How do I sync local folder to network drive without missing any changes?
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 make an exact copy of original files for data protection.
Then, how to sync folder to network drive without missing any changes? You need a relaible sync software that supports schedule sync files, such as, daily, weekly, monthly. Thus, some users try different software, for example, Microsoft’s Sync Toy, but it only sync files manually unless you seek help from Task Scheduler. Dsynchronize 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 two working methods to automatic sync local folder to network drive. Thus, you will never miss any changes of your files.
How to sync folder to network drive automatically
Here you will learn 2 useful methods to sync folder to network drive. A reliable third-party sync software like AOMEI Backupper Professional is a better choice for home users. Usually, it's simpler and supports many useful features. For IT technicians, try Robocopy.
Method 1: Automatically sync folder to network drive with AOMEI Backupper
AOMEI Backupper Professional has a user-friendly design, and easy to operate. With it, you can sync files to network drive automatically with help of its Schedule Sync feature, including Daily, Weekly, Monthly frequency. Also, you can use Event triggers, USB plug in.
For sync solutions, you can choose to sync files from local drive to network drive with its Basic Sync, Real-Time Sync (to sync files in real-time), Mirror Sync (to avoid newly added or any modifications in the destination). Also, you can sync files between them with Two- Way Sync, especially useful for changes made later. Besides, it still support sync files to external hard drive, flash drive, cloud drive like OneDrive, etc.
Now, let's have a closer look at Windows sync folders to network drive. Please download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper Professional first. Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista are supported.
Step 1. Click "Basic Sync" under the "Sync" tab.
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 Sync" at the bottom and then select any schedule sync you like. Then, click “Start Sync” to sync folder to network drive.
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.
Method 2: Automatic mirror folder to network drive using Robocopy
Here you will use /MIR in Robocopy to sync folder with steps below. 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.
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
Wait untill the process complete, you will see the sync details and then check it in the destination path.
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.
How to schedule sync folder on network drive
Except for sync folder to network drive, some users still want to make network 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. In this case, try Sync Center. It is a built-in sync tool, first introduced in Windows 7 and inherited in later version, such as, Windows 8/8.1/10/11.
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.
Syncing folder to network drive in Windows 7/8/10/11is very easy with help of third party sync software - AOMEI Backupper. Also, Robocopy is worth trying if you are familiar with this commane line utility. By comparison, the previous one is easier and more flexible, you can customize this task by its Schedule Sync or Options.
In addition, it's still a file backup software, thus you can use it to backup files to external hard drive, network drive, cloud drive, flash drive, etc. And you can enjoy some excellent feature during the process, such as, schedule backup, incremental/differential backup, etc.
And trust me, it's one of the most powerful software to secure data and system. And you can use it to do complete system backup or disk backup, clone MBR/GPT disk, clone Windows 10 to NVMe etc. Why not download it to have a try!