SyncToy on Windows 11: Full Guide and Best Free Alternative

This article will show you how to use SyncToy to sync files on Windows 11 and recommend one best free sync tool for you. Read the following carefully to get your requirements.


By Clytze Updated on March 22, 2024

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What is SyncToy?

SyncToy is a free file sync software developed by Microsoft. It operates in the same way as traditional one-way synchronization, transferring all files from left to right. With SyncToy, you get a convenient, uncomplicated, and stable method of synchronization.

SyncToy Windows 11

It can help users to synchronize files/folders on local or network computers, track file renaming to ensure that the changed folders can be synchronized, as well as saving synchronized data in multiple locations and devices. In this user-friendly tutorial, I'll show you how to sync files using SyncToy in Windows 11. And the best free alternative to SyncToy can be introduced here as well. Just keep reading if you are interested.

AOMEI Backupper

Best free SyncToy alternative for all Windows operating systems.

How to sync files with SyncToy in Windows 11

Step 1. Download and install SyncToy on your PC. 

✍ If you fail to install SyncToy in Windows 11 and are told .NET Framework is required. You can follow the steps to install the .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) in the Windows features.

  • Click on Start, search for "Turn Windows features on or off" and click on that.
  • Select the .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) and click on "OK" to install.
  • When finished, reboot your PC, and continue the file sync process.

Step 2. Launch SyncToy and click "Create New Folder Pair."

Create New Folder Pair

Step 3. Click "Browse" to select the folders. Choose the Left Folder as the source folder and the Right Folder as the destination folder.

Choose The Folders

Step 4. Choose the sync method you want to use: Synchronize Echo and Contribute. Then click "Next" to continue.

✍ Notes:
Two-way synchronization. If a file is renamed or deleted in one folder, this change is synchronized to another folder where the same file will be renamed or deleted.
Echo: A one-way process from left to right. That is, renames and deletes on the left affect the changes in the right folder, but not vice versa.
Contribute: A one-way process from left to right but no deletes. That means if you delete a file in the left folder, it will not be deleted in the right. Renames are repeated from left to right as Echo.

Select Sync Way

Step 5. Name your folder pair and click "Finish."

Click Finish

Step 6. After creating a folder pair, you can change the sync settings at any time. Click on "Preview" to see the pending sync task. If everything looks correct, you can click on "Run" button and wait for the sync to complete successfully.

Click Run

What if SyncToy fails to sync files?

However, although Microsoft SyncToy on Windows 11 is a reliable tool, it does have some shortcomings.

▶ SyncToy cannot synchronize files or folders from removable devices.
▶ SyncToy does not support scheduled synchronization tasks. If you want to run SyncToy automatically, you should turn to the task scheduler.

Besides that, you may encounter any other problems with SyncToy, thus you may ask, "Why is SyncToy not available on Windows 11?" "What's the best SyncToy Windows 11 alternative?" Well, moving on I will show you the best alternative to SyncToy, which can meet your basic synchronization needs and provide you with a functional experience that SyncToy does not. Continue reading to get more details.

Best free SyncToy alternative in Windows 11

When it comes to the best free file sync software, the top and most recommended one is - AOMEI Backupper Standard. This free SyncToy replacement for Windows 11 is designed to sync files quickly and securely across devices, and it supports a wide range of file types, including documents, photos, videos, and more. It has many efficient and powerful features, which are listed below:

AOMEI Backupper
Free SyncToy Alternative
  • Full Sync Features: With its Sync feature, you can sync files between 2 PCs, sync files to Dropbox and other cloud drives, from PC to local path (HDD or SSD)as well as share or NAS devices and vice versa.
  • Flexible Sync Options: It offers 4 sync modes: Basic Sync, Real-Time Sync, Mirror Sync, and Two-Way Sync. (The last 3 ones are available in Pro version)
  • Auto Sync: It allows you to set a schedule sync task, then it will synchronize the files daily/weekly/monthly without missing any changed data.
  • Wide Support: All Windows PC operating systems are supported, for example, Windows 11/10/8.1/8/7/Vista/XP.

Download AOMEI Backupper Standard to have a try. Follow the graphical steps to see how this SyncToy alternative on Windows 11 works below.

Sync files with the best free sync tool - AOMEI Backupper

Step 1. Install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Click "Sync" and then choose "Basic Sync."

Basic Sync

Tip: AOMEI Backupper Standard edition only supports Basic Sync. The software offers three other advanced sync modes, like Mirror Sync, Two-Way Sync, and Real-Time Sync, you can upgrade to the Pro or other advanced versions to enjoy.

Step 2. Click "Add Folder" to choose the files you would like to sync.

Add Folders

Options: You can write comments for your task and set an email notification.
Schedule: It allows you to automatically sync your files by setting frequencies such as Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event triggers, and USB plug in. 

Step 3. Select another location as the destination path. Then, click "Start Sync" to perform the operation.

Add Destination

Step 4. Wait for the sync process to complete and then click the "Finish" button.

Finish Sync

Bonus Tip

Both sync and backup are important means to protect data security. In order to avoid data loss caused by unexpected situations such as hard disk damage, more and more users choose to sync or backup files to the cloud. However, common cloud storage such as Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox can only be used for a limited capacity for free.

In this case, you can try AOMEI Backupper's homemade cloud storage device - AOMEI Cloud. Compared with other cloud drives, it is cheaper and has more storage space. After you sign up for an AOMEI account, it gives you 1TB of free storage space for 15 days.

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FAQs about Synctoy on Windows 11

Will SyncToy run on Windows 11?


Officially, SyncToy is supported on XP, Vista, 7 and 10 and doesn't work with Windows 11, but some users report that they can use this tool after installing .NET Framework 2.0.
Does Microsoft still support SyncToy?


NO, Microsoft has discontinued SyncToy from January 2021.
What is the latest version of SyncToy?


The latest version of SyncToy was Version 2.1, but its official download was discontinued from January 2021, as well.
What is the best alternative to SyncToy?


If you are looking for an alternative to SyncToy, AOMEI Backupper is one of the best choices. This software allows you to sync all types of files, from local computer to external disk, network drive, cloud storage, etc., or from PC to PC, and more.
How do I sync folders in Windows 11?


To sync folders on Windows 11 to a network location, you can try the native sync tool - Sync Center; for more sync operations, a professional SyncToy alternative is recommended.


That’s all for how to sync files with SyncToy on Windows 11 or via the best free file sync tool AOMEI Backupper Standard. Hope one of the two methods can meet your needs and solve your problem successfully.

By the way, AOMEI Backupper not only can help you synchronize files and folders, but also it can support you create a full backup of your Windows 11. It can be your best assistant to protect your files and data. Why not try it now?

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.