Best software to copy large amount of files

Hello all. Hoping to get some recommendations. I need to copy about 500GB of data from an external hard drive formatted NTFS onto another external spinning hard drive formatted Mac OS extended. These are all files and programs from my windows days about 10 years ago before I switched. That hard drive is almost 12 years old so I want to switch it over to another hard drive before it fails.

In the past I found Finder cumbersome for large file transfers because it wouldn’t give me enough information if something failed to copy and it was hard to find out what did copy over and what was left to copy.

Is Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner good to do this task? I have a license for Super Duper that I use on my other Mac for periodic clones. But if anyone has any other suggestions, I’m all ears.

Thanks in advance!

I’m running Catalina 10.15.7

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If you are comfortable using the terminal you can copy everything using rsync (which is included with macOS). And if anything should interrupt the copy, you can run the same command again and it will pick up where it left off.

I normally use rsync -arv /source directory/ /target directory


I’d go with Carbon Copy Cloner for this. Really easy and fast to use.

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Another vote for rsync from me as it’s the quickest solution I’ve found and it’s built in. The other option I’ve used in the past is Freefilesync and I’ve recently found out my file copier of choice for a larger number of files on Windows also has a Mac version - Teracopy.

I moved all my files between two NAS’s using Teracopy. It was slow, due to the extra time to hash the files, but it worked to confirm everything had copied across fine.


With caveats like enclosing paths with spaces in double quotes.

rsync -arv “/source directory/“ “/target directory”

If not already comfortable with Terminal, I really don’t think the command line is the best option. I would go for something with a GUI, like Carbon Copy Cloner, or one of the others mentioned.


Hedge has been my go-to for any critical file copying tasks.

It was designed for media production so it’s not cheap, but it’s secure and quick and reliable.


Chronosync would work well.


Since this is the macpowerusers forum I do offer the occasional command line solution when I think it is safe for an average user. In this case, IMO, rsync is probably one of the safest commands to start with. Fortunately, we usually have several users willing to offer a suggestion so readers have a choice.

I thought writing the command: rsync -arv /source\ directory/ /target\ directory
would be confusing. It is, however, how terminal will input the command if you drag the directories into the window as suggested in the article.

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If you have a Setapp subscription, Get Backup Pro works pretty well too.

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Thanks everyone for the wonderful suggestions. Your replies have helped narrow down the choices to get my task done and I’ll start researching to find the best solution for me. Still open to other recommendations.

Just an update. Thanks to your wonderful suggestions, I took a look at all of them and ultimately decided to use Hedge. TeraCopy for Mac had everything I wanted to do and looked promising, not to mention free for private use, but the dealbreaker was that the app kept crashing. Other reviews also said the same thing. A deal breaker when you are using it to transfer critical files you don’t want to risk losing. The user interface was also confusing. The Hedge UI was simple and the most mac-like of the bunch. It is pricey, but there was a 25% black friday weekend discount that I took advantage of. I’ll def. be using it a bunch in the future, so foolproof ease of use was critical. A big thank you to you all!

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