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I want to synchronise two folders in real time under Windows 7.

Basically, I want to monitor a folder and synchronise each change (new files, changed files, deleted files) to another drive. It has to be in real time, so it gets synchronised instantly when a change happens. A one-direction synchronisation is enough.

I tried Microsoft's SyncToy, but it does only syncing by hand or scheduled (thus not satisfying the "real-time" requirement).

Can this be achieved with Windows 7 itself? If not, are there other methods of doing this?

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Related question: superuser.com/questions/349/… –  koppor Dec 7 '12 at 10:07
I just started using allwaysync - works like a charm –  Hugo Forte Sep 16 '14 at 13:32
The nice thing about using a pure windows solution is that the windows api has events you can hook into to get an event the moment something changes, which is much less error prone than scanning files/directories like some open source tools do. –  kelton52 Mar 26 at 17:06

13 Answers 13

up vote 54 down vote accepted

Dsynchronize lets you do this. I'm not sure how it works in Windows 7 but it's freeware and standalone so there's no harm in trying.

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Thanks! I tried it and it works like a charm, runs flawlessly on Windows 7. –  acme Nov 4 '09 at 14:13
I'm running this for nearly a year now. It's working quite well, though it's not syncing correctly if a large number of files is changed within a few moments (e.g. when unzipping or checking out a repository). But as I've not found something better, I'll still stick with it. –  acme Sep 17 '10 at 15:16
Got to say its straight forward and simple. Doesnt get in the way and does the job. All other sync tools seem to be made for dumb users when I want something to run as a service every day at 8pm. –  Chad Apr 9 '13 at 7:59
This works excellently even on Network Drive thanks a ton –  boulder_ruby Mar 4 '14 at 20:01
This is a great tool, but when I mapped a Linux samba folder to drive Z: using net use command, the files cannot be synced from Windows local folder to Z:, it reports "Access rights error", has anyone met this before? –  Kelvin Hu Dec 4 '14 at 3:06

There's Synkron which is open source and is cross platform.

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But does it sync in real time? –  acme Oct 23 '12 at 10:37
Doesn't look like it :( –  jonathanconway May 20 '13 at 5:04
This is what is just needed. I don't need it to be real time but like the depth of options this tool provides, creating a schedule works just fine. This tool does support syncing every 1 minute which is pretty close to being real time! –  cracked_all Dec 5 '13 at 21:36

You could use a NTFS Symbolic Link so that the folders on each drive actually point to the same folder.

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That's an interesting approach, but I guess it won't work here, the mapped drive (the sync-target) is Linux. –  acme Nov 4 '09 at 14:12
You can create a NTFS symbolic link to a Samba path, I have several on my desktop to my Ubuntu file server. –  Chris Smith Nov 2 '11 at 18:53
This solution could fit if you're not looking for data physical replication. –  vegatripy Aug 13 '14 at 13:02

Since I read your comment ".. the mapped drive (the sync-target) is Linux", then I want to give you a way better approach: You only need ssh-access on the Linux target, it is way faster, and works much better over lower bandwidths and longer latencies.

Use WinSCP's "Keep remote directory up to date" function!

You will need a little tweaking on the transfer options to set up always binary, exclude files (typically svn or git files and similar) etc. Also use the "automatic apply" of transfer options. Also, create a session that has the host, local and remote directories set up. At that point, you only need to open WinSCP, activate the session (which then also automatically applies the transfer options due to e.g. host-matching), and hit the keep-updated button.

Or you could script this using WinSCPs scripting tools!

.. and just btw: If the scenario was Unix-to-Unix, then check out this question.

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Thanks! I'll take a look at this, sounds like a good idea. –  acme Jun 29 '12 at 12:31
-1 Sorry, just got my whole dir deleted because of this lousy sync tool. VERY BAD TOOL. –  Poni Oct 3 '12 at 7:36
I think this is over-complicated, for wanting to just keep synched. –  maythesource.com Nov 20 '13 at 11:20
@Poni: You can cut yourself with a knife too. It is NOT the tool that is at fault here, dude! :-D –  stolsvik Nov 20 '13 at 21:31
@meewoK: If you think so, then you have no clue what you are talking about. –  stolsvik Nov 20 '13 at 21:31

If you want to sync a folder to USB and you use Dropbox already, use the DropboxPortableAHK.

