Folder sync made simple with Microsoft’s SyncToy

I have a 1tb drive attached to my home server and another external 1tb NAS drive which is used for backups of the server, Win 7 laptop and MacBook.

I have used a number of methods in the past to sync folders, such as RoboCopy, from one place to another, but SyncToy 2.1 comes direct from Microsoft. This is not to say its a full featured product, but does mean its one less 3rd party installed on the server..

SyncToy 2.1 comes as a free utillity download from Microsofts Download site in both 64 and 32 bit versions. In their own words…

SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders.

In its simplest form it allows you to specify a “Left Folder” and a “Right Folder”. It then allows you choose from 3 different sync methods. I defaulted to Synchronise, or Synchronize if your in the States. There is also Echo and Contribute, check help for the exact details of these methods.

The following screenshots show a simple left to right folder setup..

Once the Sync has been added you can choose to run it or configure more detailed options such as excluding certain file types or system files by the additional options features.

Once you have all of the required pairs setup, SyncToy 2.1 can be driven from the command line, which in turn allows it to be scheduled.

Microsoft do list some limitations on the bottom of the download page and I accept no responsibility from any issues that arise from using this product. So I recommend trying this out on non critical data first..!


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