By Ivy / Last update October 21, 2021

SyncToy is a freeware of Microsoft’s PowerToys series, with an easy-to-use graphical user interface, which can be used to sync files and folders in Windows XP, Vista, and 7 for backup and the sync can be two-way or one way. It supports not only local drive, but also external drive like flash drive, and network drive. And it’s written using Microsoft's .NET framework and uses the Microsoft Sync Framework.

Therefore, many users want to use SyncToy to sync folder in Windows 10. Then, let's have a glance at this article.

Will SyncToy Work with Windows 10?

Will SyncToy work with Windows 10? Many users have this doubt and you probably see many examples online if have done an in-depth research about “Windows 10 backup SyncToy”. Just like the following.

“SyncToy worked fine under Windows 7, but it wouldn’t install after my upgrade to Windows 10. It always says that I need .NET Framework version 2.0.50727, so I click the link to it. I tried 4.6, and turned it on, but still I can't install SyncToy.
Where am I going wrong? I have used this app for years and like it, so I want to install it on windows 10. Thanks for any input.”

Synctoy 2.1

Don’t worry about it. You can sync files and folders in Windows 10 with SyncToy. And this article will fix SyncToy problems in Windows 10 for you, whether it’s during installation or synchronization.

How to Perform Windows 10 Backup via SyncToy Correctly

Please note SyncToy is a sync tool instead of backup software. So users just want to sync folders with it and use the synced files as a part of backup, when searching “Windows 10 backup vs SyncToy” online. Then, back to the topic. How to use SyncToy correctly? Here are two main problems you need to fix before folder sync, which can ensure that the synchronization can proceed smoothly.

Fix SyncToy Problems in Windows 10 

First, SyncToy can’t install in Windows 10. It's a problem that plagues many users and makes user frustrated. Installing an application should obviously be a very simple thing, why it always fails. 

★ 3 solutions to SyncToy installation failed:
To fix this issue, try the following 3 ways that are proven to be working. Then, you can install SyncToy on Windows 10 without any obstacle.
1. Download .Net Framework 2.0.Net Framework 2.0 SP 1 or .Network Framework 3.5 that includes 2.0 and 3.0 version. Please note that .Network Framework 4.6 is not working on SyncToy 2.1 version. 
2. Manually enable .Network Framework 3.5 on your computer. To make it, type "Turn Windows" on the search box and select "Turn Windows Features On or Off", then check “.Net Framework 3.5” and hit “OK”.
3. Install Microsoft sync framework Core Component (x64) ENU and Microsoft sync framework Provider Services (x64) ENU.

Second, SyncToy miss a couple of files every time. The missed files may be a protected system file, like NTUser.dat file. To avoid this error, you need to exclude system files in “Change options” during synchronization. This will be introduced in detailed steps.

Download and install SyncToy 2.1 in Windows 10 

Step 1. Download SyncToy from Microsoft Website. Maybe, you need to ask Microsoft for download link, because the original link seem to be removed.

Step 2. Select the x86 version or x64 version according to your computer and click Next.  Then, it will download the .exe program automatically, just located the file and run it. 

Step 3. In the Setup Wizard window, tick “I have read and understand the warning above" and click "Next". 

Step 4. In the License Agreement window, click "I Agree" and "Next".

Step 5. Then, select destination folder you want to install SyncToy and click "Next”. After that, you will be asked to add Microsoft SyncToy Customer Feedback Options, you can click "Yes" or "No" per your needs.

Sync Folder in Windows 10 with SyncToy

In the first place, download SyncToy from Microsoft and set up it with the .exe program. After that, double-click the SyncToy 2.1 and follow the steps below to sync files and folders in Windows 10.

Step 1. Click “Create New Folder Pair” to start.

Create New Folder Pair

Step 2. Click “Browse...” to select left folder with all files you want to sync, ie: documents, pictures, audios etc. Then, select the right folder to save the synced files and click “Next”. It can be a folder on local drive, external disk or network drive.

Select Left Right Folder

Step 3. Choose a folder pair among “Synchronize”, “Echo”, “Contribute” and click “Next”. 

>> Synchronize: This method is a two-way data synchronization that reflect changes in both locations and finally have exactly the same files, either new, updated, renamed or deleted files.

>> Echo: This method is a one-way file synchronization and only transfer changes from left folder to right folder.

>> Contribute: This method is similar to Echo but it does not remove the deleted files in the left folder.

Sync Method

Note: Folder Pair is a backup or sync rule for the created task between left folder and right folder, which make this process run smoothly.

Step 4. Type a name for this pair and click “Finish”. 

