Synchronising files between Laptop and Dekstop.. free utility (works!)

I have started using the free Microsoft SyncToy version 2.1 for synchronising files from my laptop back to my home desktop/server and it is working very well so felt was time to blog about it.

After I travel, for work, I typically have a bunch of new images on my laptop, and may have renamed, edited or deleted some images from past trips that I had not yet processed. The SyncToy manages propagating those additions, deletions, renames and edits back to the server. Equally if I have added/deleted/edited/renamed any images on my desktop those changes will be made on my laptop.

Microsoft describes the tool as "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."

The software works through two selected folders (a folder pair) which are referred to as the right and left folders.

There are three different modes that it can be run in -

*Synchronise - added/edited files are sent both ways and deletions and renames are repeated on the other side

*Echo - added/edited files are copied from the left selected folder to the right. Deletion and renaming of files is also repeated on the right folder

*Contribute - added/edited files are copied left to right. Renames are repeated. Deletions are NOT repeated.

I have been using Synchronise as I add/edit/rename and delete files on both my Desktop and Laptop.

If you wanted this to be the tool of a backup you could use "Contribute" and send your images and changes to an external disk or networked NAS drive, etc. Using Contribute your deletions would not be repeated. If you wanted them to be repeated as well you would have to use the Echo mode.

I have not had any issues with the tool yet and it seems to run quickly through my home network. I would suggest before using it in a production environment to first test with dummy data to become familiar with how it acts but so far for my situation it has been a powerful solution.

The tool can be downloaded from:

Download SyncToy2.1

I have also used the Windows Scheduler so that the change happens every day at 9pm when I'm on the network. This works from a command line in my case -

"C:Program FilesSyncToy 2.1SyncToyCmd.exe" -R RTX_SYNC

Hope it helps ...


Photos from my current trip ...

Photo credits: Bevanward.

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January 31, 2011


Great photos, I adore the 4 and 6! I think I will try this tool too!

January 28, 2011


Thanks Mariaam for your kind comment - I hope to take many more but unfortunately the day job has to come first...

January 28, 2011


The photos from your trip look great! Thanks for sharing.

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