[Top 3 Ways] to Run Automatic File Sync in Windows 11/10/8/7

Want to sync files and folders automatically between computers, network drives and USB flash drives? Read this article carefully to get three efficient ways.


By Lily Updated on April 25, 2024

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Overview for Automatic Sync

File sync is a great function to help you keep your folders or files identical in two locations. It can be regarded as a kind of file backup, but with more emphasis on data updates - if you made changes to the source directory, you can have the changes happen in the destination location as well. It could be very useful in the following scenarios:

  • Keep an intact and updated copy of your important files in case of data loss or corruption.
  • Share the latest version of files with co-workers.
  • Transfer files from PC to PC on the same network.

The easiest way to do file sync is to make a copy of the folder and paste it to the target location. However, if the files in the source folder change frequently, it would be quite troublesome to copy the folder manually again and again.

Instead, if you set up an automatic syncing task, the files can be auto updated without manual intervention, thus saving your effort and minimizing human errors. But how can you do it in Windows 10, 11, or even earlier OS? Three ways will be described below.

Automatic Sync

👉 Method 1. Auto Folder Sync in Windows via Easiest Tool🔥
👉 Method 2. Windows Folder Sync via Sync Center
👉 Method 3. Windows Auto Sync Folders via OneDrive
👉 FAQs about Automatic Sync

Method 1. Auto Folder Sync in Windows via Easiest Tool

Here, we recommend AOMEI Backupper to you, for its complete functions and simple interface. It works with Windows 11, 10, 8.1/8, 7, Vista, and XP, and provides a powerful Sync feature to help you synchronize files/folders flexibly with easier operation:

👍 Batch Sync

You are able to sync multiple folders simultaneously, thus saving you from tedious work.

⏰ Auto Sync

You can set up a schedule to run the file sync task daily, weekly, monthly or based on a special event.

💾 Supported Devices

It supports various source and target storage devices, including local/external drives, network locations, cloud, etc.

📂 Backup Features

It includes backup features to back up files, partitions, disks, and OS automatically. You can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud and get 1TB of free storage for 15 days after you sign up for an AOMEI account.

You can simply download the freeware AOMEI Backupper Standard, and follow the guide below to get started:

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Windows sync folders automatically via AOMEI Backupper:

Step 1. If you want to auto sync files/folders to an external device, connect it and make sure it can be detected by File Explorer first. Then launch the main interface of the software.

Step 2. To automatically sync files, here you need to click Basic Sync under the Sync tab.

File Sync

Tip: Basic Sync performs one-way sync (from the source location to the destination location) with optional schedule. If you want to do two-way sync, please upgrade to AOMEI Backupper higher editions. You can also enjoy the Real-time SyncMirror Sync, and Two-Way Sync features in the advanced versions.

Step 3. Click Add Folder to select the folders that you want to sync regularly. Then, click the column below to select a destination path to hold the synced folders.

Add Folder

Step 4. Click Schedule Sync and select daily, weekly, or monthly after enabling it. Then, click OK to exit.

Sync Automatically

Step 5. Click Start Sync > Add the schedule and start sync now to begin the process. When the process reaches 100%, click Finish. Congratulations, you have done automatic sync successfully.

Start Sync

Tips: Versatile sync settings are available in Options, such as:

  • Comments: write a comment for your current operation.
  • Email notification: set up email notification so that you can receive timely notifications about task results.
  • Sync the deletions in the source directory to the destination: when files are deleted from the source directory, the same files in the destination directory will also be deleted.

Method 2. Windows Folder Sync via Sync Center

Before Windows 7, it may be difficult for users to sync files. Users must set up sync by a system administrator, which could be very complex for average users. However, there's a tool built in Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10, and Windows 11 called Sync Center, which makes things much easier. That's because there are no server settings to worry about, and people can sync files by themselves.

How to run automatic file sync in Windows comptuers:

Note: You can only sync files on the network drive to local using Sync Center. If you want to sync local folders to network or other locations (external drive, cloud, etc.), please turn to method 1.

