How to Copy Files from a Specific Child Folder in Python

What will you learn?

In this tutorial, you will learn how to copy files from a specific child folder using Python. You will explore how to navigate through directories, identify the target child folder, and efficiently copy files to a destination directory.

Introduction to Problem and Solution

Managing files within nested directories often requires selective copying of files from specific subfolders. This guide delves into leveraging Python’s shutil and os modules for seamlessly copying files from a designated child folder. By understanding the process of identifying the target subfolder and executing file copying operations, you can streamline file management tasks effectively.


import os
import shutil

def copy_files_from_subfolder(source_dir, target_dir, subfolder_name):
    subfolder_path = os.path.join(source_dir, subfolder_name)

    if not os.path.exists(subfolder_path):
        print(f"Subfolder {subfolder_name} does not exist.")

    for filename in os.listdir(subfolder_path):
        full_file_path = os.path.join(subfolder_path, filename)

        if os.path.isfile(full_file_path):
            shutil.copy(full_file_path, target_dir)
            print(f"Copied {filename} to {target_dir}")

# Copyright PHD


The function copy_files_from_subfolder takes three parameters: source_dir, target_dir, and subfolder_name. Here’s a breakdown: 1. Finding Subfolders: It constructs the path for the specified subfolder using os.path.join(). 2. Verifying Existence: Checks if the subfolder exists before proceeding. 3. Iterating Through Files: Iterates over each file in the subfolder. 4. Copying Each File: Copies each file to the target directory using shutil.copy().

This script ensures precise selection and transfer of files exclusively from the designated child folder.

  1. How do I run this script?

  2. To execute this script, place it in your project directory, adjust paths as needed, specify the child folder name correctly, and run it via terminal or command prompt.

  3. Can I specify multiple child folders at once?

  4. While currently set up for single-directory operation per execution, modifications can be made to handle multiple inputs simultaneously based on specific requirements.

  5. What happens if my target directory doesn�t exist?

  6. If the target directory is missing, consider implementing checks to create necessary directories dynamically (os.makedirs(target_directory)) before initiating any file transfer actions.

  7. Is there a size limit on copied files?

  8. Python’s shutil module doesn’t impose direct filesize restrictions; however, system limitations like available memory or disk space may impact performance during file copying operations.

  9. How efficient is Python for file manipulation tasks?

  10. Python’s rich library support makes it highly efficient for handling file operations like copying, moving, or deleting files within directories. Its simplicity and versatility make it ideal for automating various file management tasks.


Mastering the art of selectively copying files from specific child folders empowers you with essential skills for efficient file organization and automation using Python. By understanding how to navigate directories and leverage Python libraries like shutil and os, you can streamline your workflow effectively.



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