Folder synchronization allows you to automatically store two or more identical folders and keeps all changed folders from the source directory to destination directory. In our life, there are different reasons to sync folders to network drive. For example, you want to see all the prior folders available offline in another computer, or you just want to protect data.
Then, let's have a glance about syncing local folder to network drive and learn more.
How do I sync local folder to network drive without missing any changes?
"I want to sync every change in my folders including new folders, changed folders, deleted folders, etc, but do not ensure how to do it?", one user said.
For many users, how to synchronize two folders in Windows 7/8/10 has always been a problem, but no suitable software has been found. some users try Microsoft’s Sync Toy, but it can only sync by hand. Others try Dsynchronize, it works well but still has some shortcomings. For example: If a large number of folders changed in a few minutes, it can not sync correctly.
Don't worry too much and I'll introduce three working methods to sync local folder to network drive. You can select the one suitable for you. All of them can complete the sync task automatically or in real-time, so you will never miss any changes of your files.
If you want to sync offline files to network drive, you could use Sync Center. If you want to sync all the local files on your computer, you could consider using AOMEI Backupper Professional. If you are an IT technician, command line Robocopy can be a good choice.
Schedule sync folder to network drive with Sync Center
Sync Center is a built-in sync tool, which was first introduced in Windows 7 and inherited in later version, such as, Windows 8/8.1/10/11. It allows you to make folder available offline in Windows 7/8/10/11 and access data on the network drive even when your drive is disconnected or there is no network connection. Also, it allows you to sync offline files betwen local computer and network drive.
The entire process are divided into 3 parts. The first part is to sync network drive to local drive. Then, the second part is to enable offline files. The previous two parts are the gurantee to sync offline files in Windows 7/8/10/11. At last, you need to make full use of "Sync Center" to mirror folder to network drive. Here, I'll take Windows 10 as an example to show you the entire process.
Part 1: Map network drive to local computer
Step 1. Create a shared folder on the network drive, then right-click the shared folder and select Map Network Drive from the context menu.
Step 2. Then, go to the mapped network drive, right-click it and select “Always available offline” to make network drive offline in Windows 10. If you do not want to make entire mapped network drive offline, open it and choose specific files or folders to make them offline.
Step 3. Wait for the final result until you receive a message, telling “your files will be available offline”.
Note: You will see a list of folders from your mapped network drive as it has cached a list of the folders. But network drive only showing offline files when your network drive is disconnected from your computer or there is no internet connection. If you try to open a folder not made available offline, it will appear to be empty until you connect to the network again.
Part 2: Enable offline files
Step 1. Navigate to "Start Menu" > "Control Panel" > select "View by Small icons" > click "Sync Center" to open this software.
Step 2. Click “Manage offline files” at the left panel of this window
Step 3. Click “Enable offline files” under the “General” tab and then restart your computer to activate it. If you do not restart your computer, you cannot activate offline files folder on your computer.
Part 3: Sync folders to network drive in Windows 10 with Sync Center
Step 1. Go to Sync Center, then select "Offline Files" under the Folders (1) and click "Schedule". You can also right-click the Offline Files and select "Schedule for Offline Files" from the context menu.
Step 2. Tick an item when you are asked "which items do you want to sync on this schedule?".
Step 3. Click "At a scheduled time" under the "When do you want this sync to begin" link.
Step 4. Set the time you want to start on and select "Repeat every 1 minute(s)" as sync interval.
Step 5. Then, name this schedule sync task and click "Save schedule" to automatically copy files to network drive.
① This operation also works for Windows 7/8 sync local folder to network drive. And all the steps are almost the same, but there are some differences in the interface.
② If you find the network files offline when online, you can set "Allow or Disallow use of the Offline Files feature" in the local group policy editor to "Not Configured" and then disable offline files in Sync Center.
