Do you have files where you use and update in multiple locations, and it is a nightmare to try to make sure that they are in sync? I found a very effective software which is free and open-source, FreeFileSync that does an excellent job for me. What does it do? it basically compare and synchronize 2 folders for you, that include files and sub-folders.
It has a very simple user interface, you basically need to select 2 folders, you can think of them as a source (on the left) and a destination (on the right) folder.
Once you selected your folders, in this case, to illustrate as an example, I have a Test folder on the C drive, and another test folder on the D drive.
To compare the 2 folders
This is useful as you can see what are the differences in the 2 folders. This is read only operation, the comparison will run through all the files and produce a difference report. In my example I have 3 text files on the C drive, and no files on the D drive.
Next you can choose how to synchronize
There are a few options for synchronization, here is a brief explanation:
- Two way – is very powerful, as it will compare files in both folders, update each folder with the new and latest files from the other folder, and get both folder to be exactly the same containing all latest files.
- Mirror – The folder on the left side will the the source and the right folder is the target of the synchronization. This mean, the target folder will the same as the source folder after synchronization.
- Update – This works just like Mirror but adapted to avoid any file deletions on the target folder.
- Custom – allow you to handle special rules based on the categories determined after folder comparison.
Using our sample data, if I select Two way, it will show me a pop up of what will be synchronized, basically 3 files from the left to the right folder, and a total of 11 bytes. It is really cool.
Go ahead and hit “Start”, it will synchronize the files for you and produce a summary report like below.
That’s it, it is very simple and effective. Give it a try with the various options and let me know if you have any question.
Here is a link to FreeFileSync product page where you can find more documentation and to download the software. Please remember this is free and open-source, but if you like and enjoy their work, you can always hit the “Donate” button to show your appreciation.
They also produce another software called RealTimeSync, as the name suggest, it will continue to sync in real time. I will let you know once I give that a try.