R provides many built-in functions that we can use to perform the file operations. Copy a file from one folder to another programmatically is one of the most important operations, and R provides a built-in function for that. Let’s see how to copy a file from one folder to another.
How to Copy a File in R
To copy a file in R, use the file.copy() method. The file.copy() function works in the same way as a file.append() function but with the arguments in the natural order for copying.
Copying to existing destination files is skipped unless overwrite = TRUE. The to argument can specify a single existing directory. If copy.mode = TRUE file read/write/execute permissions are copied where possible, restricted by ‘umask’.
file.copy(from, to, overwrite = recursive, recursive = FALSE, copy.mode = TRUE, copy.date = FALSE)
from, to: They are character vectors containing file names or paths. For file.copy() and file.symlink() can alternatively be the path to a single existing directory.
overwrite: It is logical; should existing destination files be overwritten?
recursive: It is logical. If to is a directory, should directories in from being copied (and their contents)?
copy.mode: It is logical: should file permission bits be copied where possible?
copy.date: It is logical: should file dates be preserved where possible?
Copy a file in R Step by Step
In this example, we will copy a file from one current working directory to a new folder.
Step 1: Create a new directory
To get a current working directory using a command, use the getwd() function.
To create a directory in R, use the dir.create() method.
dir.create("newdir") newDirPath <- "newdir"
Here, we have also defined a new path in which we want to copy a file.
Step 2: Create a new file
To create a file in R, use the file.create() method.
files <- c("a.txt") file.create(files) newFilePath <- "a.txt"
Here, we have defined a vector containing a file name. Then we are creating a file using the file.create() function, and then define the new file’s path because we will need this in the copy() function.
Step 3: Copy a file from one folder to another.
To copy a file from one folder to another, use the file.copy() method. The complete code is below.
dir.create("newdir") newDirPath <- "newdir" files <- c("a.txt") file.create(files) newFilePath <- "a.txt" file.copy(newFilePath, newDirPath)
 TRUE  TRUE
The first TRUE is for successfully creating a file and the second TRUE is for successfully copying the file.
If it returns FALSE, that means there is s some problem while copying the files.
That is it for copying a file in the R tutorial.
Krunal Lathiya is an Information Technology Engineer by education and web developer by profession. He has worked with many back-end platforms, including Node.js, PHP, and Python. In addition, Krunal has excellent knowledge of Data Science and Machine Learning, and he is an expert in R Language. Krunal has written many programming blogs, which showcases his vast expertise in this field.