Super UserWhich is the best application to Sync two folders?
[+41] [22] darthvader
[2009-07-27 06:35:11]
[ windows sync ]

Which is the best application to Sync two folders, preferably incremental sync. One of the folders is a network folder.

(3) Give target and destination operating systems. - hyperslug
(1) See also:… - Rowland Shaw
[+25] [2009-07-27 06:42:49] jtimberman [ACCEPTED]

I've used Microsoft SyncToy [1] for Windows to Windows and Windows to Linux (via Samba share).

For any Linux / Unix (including Mac OS X) OS's, I use rsync, which should be available by default on almost any distribution/platform and is installed by default on many.


Has some bugs. See… - Will M
It can't be used with mobile phones folders without drive letters (just tried with the Samsung Galaxy S2) - sw.
[+16] [2009-07-27 08:10:26] Charles Roper

Live Mesh [1]

Similar to Dropbox, but you have more control over what syncs where plus it does direct P2P transfers (i.e., it can sync files directly between two machines, whereas Dropbox needs to upload to the cloud to do its syncing). You can also choose what folders you want to be part of your 'mesh', unlike Dropbox, which only allows one folder.


I've been very happy with Live Mesh. It works better than anything else I've tried, all automatically. - Renaud Bompuis
(2) However it's Vista or 7 only now - CharlesB
(1) Second the use of Live Mesh, and it includes 5GB of on-line storage - SteveC
The part about Dropbox needing to upload to the cloud to sync local machines is no longer true, Dropbox now has LAN sync. - Andrei
@Andrei It still syncs to the cloud, though, even if transfers between machine happen over the LAN. Live Mesh can do direct P2P syncing without involving the cloud at all. In other words, you're not limited by storage capacity on the cloud. However, having said that, I've not used Live Mesh in ages and so that may have changed. - Charles Roper
[+11] [2009-07-27 08:40:04] fretje

I have been using SyncBack [1] (the freeware edition) for this for years now. Very happy with it!


SyncBack seems to only be able to be scheduled once a day, two days, etc., is there a way to have it sync two folders more often e.g. every minute? - Edward Tanguay
@Edward: Syncback uses the default Windows scheduler to schedule tasks. So it depends on your version of windows what your options are here. On my windows (7) I have an "Advanced..." button, which gives me the option to repeat a task every x minutes or hours. You can also use the "Background" tab in SyncBack to have it "run in the background" every x minutes/hours/days or even seconds. (SyncBack has to be in "expert" modus to be able to see the "Background" tab.) - fretje
This app was great. Loved the clear language in it as well as the simulation runs. Best thing - no install version! - Kirk
[+9] [2009-09-05 00:01:39] Will M

I suggest avoiding Microsoft SyncToy, at least until a next bugfix. I tried it based on it being a highly upvoted answer to this question, but quickly started having problems with it recognizing file dates and discovered that is a documented bug:

(Bug description in Microsoft support forum) [1]

It incorrectly reads timestamps, causing it to replace many more files than it should.

I like its functionality and user interface, but this problem, coupled with other reported bugs related to using it across NAS, leads me to look for another solution.


It also seems to leave little files everywhere it is used, like droppings :) - Joel in Gö
(1) Since this answer they have published an update and the date stamp issue appears to be resolved. It still leaves droppings. - Will M
[+8] [2009-07-27 09:09:55] Deleted

I use Unison [1], it's available both on Windows, Linux and MacOS. When it comes to two way synchronization it's a better choice than rsync.


[+7] [2009-07-27 06:42:52] Adam Matan

Use rsync [1], which is extremely fast, supports secure connection, and works on Linux and Windows (via cygwin)

Another option - if your folder is not larger than 2 GBytes - is the free version of DropBox [2], which is very comfortable, seamless - and also gives you web access to your files.


I use this instead of TimeMachine because it works so much better :) - Justin
[+5] [2009-07-27 07:56:32] marc_s

I personally really like Beyond Compare [1] - it's not just for syncing folders, but can also be used to sync two files (diff) and is extensible, e.g. you can write your own custom providers to sync two files of your own liking.



[+4] [2009-07-27 07:26:21] Manuel Faux

Maybe not really an option for you, but I use Dropbox [1] to sync my computer's data.


[+3] [2009-07-27 07:09:06] Joey

I've been using GoodSync [1] here for a while and can't complain. The price isn't too high and I needed something that could cope with Unicode filenames (which Microsoft's FolderShare tripped over) and Alternate Data Streams [2]. Integrated support for the Windows Task Scheduler (which I really love over reinventing wheels and having like three different schedulers running all the time) is also nice.


[+2] [2009-07-27 08:38:44] Niels Basjes

Although it has some drawbacks when considering the disk usage: GIT

[+2] [2009-07-27 08:40:11] Elazar Leibovich

Take a look at FullSync [1]. PortableApps' Toucan [2] is also a (somewhat weaker) option.


[+2] [2009-08-24 09:20:05] debragail

I use both Dropbox and DirSync pro (free).

[+2] [2010-05-24 15:13:42] Andrew

I use Create Synchronicity [1]. It's very light, extremely fast, and very powerful although highly customizable.


[+2] [2011-02-25 18:46:14] rraheja

I found the Microsoft Robocopy [1] utility much faster—and less buggy—than Synctoy. It can be used within an automated batch script so is a lot more convenient than a GUI tool.


[+2] [2011-03-04 07:15:37] Googooboyy

Since we're not informed which system you're primarily in, safe to say that the easiest method is to use Dropbox [1], which automatically, effortlessly and seamlessly sync files between your various devices, be it in your pc/mac/network/iphone/.

If you're primarily on a mac, I'd suggest this tiny and quick app called SynTwoFolders [2]. I use it to sync items from my mac to my thumbdrive, and I find that it's got a neat feature whereby you can manually specify which is your source, and which is your target desitination -- and then assign rules such as 'only copy newer files' or replace folders whole.

Of course there are more settings to tweak with, but just introducing one or two which I think has been THE reason why I use the said sync software.


[+2] [2011-03-04 12:01:54] paradroid

You can avoid needing to sync altogether by make your local folder and network folder the same folder, by using symbolic links.

mklink /d "c:\virtual copy" "\\foo\target share"

[0] [2009-07-27 09:13:30] TomA

This fsync [1] utility for Windows is the best I could find. It is a command line utility with all essential options you might need. It scans two directories and deletes/copies files to sync them.

It is faster than SyncToy and it doesn't keep a hidden catalog file with a cache of the file listing.


[0] [2009-08-02 03:33:10] jvanderh

If you need speed, then try RichCopy [1]. A free utility from someone at Microsoft. Apart from doing what you ask, it is also optimized for the copy process and is faster than most tools I've used to copy multiple files.


[0] [2009-09-05 00:04:00] hayoo

PowerFolder [1] is an excellent sync tool


[0] [2011-02-27 16:24:17] superdupersheep

Deltacopy [1].

It's a GUI wrapper around rsync for Windows. Free and open source.


[0] [2011-02-27 16:47:46] Ryan Bolger

Live Mesh 2011 [1] will do that just fine. Sync'ing to the cloud is completely optional with it.


[0] [2011-03-04 12:05:29] paradroid

An alternative to Dropbox is SugarSync, which can do everything Dropbox can, like version control and web access, but it has the big advantage in being able to sync any folder on the system, so you do not have to have everything lumped together in one folder.

There is a referral link on my profile for extra free storage space, if you want to try it out.