Step 5. Click "Change options..." and type  *.dat in the Files to exclude textbox. Then, click “Preview” to see the pending sync task. If all goes well, hit “Run” to start it and finally pitch on “Close”.

Sync Folder with Synctoy

Windows 10 SyncToy backup failure

Some users report that SyncToy 2.1 in Windows 10 does not work well, throwing error message like the file cannot be found, were amended during synchronization, or other obscure reasons. Then, how to solve this problem? Here are 2 working ways you can try.

Method 1: reinstall SyncToy in compatibility

  • Uninstall the existing SyncToy from your PC.

  • Download the lastest setup file, right-click it and select "Properties" to open new window.

  •  Go to the "Compatibility" tab, check "Run this program in compatibility mode for" and select Windows 8/8.1/7 per your needs. Then, click "Apply" and "OK" to exit.

  • Complete the installation and restart your computer to check if this issue is solved.

Method 2: Disable OneDrive Files On Demand option

According to users, some of them deselect One Drive "Files on Demand" option, then SyncToy works fine. Thus, it's a good idea to have a try if you also use the "Files On Demand" option to sync files to OneDrive.

SyncToy Windows 10 Schedule

As a matter of fact, SyncToy does not provide any schedule sync or backup settings but you may need to keep track of changes made in synced files. How to do it? Below is the solution to SyncToy Schedule.

Step 1. Type “task scheduler” in the search box and run this tool. Then, click “Create Basic Task” under the Actions tab.

Create Basic  Task

Step 2. Name your task and make a description for it. Then, click “Next”.

Step 3. Select a schedule trigger, such as, daily, and click “Next”. Also, you can select other triggers and it’s your decision.

Select Schedule Trigger

Note: You may be asked to add additional settings, a specific time point, for example. This depends on the selected settings.

Step 4. Check “Start a program” on the Action tab.  Then, in the next window, click “Browse” under Program/script to locate the SyncToy 2.1. Usually, it’s in "C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe". Then, type “-R” (without quotes) and click “Next”.

Start A Program

Step 5. Preview the task information and click “Finish”.

Easier Way to Automatic Sync Folders in Windows 10

There is no doubt that SyncToy can help you sync files and folders in Windows 10 and keep track of changes made in both folder or left folder. But the download link seems to be  removed. And the SyncToy schedule is lacked, you need to use Task Scheduler to do schedule sync or backup. It’s complicated and not suitable for most users. Moreover, it does not always work well, and throwing out errors like “SyncToy failed to create folder pair”, “SyncToy not copying all files”, “SyncToy access denied”, etc. 

Want an easier way to schedule backup or sync files and folder in Windows 10? You could consider using AOMEI Backupper Standard as SyncToy alternative in Windows 10. It’s stable and easy to use, even for the novices. Here are some advantages of it:

  • Work well in daily/weekly/monthly schedule sync.

  • Support multiple sync options. You can comment on this task for clearly distinguish, enable email notification to get result timely, create pre/post-command etc.

  • Compatible with any detected devices, such as, external hard drive, USB drive, network drive, NAS etc. 

  • Support Windows 11/10/8/7/XP/Vista.

  • Have a clear interface and user-friendly design.

Now, let’s have a closer look at how it works.

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Backupper Standard. Then, launch this software, click “Sync” and “Basic Sync” to start the file sync.

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

File Sync

Step 2. Click “+ Add Folder” to select the folder need to be synced. Then, click where the arrow point and select a destination path. You can sync files to external hard drive, flash drive, network drive, cloud storage like OneDrive etc.

Add Folder

Step 3. Click “Schedule” and “OK” to enable the default setting, it’s daily sync. Also, you can change it to weekly or monthly. At last, click “Start Sync” and wait until the task is completed.

Schedule Settings General

Don’t modify the source folder name of the schedule sync task, or the program cannot synchronize the selected folder anymore.
✦ The core of "Basic Sync" is one-way file sync, which only sync changes from source folder to destination folder. And it will not transfer the deleted files automatically, you need to set it in "Options".
✦ If you want an easier way to sync all changed to the target folder including the deleted files or folders, you could consider using "Real-Time Sync", "Mirror-Sync" or "Two-Way Sync" in AOMEI Backupper Professional.

In The End

Speaking of Windows 10 backup vs SyncToy, users just want to sync files and folders as a part of backup, not a comparison between backup and sync software.

To sync folders in Windows 10, you have three options, including SyncToy, Task Scheduler, or SyncToy Alternative software AOMEI Backupper. If you are tired of SyncToy problems in Windows 10 or don’t want to spend much time setting upTask Scheduler, the alternative is recommended. It works well in syncing folders and perform schedule task smoothly.