This way, I have my Dropbox files synced on any computer, as well as my iPhone using the Dropbox app and my USB drive I use at uni with this portable version.

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Dead link. Appears to have moved to nionsoftware.com/dbpahk –  JYelton Apr 2 '13 at 22:25
And surrender your privacy completely by having important docs on a a system that has been compromised multuple times. –  maythesource.com Nov 20 '13 at 11:21

My I've tried quite a few programs and the only ones that do real-time mirroring of folders are:

Personally, I like Yadis! Backup better. It has more features than Dsynchronize. You can enable versioning, # of versions to keep, which file operations to monitor, and I'm sure a lot more. Plus, it has a better looking GUI that looks more refined.

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I use ROBOCOPY command and made a command line to do the sync between 2 folders (incremental sync) my command is like this

ROBOCOPY "Source_Folder" "Destination_Folder" /E /ZB /XJ /XF "~." "~." "desktop.ini" "Thumbs.db" ".torrent" ".lock" ".Sync" /xd "Rubbish" ".Sync*" ".Box Sync" "_private" "Outlook Files" /FFT /MT /R:2 /W:5 /V /MON:1 /TEE

(exclude "~." "~." "desktop.ini" "Thumbs.db" ".torrent" ".lock" ".Sync" FILE NAMES) (exclude "Rubbish" ".Sync*" ".Box Sync" "_private" "Outlook Files" FOLDERS INCLUDE FILES IN THESE FOLDERS) ALSO THIS COMMAND LINE REPEAT ITSELF ON EVERY MINIUTE OR AND SINGLE CHANGE OF FILE/FOLDER

Regards, Rizwan.

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You can try SyncBack4all, it's real time folder and files sync program.

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Except it isn't free. –  Paya Jul 20 '12 at 7:20

Watch 4 Folder v2.3 - a small (802kb), portable (no installation) and powerful monitoring tool to monitor folders and files activities.
It is simple to use and to set, it can monitor 15 types of events and trigger different actions in case an event occurs.


-Been using it on a server, firing off multiple exes - conversion to PDF using Acrobat, stamping them, sending as attachment to offices around the country through smtp calls... little software does many things!!

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I wanted the same. And in principle the Sync Center within Windows7 would provide that but in another fashion: you only have to set a network folder as Always Available Offline. With this you basically have that a local and remote version synchronized, you are working as if you were on the network but actually it manages to have it locally. In other words you only see one copy but having it in two places, but that is the goal of synchronizing. Instead of being transparent that there is a remotely synchronized copy, there is a locally synchronized copy. In any case this covers the basic goal of network failures.

I must say this is the theory because I got stuck since my network drives are managed by Novel and therefore I don't have the option of "Always Available Offline".

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Sync Center : windows.microsoft.com/en-au/windows-vista/… –  hB0 Dec 15 '13 at 19:35

I use free syncless https://code.google.com/p/big5sync/

it hooks to system and if in seamless mode, sync files in real time. Can't run as service, personally don't like GUI but it works :)

MirrorFolder http://www.techsoftpl.com/backup/ can also do real time sync and it works as service (do not need GUI to load to work) but it's not free ($39)

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You can assign a folder path to a drive with subst.


SUBST L: "C:\Some\Path"
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Maybe this one will help you: Allway Sync. Thare are free and pro version. Features:

  • Flexible configuration and customization.
  • Supports files of any size.
  • Easy-to-use graphical interface.
  • Supports virtually any file system (FAT, NTFS, SAMBA, Netware, X-Drive, CDFS, UDF and more).
  • Can be installed on a desktop, laptop, USB stick, external HDD or a U3-enabled device.
  • Capable of synchronizing more than 2 folders.
  • Synchronize data between your desktop PCs and laptops over network

I used this program and I liked it.

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