Microsoft SyncToy 2.1

Sometimes, in addition to a full backup of your PC, you just want to backup a folder or two, or keep files synchronized between two partitions or your hard drive and an external drive.

This is where SyncToy 2.1 comes in. It is a small, easy to configure and best of all free program to synch files from a destination (or ‘left’ as SynchToy calls it) to a target (or ‘right’) folder. You can setup to synch to an existing folder or create a new one. You also have three options when configuring each synch job:

  • Synchronize: in which new and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.
  • Echo: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.
  • Contribute: New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.

Options can be changed later if you wish. For example, I initially set my synchs to ‘Contribute’, but I will change future synchs to ‘Echo’ since I really only want to copy ‘left to right’.

Here are some screen captures made by SnagIt:

This is the main screen:

synchtoy_main

This is SyncToy performing one of my synchs:

synchtoy

This is a handy tool to have, no doubt about it. It is similar to Karen Kenworthy’s Replicator, which I have used in the past with good results. It has more options and is more for the intermediate to advanced user. I recommend trying SyncToy v2.0 first.

Here is a link to a Microsoft white paper entitled “Synchronizing Images and Files in Windows Vista and XP Using Microsoft SyncToy”.