I need a program that can do one-way synchronization of directories in Windows. The only feature I absolutely need is the ability to exclude certain files and/or folders from the sync (wildcard support here is a must). Any suggestions?

5 Answers 5


I would highly advise you use Microsoft SyncToy, you can setup one way partnerships and it can do exactly what you want!

  • Can it exclude subdirectories, though? I'm using it right now but I see no option to exclude certain file types or subdirectories. Aug 26, 2010 at 23:11
  • Never mind, I see it...d'oh! I don't know how I missed that. :) As a bonus question, is there a way to have it run on a schedule through the program, or do I have to create a Windows scheduled task for that? Aug 26, 2010 at 23:11
  • I've used Sync Toy but unfortunately I found it to be unbearably slow for me to take backups of admittedly very large numbers of large image files, using XCOPY with parameters set to copy newly updated files worked a lot better. My two cents. Aug 27, 2010 at 5:23

Robocopy is good -

e.g. to synchronize folders,

robocopy <source> <dest> /MIR

to see other options run robocopy /?

There's also a UI wrapper called RichCopy - doesn't seem to have much of a home, closest thing. More Info. Blog updates.

  • If you use robocopy then don't forget /copy:DAT /dcopy:T otherwise all your timestamps and file attributes will be messed up.
    – Richard
    Mar 28, 2018 at 17:40

As Wil mentioned, SyncToy is a great GUI tool for this. If you'd rather a command line program which you could use in batch files and schedules tasks, take a look at robocopy. It is a command line robust copying tool and is built into Windows 7. It will only copy files which have changed, works over the network or locally, has wildcard support, can exclude specific filetypes, individual files, or directories, and can run in restartable mode for if it gets interrupted. A very powerful tool, and not too difficult to use. Run robocopy /? in the command line for documentation.


I have been using GoodSync to do bi-directional synchronization between two computers, so I am sure it could be used for one-way sync as well. Perhaps overkill for what you are trying to do, but a nice program to have around. Supports wildcards, and has many automation features. I have no connection with the company (they're the same one that markets RoboForm); I'm just a happy user.

  • Yes, I did take a brief look at their product, and it looks pretty good (no pun intended). I may install the trial and test it out, but it sounds like I can just stick with SyncToy unless GoodSync has some feature(s) that will blow me away. Thanks for mentioning it, though. :) Aug 27, 2010 at 0:33

Depending on how much your wanting to sync... syncplicity is really good at syncing files. You can exclude subdirectories, and even files. it also does two way syncing or just one way (backup). It saves all the files online, and to any other pc you install it on. However in order to use the free option, you have to keep it under 2 gigs.


  • I'm not a fan of cloud-based sync tools; otherwise I'd just use Dropbox. Thanks though. Aug 27, 2010 at 21:25

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