According to Microsoft, file copying in Windows 8 isn’t specifically faster than in Windows 8, and the estimated time for copying files isn’t specifically more accurate. But we found copying 2.5GB of assorted files of various size (documents, music, photos, PDFs and ZIP files) from a USB 2.0 drive to the internal SSD was slightly faster in Windows 8 and the estimated time was slightly more accurate (and less optimistic).
That slight improvement is consistent with other large file copying, but the difference is down to improvements in Windows 8 performance generally rather than in file copying and Explorer generally.
Windows 8 suggested copying the files would take three minutes; Windows 7 was slightly more optimistic. The estimate was almost spot on in Windows 8; less so for Windows 7. The peak transfer speed was slightly higher with Windows 8, and the dialog box makes it easy to see when reading and writing larger files was slower than the smaller files in our test folder.
Lots of things can affect whether a file copies as quickly as Windows expects. If your antivirus software starts scanning files or a background task starts downloading an update or an application writes a large file or you start copying a second file or importing photos, or another device using the same USB bus is using the connection – anything like can slow the copying down. (We turned off background services and other applications to avoid those kinds of inconsistencies in our tests.) Because Windows 8 itself is slightly faster, uses less memory and has fewer services running in the background, that lets your PC copy the files slightly faster. It’s not a major improvement, but lots of small improvements add up to a system that feels generally faster.