1. Open Sync Center.

  • In Windows 11/10/8, type mobsync in the search box on taskbar and press Enter.

  • In Windows 7, click Start button -> All Programs -> Accessories -> Sync Center.

2. In the pop-up window, click Manage offline files on the left pane.

Manage Offline Files

3. In the next window, click Enable offline files and OK. Then, restart your computer to make changes take effect.

Enable Offline Files

4. Search "\\IP address" or "\\hostname" from Start to open network drive. All shared folders will be displayed. Right click on the folder or file you want to sync and select Always available offline.

5. After the process is done, go to Sync Center again.  Click View sync partnerships in the left pane, and then double click the network drive. Select the folder you want to sync automatically, and then pitch on Schedule button on the menu bar. At last, follow the prompt to finish configuring auto sync.

But, there are some shortages in Sync Center. As mentioned above, it can’t sync local folders to another place. What’s more, when doing automatic sync, it will get an error if you don't change the password. Thus, you may need a robust and comprehensive alternative.

Method 3. Windows Auto Sync Folders via OneDrive

Cloud storage enjoys great popularity nowadays. If you’d like to sync PC folders to cloud, OneDrive is a good choice. Microsoft offers 5GB of free storage space for each user. Learn how to sync local folders to OneDrive as follows:

1. Type “onedrive” in the search box. Click the top result and sign in with your Microsoft account.

2. On the This is your OneDrive folder screen, use the default folder location or change it to a new location and click Next.

OneDrive Folder Location

3. Click Open my OneDrive folder to get to your OneDrive folder.

Open OneDrive Folder

4. You can either drag and drop or copy and paste the files/folders you wish to sync into the OneDrive folder. The client will then automatically synchronize them to the OneDrive website.

FAQs about Automatic Sync

#1. What is automatic sync, and how does it work?

Automatic synchronization is the process of keeping data consistent across multiple devices or platforms in real time. Changes made on one device are automatically mirrored on others.

#2. How to perform automatic sync for Outlook data?

To do auto-sync for Outlook data, you can rely on the Outlook Backup feature of AOMEI Backupper Professional, which allows you to automatically backup Outlook emails to external hard drive, local disk, NAS, network drive, and various locations easily.

#3. How to set up Google Drive automatic sync?

To perform automatic sync to Google Drive, you can use the Google Drive desktop app or the all-in-one file sync software AOMEI Backupper. With this tool, you can also set up auto sync to OneDrive, Dropbox, and other popular cloud storage services.

#4. Can I disable automatic sync temporarily or for specific files?

Yes, most platforms and applications allow users to pause or disable automatic sync temporarily. With AOMEI Backupper, you can disable your schedule sync to temporarily turn it off.

#5. What does "automatic sync" and "successful sync" mean?

Here, automatic sync usually refers to sync via an email client, like Outlook desktop; and successful sync usually refers to successfully accessing to your account.

Also, you may encounter an unsuccessful sync in "automatic sync" or an unsuccessful automatic sync attempt on Microsoft account, which means the email sync from somewhere to Outlook Email has failed.


There are three ways offered on this page to help you run automatic sync in Windows.

  • If you want to sync network folders to local, pick Sync Center.
  • If you want to sync local folders to cloud, choose OneDrive or other reputable cloud services like Google Drive and Dropbox.
  • To sync two folders automatically between various locations, AOMEI Backupper will do you a favor.

It allows you to sync folders on local/external/network drives to another location, sync a laptop and a desktop, and sync two external hard drives, etc. Moreover, you can do the backup, restore, and clone jobs with AOMEI Backupper. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!

Lily · Editor
Lily Green joined AOMEI in 2018 and has since become a professional in the areas of data protection and data transfer. She is committed to helping users protect their precious computer data and troubleshoot Windows system errors. She consistently stays vigilant about the latest trends in technology, guaranteeing that the given information aligned with the ongoing advancements in the field.