By Ivy / Last update December 24, 2021

Need to sync folders between drives in Windows

I’d like to sync my Library and desktop folders with an external hard drive. These files change every day and are important to me. I have purchased an external hard drive which is 1 TB in size and should be sufficient. Here is the thing, I want to create a folder in the external drive to store files that be synced from my computer, because I also want to place other data on that drive. I want a fast, secure, user-friendly and free tool for that. What sync tool in Windows should I use to make Windows sync between folders on different drives? Thanks.

There are some situations that you need to perform file or folder synchronization between different data locations. One of the most common ones is to sync files to external hard drive to keep data safe. Surely, some users want to sync files to Cloud drives or sync external drive to Cloud to protect data or share files with others. No matter choosing which method, the purpose is to ensure data safe. Then, how do you sync files and folders in Windows 10/7 in simple and secure way?

Windows sync files between folders using SyncToy

SyncToy is a free sync tool that is designed by Microsoft. It helps you sync files and folders between different data locations or devices. SyncToy is a good tool for less experienced computer users due to its graphical user interface. Let’s get to know how to make Windows 10 sync folders between drives with this free tool.

1. Download and install SyncToy as instructed. Launch it.

2. Click on Create New Folder Pair beneath.

Create New Folder Pair

3. Choose the folders you want to sync from and to, the Left Folder for the source folder and the Right Folder for the destination folder. Click Browse to select.

Browse Folders

4. Select sync mode in “What do you want to do?” step. Here are three options available, Synchronize, Echo and Contribute. Get to know them and choose the right one for yourself. For your information, Echo is the most common used one.

>> Synchronize: This method will sync files and changes, either new, updated, renamed or deleted files, to the other locations when detected.  

>> Echo: This method only transfer changes from left folder to right folder, which is also called one-way file synchronization.

>> Contribute: This method only transfer changed files except for deletions to the right folder.

Choose Sync Mode

5. Now, name the folder pair to distinguish. Click Finish to exit the wizard and you’ve done.

You can rename and delete existing folder pair.
You can create another new folder pair by repeating above steps if the need ever arises.
You can schedule SyncToy in Windows 10 or Windows 7 with the help of Task Scheduler.

It is very easy to keep Windows sync folders between different drives or on the same drive. Nevertheless, you need to turn to other sync tools in some cases. 

For example, you find SyncToy not copying all files or not syncing subfolders during the process. Or, you want to perform a real-time sync task, not just regular sync mode in Task Scheduler. Further, if you want to sync more than one folder to the same place, you need to create more than one folder pair. And you can only schedule Synctoy with help of Task Scheduler. Fortunately, you can remedy those regrets in another way.

How to automatically sync two folders in Windows 11/10/8/7 (Easier)

AOMEI Backupper Standard is free backup & restore tool that embeds with a powerful Sync feature. The feature allows you to synchronize multiple files and folders from one drive to another drive, even on different disks. Below are excellent features of this software.

It supports Basic Sync as well as advanced sync mode, including Real-Time Sync, Mirror Sync, Two-Way Sync.
It allows you to automatically sync files to external hard drive in Windows 11/10/8/7 with Daily, Weekly, Monthly modes. The Event-trigger and USB plug in modes are also available in Professional editions.
It allows you to sync the deletions from source directory to destination in all the sync modes. For Basic Sync mode, you need to enable this feature manually.
It allows you to sync folders to Cloud drives (see: sync local folder to OneDrive), NAS and network share folders with the help of this software. Also, syncing files between desktop and laptop is supported.

Reading here, you may want to give it a shot. Just download this software and follow the steps below to perform Windows sync folders between drives.

1. Free download and install AOMEI Backupper. Start it to get in the main console.

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

2. Click Sync and then Basic Sync.

File Sync

3. Click on Add Folder to add the source folder (i.e. the Left Folder in SyncToy). All subfolders will be synced by default.

Add Folder

4. Click the second column to add the destination folder (i.e. the Right Folder in SyncToy). Or, click the inverted triangle at the end of the second column to add network locations.

Target Folder

5. Click Schedule Sync > Enable Schedule Sync to set Daily, Weekly, or Monthly mode if you want to sync folders between drives automatically instead of manually.

Schedule Settings

6. Click Start Sync to sync files right now or at the next schedule time.

Click Options to set email notification or sync deletions if you want to.
You are allowed to manage all sync tasks in Home tab.
 It is not allowed to sync files or folders to CD/DVD/Blue-Ray.
To sync files to network location in real-time mode or enjoy other advanced sync modes, such as, Mirror Sync, please upgrade to Professional edition.

Video Tutorial:


Two easy ways are provided to make Windows sync folders between drives in Windows 10 and Windows 7. Syncing files to external hard drive can be achieved easily as well. 

But sometimes SyncToy cannot satisfy your needs when you want to sync files or folders automatically, even in real-time. And you cannot sync more than one folder simultaneously with it. In this case, AOMEI Backupper will be a better choice. And it also allows you to backup laptop to Cloud in simple and secure way.