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How to sync two folders on a Windows 10 PC

Folder syncing solutions aren’t just for backing up files to a cloud drive, or to a different system. There are also solutions for syncing folders between local drives, some are command-line based and some have a GUI. The apps with a GUI make it easier to set up sync. If you want to sync two folders on Windows 10, Microsoft’s SyncToys is the first tool you should try. It has a simple GUI and it offers multiple sync options.

Sync two folders on Windows 10

Download SyncToys from Microsoft. Install and run it. Click the create new folder pair option.

SyncToys doesn’t label folders as source or destination. It gives them much simpler names; left folder and right folder. Select the two folders that you want to sync and remember which one is the left folder, and which one is the right one.

You have three different sync options; Synchronize, Echo, and Contribute. When you select each of these options, you will see a description telling you how each sync works.

  • Synchronization will sync all files and folders between two folders. If you delete anything from either one of the folders, it will also be deleted from the other one.
  • Echo will copy all new files, and all updated files from the left folder to the right folder. If you delete or rename a file from the left folder, it will be deleted and/or renamed in the right folder as well.
  • Contribute will copy new and updated files and folders from the left folder to the right folder. Renamed files in the left folder will also be renamed in the right one. No files or folders will be deleted in either direction so if you delete a file from the left folder, it will not be deleted from the right folder.

Finish creating the pair, and click Run to sync files and folders.

The app needs to be run manually however, you can use a scheduled task to have it run automatically. Use Task Scheduler to create a task. Set when you want to run the app under ‘Triggers’ by selecting a time schedule. On the Actions tab, add a new action to run an app.

Select the SyncToy.exe file under ‘Program/script’, and in the ‘Add arguments (optional)’ field, enter ‘-R’. This will run all the folder sync pairs that you’ve created. If you’d just like to run a single pair, use ‘-R “Folder Pair Name”‘ in the ‘Add arguments (optional) field.

Save the task and enable it. It will run SyncToys at a regular time everyday, and sync your folders.

1 Comment

  1. I tried to install SyncToys and it says I need .NET Framework installed first, I installed the latest version of the .NET Framework and it still wont install.

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