ChkDsk. You can run it in an elevated Command Prompt. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the Windows Search bar, type cmd, right-click on Command Prompt and run it as an administrator.
  2. In the command line, type the following command and press Enter:
    • chkdsk c: /rwindows 10 error the current active partition is compressed
  3. If your system partition isn’t C, replace “c:“with an alternative letter assigned to your system partition.
  4. Once the scanning ends, restart your PC and try copying files again.

3: Disable antivirus temporarily

Even though Windows 10 comes with the fairly competitive Windows Defender, the majority of Windows users still places their trust in third-party antimalware solutions. And rightfully so. However, certain third-party antivirus suits don’t work well with Windows 10. They are, arguably, better than their peers in many regards. They can slow down the system and affect the performance of the simplest of operations — this includes copying.

Namely, the real-time protection of certain antivirus solutions will try to scan the files while they’re being transferred. And if you already have issues with the lackluster hardware or system bugs, that’s certainly something you don’t need. So, we recommend disabling the antivirus for the remainder of the data transfer. Once you copied everything, you can perform a localized scan to check for the virus presence.

4: Use alternatives

Finally, if you’re repeatedly unable to go past the “Calculating the time required to copy the files” screen but can confirm that the storage media is healthy, maybe the Explorer is the problem. There’s a lot of different third-party File Transfer tools which might just work. The majority of those (if not all) are free to use and rather simple to handle.

We can’t guarantee it’ll work better, but if you’re willing to give it a try, consider one of these tools:

  • FastCopy – fast multi-thread copying tool, not the best design, though.calculating-the-time-required-to-copy-the-files
  • Copy Handler – fast and well-designed, lacks data verifier.calculating-the-time-required-to-copy-the-files
  • ExtremeCopy – reliable tool but you’ll need to pay for some premium features.calculating-the-time-required-to-copy-the-files

With one of those, you might have a better luck. Also, that should conclude it. In case you have an alternative solution or questions regarding the enlisted ones, feel free to tell us in the comments section below.