Overview for Automatic Sync
File sync is a great function to help you keep your folders or files stay identical in two locations. It can be regarded as a kind of file backup, but 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-worker.
- 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 save your effort and minimize human errors. But how can you do it in Windows 10, 11 or even earlier OS? Let's talk about the available methods.
Method 1. Automatic File Sync Tool Built in Windows Computer
Before Windows 7, it may be difficult for users to sync files. Users must setup sync by a system administrator, which could be so complex for average users. However, there's tool built in Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1, Windows 10 and Windows 11 called Sync Center, which makes things go 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 the next method.
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.
3. In the next window, click Enable offline files and OK. Then, restart your computer to make changes take effect.
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 won’t change the password. Thus, you may need a robust and comprehensive alternative.
Method 2. Easier Tool to Auto Sync Files in Windows 11/10/8/7
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, XP, and provides a powerful Sync feature to help you synchronize files/folders flexibly with easier operation:
◇You are able to sync multiple folders simultaneously, thus saving you from tedious work.
◆You can set up a schedule to run the file sync task daily, weekly, monthly or based on a special event.
◇It supports various source and target storage devices, including local/external drives, network locations, cloud, etc.
◆It includes backup features to back up files, partitions, disk and OS automatically. And you can also backup files to AOMEI Cloud and get 1TB 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:
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.
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 Sync and Mirror Sync feature 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.
Step 4. Click Schedule Sync and select daily, weekly, or monthly after enable it. Then, click OK to exit.
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.
Tip: 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.
There are two ways offered on this page to help you run automatic sync in Windows. Compared to Sync Center, the operations in AOMEI Backupper are much easier and it allows you to sync folders on local/external/network drives to another location as well as sync a laptop and a desktop. Moreover, you can do the backup, restore, and clone jobs with AOMEI Backupper. Don’t hesitate to give it a try!