By Lily / Last update October 27, 2022

The need of syncing a laptop and a desktop

It is quite common that one user owns both a laptop and a desktop. Each device has its merits. A desktop has a good cost-to-performance ratio and it’s easy to upgrade a CPU, GPU, or motherboard in a desktop while a laptop is much more compact and you can use it anywhere with the portable power source.

If you have both a laptop and a desktop, you may want to sync the two devices for following reasons:

  • Use the same settings on two computers without spending time manually entering theme customizations, browser options, etc.

  • Keep frequently-used files up to date on two PCs without the repetitive work of copy and paste.

Since it’s beneficial to sync a desktop and a laptop, how to realize it easily?

Stepwise guide to sync a desktop and a laptop in Windows 10/11

Some users want to sync settings between a laptop and a desktop while some want to sync files between two computers. I’ll show you how to sync a laptop to a desktop or sync a desktop to a laptop under two cases separately:

Case 1: sync settings between a laptop and a desktop

Windows 10/11 offers the Sync Settings option to help owners of multiple devices to keep their system preferences in harmony. Follow the steps below to sync settings between PCs in Windows 10/11:

1. Turn on your laptop/desktop. Go to Start > Settings > Accounts.

2. Click Your account and then Sign in with a Microsoft account instead. Enter your Microsoft account information. Skip to step 3 if you have already signed in.

3. Click Sync your settings. Turn on the switch next to Sync settings. Disable any individual settings if you want certain things to not sync.

Sync Settings

4. Apply steps 1-3 on your second Windows 10/11 device.

Case 2: sync files between a laptop and a desktop

Although Windows 10/11 Sync Center can help you sync the information between your PC and offline files that are saved in the folders of the network servers, various Windows 10 Sync Center not working problems are reported, such as “Enable offline files” greyed out, “Always available offline” missing, etc. Is there a more effective and reliable way to sync files between a laptop and a desktop in Windows 11/10/8/7?

I’d like to recommend the best free file sync software—AOMEI Backupper Standard to you.

★ It enables you to synchronize files to local folders, shared folders over network, NAS devices or even cloud drives.
★ You are allowed to do automatic sync with the Schedule Sync feature so that you won’t worry about forgetting to synchronize changed data.
★ It supports syncing multiple folders simultaneously, thus saving you from tedious work.

Download AOMEI Backupper and try it now.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
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▶ Make sure that the laptop and the desktop are on the same wireless or wired network.
▶ Create a network shared folder on the source computer and turn on network discovery on both computers. Get the how-to guide here. 

Best way to sync files between two computers:

1. Launch AOMEI Backupper on your laptop/desktop. Click “Sync” and select “Basic Sync”.

File Sync

2. Name the task so that you can distinguish it from other sync tasks. Click “Add Folder" to select the folder(s) which you want to synchronize.

Add Folder

3.  Click the right edge of the second bar. Then, select “Add Share or NAS Devices” from the drop-down menu.

Select a Network Location

4. In the Add Share or NAS Devices window, type the IP address of the source computer and click the blue button on the right. Type username and password if it prompts.

Type Network Path

5. After the IP address has been added, all network-shared folders under it will be listed. Choose one folder as the destination path to store the folder(s) you plan to sync and click “OK”.

6. Click on “Start Sync” button to perform the operation.

Start Sync

>> Options: you can write a comment for your sync task so that you can figure out the specific sync contents. You can also enable email notification here.
>> Schedule Sync: you can set the sync task to run periodically. There are five modes supported: Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in. You may upgrade to AOMEI Backupper Professional to enjoy the last two modes.

7. After the sync process is finished, you can go to This PC > Network on your second Windows 10/11 device. Find the source computer’s name and double-click it to access the shared folder(s).

Access Shared Folder

✨ Helpful tip:

Except for network share, you still can sync a laptop and a desktop with cloud. Try the Cloud Backup feature in this software. It enables you to backup folders to AOMEI Cloud and restore them on another computer. AOMEI Cloud offers you 1TB of free storage from the time you sign up for an AOMEI account until 15 days.



Now you know how to sync a laptop and a desktop in Windows 10/11 effortlessly. No matter you want to sync settings or files between two computers, you can find the corresponding solution from this page. Besides syncing files between PCs, AOMEI Backupper can also help you backup hard drives to cloud and clone an SSD to a larger SSD. Download it now and discover more!