Ansible Pilot

Copy files to Windows remote hosts - Local to Remote - Ansible module win_copy

How to copy report.txt file to Windows remote hosts using Ansible module win_copy.

How to copy files to Windows remote hosts?

I’m going to show you a live demo with some simple Ansible code. I’m Luca Berton and welcome to today’s episode of Ansible Pilot

Ansible copy files to Windows remote hosts

Today we’re talking about Ansible module win_copy. The full name is which means is part of the collection of modules “” targeted windows remote hosts. This module is pretty stable and out for years. The purpose is to copy files from the local machine to remote locations. Because win_copy runs over WinRM, it is not a very efficient transfer mechanism. If you plan to send large files consider hosting them on a web service and using instead. Please note that the opposite is done by module win_fetch. On Linux target use the module ansible.builtin.copy.

Please note that the opposite is done by module win_fetch. On Linux target use the Ansible copy module..


I’m going to summarize the most useful parameters. The only required parameter is “dest” which specifies the remote absolute path destination. It’s better with “", the Windows way, instead of “/”, the Unix way. Please also verify that the remote user has the right to write in this path. The “src” specifies the source file in the controller host. It could be a relative or absolute path. I recommend absolutely. If the source is a directory all the content is copied. Please be more careful with the “/” at the end. If present only the content of the directory is copied, if you want the directory and the content you need to omit the “/” character. The “backup” boolean parameter allows you to create a backup if the utility overwrites any file. The default behavior is to transfer the file only if not present or differ in the target host, the file is also verified by Ansible with a checksum on the source and target host automatically. If you want to transfer the all the time the file you need to toggle the “force” parameter to “no”. Please note that setting to “no” also disables the checksum that could speed up the process but also corrupt the file.


Let’s jump in a real-life playbook to copy files to Windows remote hosts with Ansible.

- name: win_copy module demo
  hosts: all
  become: false
  gather_facts: false
    source: "report.txt"
    destination: "Desktop/report.txt"
    - name: copy report.txt
        src: "{{ source }}"
        dest: "{{ destination }}"

test report.txt

code with ❤️ in GitHub


Now you know how to copy files to remote Windows hosts with Ansible. Subscribe to the YouTube channel, Medium, Website and Twitter to not miss the next episode of the Ansible Pilot.


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September 14, 2021

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