I am wanting to use something like rsync (i think). I am using Windows 7, I would like to be able to sync files/folder to other Disks on 1 computer, sometimes, just keep 2 folders or more in sync on the same drive even, and sometimes onto seperate drives.

Is RSYNC only used for when there is a client computer and a server computer? Or can it be used to sync files on the same computer?

Is RSYNC is not what I am looking for, please suggest the best alternative for Windows 7. I know there is a lot of similar post, but most recommend rsync and I think it may not be what is needed for what I describe above?

One example of a use, Let's say I have a folder,

E:\Thumb_Drive which is on my PC and then I have a USB drive at

G:\Thumb_Drive and I would like to be able to edit the contents of EITHER folder and have them stay in sync


I'm aware there are rsync clients for Windows, however not having used them, I cannot comment on their specific functionality. However, if they emulate even closely what rsync does on *nix, then yes, you can rsync between folders on a single host. While there are certainly other, and some may argue better, methods to achieve this task, rsync is indeed a good tool to use.

I use it daily in a Linux environment and in fact the vast majority of the time I do so syncing files between disks on a single host (computer).


rsync can be used between two locations on the same computer. You should restrict the bandwidth it uses though (with --bwlimit), or it will drive the performance of the rest of your system into the ground.

You will want to look at something else though (Unison?), since it does not handle two-way synchronization well on its own.


rsync works very well on a single computer in *nix systems. For Windows, Microsoft has a free utility (SyncToy) that provides similar functionality with a graphical interface. I've used it frequently at work to keep two separate folders in sync - you can choose to keep everything in sync (including deletes) or to sync updates only. From Wikipedia:

  • Synchronize takes the two folders and makes sure they have exactly the same files. To do this, SyncToy may copy files in either direction and may delete or rename files in either folder. In the case that a file has been updated in both the left and right folders, the version with the later modification date is considered the conflict winner and will overwrite the other version.[3]
  • Echo looks for changes (file modifications, new files, renames, deletes) in the left folder and makes them in the right folder (one-way sync).
  • Contribute is like an Echo, but it does not delete any files on the right folder that may have been deleted in the left folder.

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