By Ivy / Last update July 13, 2022

Any way to automatically copy files to a network drive?

"Hello all!

I was wondering if there is a way to sync a local PC folder with a folder on a network drive. I am basically trying to mirror the My Documents folder on the C drive to another mapped network drive folder so if I save something to My Documents, it automatically gets duplicated to the mapped network drive folder.

Is this possible within windows and is it possible to set up so the duplication happens in real-time?"

Need to auto sync local folder to network drive in Windows 10

Syncing folder to network drive is one of the most popular ways to keep data safe since it will make two or more identical folders. To keep all changed files between source and destination directory, you can choose to sync files manually once there are or automatically copy files to network drive. 

If you sync files manually, there is a data loss risk due to forgetting to sync changes after making them. Hence, the best way is to run a file sync task schedule, and this may be different depending on modification frequency. 

Real-Time: It will sync files in real-time, in a simple word, sync files now once changes made.
Hourly or Daily: It is based on daily, and then, choose to run once or multiple times. For laters, you can choose to run the file sync task from 1 hour to 6 hour.
Weekly or Monthly: For files you don't often change, you can sync files in a longer frequency, such as, every week or month.

How to sync folder to network drive automatically 

In fact, there are multiple ways to automatically copy files to network drive, and among them, file sync software is the easiest way for all users. While for IT technicians, more thoughtful and like customizable, command line utility like Robocopy will be a better choice.

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 in simple clicks.

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 or between them with Two-Way Sync.
Besides a network drive, you are able to sync files to external hard drive, flash drive, cloud drive like OneDrive, etc.
For sync settings, you can sync files once or multiple times in a day,  weekly, monthly, event triggers or USB plug in
For Windows systems, it is capable of syncing files in Windows 7, 8, 10, 11, XP, Vista. For server users, try AOMEI Backupepr Server.

To get started, please download AOMEI Backupper Professional first. 

Download Free Trial Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch file sync software - AOMEI Backupper after installation. Then, click "Basic Sync" under the "Sync" tab.

File Sync

👍 More ways to automatically copy files to network drive:
Real-Time Sync: It will sync files right now when you make any change. This is the fastest way for automatic sync.
Mirror Sync: It focuses on data security in the destination directory and helps to avoid any unwanted changes in it.
Two-Way Sync: Unlike previous 3 methods, it syncs files and changes between source and destination directory. 

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.

Select Destination

To select network drive, click the inverted triangle and select Add Share or NAS Device, then type the network path and select files or folders on network drive. Note that only the shared folder will be displayed on the network path. 

Add Share or NAS Devices

Note: To sync files with certain file extensions, click "File Filter", at the right side of the selected folder, displayed like a funnel shape button. It helps you to exclude or include certain file types, you can directly type it in the corresponding box. 

Step 3. Click "Schedule Sync" at the bottom and enable it, then select any schedule sync you like. Then, click “Start Sync” to sync folder to network drive. 

You can select schedule settings based on different frequencies, specific events or USB drive ( to automatically sync files between computer and flash drive). For frequencies, you can choose daily (from every 1 hour to 6 hours or only once), weekly, or monthly. For specific events, you can use system startup or shutdown, user logon or logoff. 

Real Time Sync

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. 

robocopy c:\robocopy k:robocopy_mirror /MIR 

Notes:
① Replace the following path with yourself.
② Please remember to add quote if the path has space.

Robocopy Mir

Wait until the process is complete, you will see the sync details and then check it in the destination path. 

Robocopy Result

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 syncing folder to network drive, some users still want to make network folder available offline with Sync Center 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.

You need to map network drive locally, enable offline offline, and finally set schedule sync task. The previous process is included in previous article, please refer to this page: enable offline files in Windows 10. Here, I'll take Windows 10 as an example to sync folders on network drive,

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.

Schedule

Step 2. Tick an item when you are asked "which items do you want to sync on this schedule?".

Select Sync Item

Step 3. Click "At a scheduled time" under the "When do you want this sync to begin" link. 

At A Scheduled Time

Step 4. Set the time you want to start on and select "Repeat every 1 minute(s)" as sync interval.

Select Sync Time

Step 5. Then, name this schedule sync task and click "Save schedule" to automatically copy files to network drive.

Sync Offline Files Windows 10

Tips: 
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. 

Summary

Syncing folder to network drive automatically in Windows 10 or other systems is very easy with help of third party sync software - AOMEI Backupper. You can choose among daily (only once or from every 1 hour to 6 hour), weekly, monthly, event triggers, real-time, etc. Also, Robocopy is worth trying if you are familiar with this commane line utility. 

In addition, to further improve data security, you still can use it to auto backup files to external hard drive, network drive, cloud drive, flash drive, etc. In this way, it will compress all the data into an image file, so no one can modify it at will. And it helps to minimize backup image size and disk usage with multiple features, such as, compression, splitting, incremental or differential backup, automatic backup cleanup, etc.