Automatically sync folder to network drive with AOMEI Backupper
Sync Center is a good way to sync offline files, but it's limited to this. If you want to sync local folders in simple steps, file sync software AOMEI Backupper Professional will be a better choice. There are some advantages of it in the following.
Have an intuitive interface, so users can understand the operation easily and quickly.
Compatible with all Windows operating system, including Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows 10/11, Windows XP and Windows Vista.
Support multiple sync storage, such as, internal hard drive, external drive, network drive, cloud storage like Microsoft OneDrive etc.
Support various file sync types, such as, Basic Sync, Real-time Sync and Mirror Sync.
Support Schedule Sync, including daily/weekly/monthly, event triggers, USB plug in.
Now, let's have a closer look at Windows sync folders to network drive.
Step 1. Download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional, then click "Basic Sync" under the "Sync" tab. If you want to sync files in real-time without missing any changes, click "Real-Time Sync" as instead.
Step 2. In this window, you need to do two steps sequentially. First, you should click “Add Folder” to choose the folder you want to sync. Then you are supposed to select your network drive as your destination path.
① To select network drive, click where the arrow point and select NAS/Share > Add Network Location, then type the required info, including IP address, username, password. At last, double-click to open network drive and select any folder you want to sync.
② You are only allowed to access shared folder on network drive. If there is no shared folder on your network drive, you will not see any folder.
③ At the right side of selected folder, you can see a feature called "File Filter", displayed in a funnel shapp, which can help you exclude or include certain file type to sync.
Step 3. Click "Schedule" at the bottom and then select any schedule sync you like. Then, click “Start Sync”.
① During the process of file sync, you can manually tick “On completion” and select the operation you want to do, "Shut down PC", for example. Then, your computer will automatically shutdown after the task ends.
② If you want to sync files between computer and flash drive, it's suggested to use "USB plug in" feature. It will sync your files to/from USB when it's connected to your computer, even without openning this software.
① This Pro version is only available for Windows 7/8/10/XP/Vista, so you can consider using AOMEI Backupper Server to sync local folder if you are using any server computer.
② This software can also be applied to sync two folders on same computer, Windows sync folder between drives, Windows 10 sync folders between computers, sync folders to external drive, sync two external hard drives in Windows 10 etc.
Automatic mirror folder to network drive using Robocopy
Robocopy sync is a newly added solution to mirror Windows folder and suitable for IT technicians who are familiar with command prompt. In the following, you are going to use /MIR in robocopy. It's the combination of /e and /purge, which will copy all subdirectories (including empty subdirectories) and delete files and directories that no longer exist in the source directory. /MIR also overwrites the directory security settings (unlike /e) if the directory already exists.
Then, without further ado, let's start to learn how to use Robocopy in Windows 7/8/10/11.
Step 1. Type cmd in the search box and open cmd.
Step 2. To copy files from c:\robocopy to k:\robocopy_mirror, you can type the following command and hit Enter. You need to replace the following path with yourself. Please remember to add quote if the path has space.
robocopy c:\robocopy k:robocopy_mirror /MIR
Step 3 (optional). To avoid typing the command repeatedly, you can copy and paste it to notepad, then save it as .bat extension. Then, you can double-click the file and run the file sync process.
Reading here, you may already get how to sync folder to network drive in Windows 7/8/10/11. Here are three tested ways for you. All of them can help you sync files automatically. To sync offline files between local computer and network drive, you could use "Sync Center". To sync all of the local files, you could use AOMEI Backupper Professional. To sync files using command, you could use "Robocopy" command line.
Among them, AOMEI Backupper can be the easiest way. It's intutive and easy to understandard. It supports various sync solutions, schedule settings and backup storage to meet different users' needs. In addition, it's still a Windows backup and restore software & disk cloning software, so you can use it to do complete system backup, file backup, incremental/differential backup, clone Windows 10 to NVMe, clone MBR/GPT disk etc.
And trust me, it's one of the most powerful software to secure data and system. If you have this need, please download the free trial version to enjoy these features.