We all know that a full backup of your system is important, but wouldn’t it be nice if there was a simple utility you could use to synchronize and back up just a few folders? Would you like a utility that allows you to easily pick a folder and then select a destination? How about a program that will automatically figure out what’s missing, what’s new and whats changed and move the files for you? FreeFileSync is that tool.
The setup process is a fairly simple one with one catch. Start by clicking here to download FreeFileSync and run the installation program. During the installation you may be prompted to a install free toolbar such as Amazon Browswer bar. Free software like this often earns money by including toolbars or software offers during the installation process.You can easily uncheck the boxes and then click “install” to skip it.
Once installed, open FreeFileSync and click “browse” on the left side menu (marked #1 on screenshot below). Select a folder you want to sync and press “OK.” Click “browse” on the right side menu (marked #2 on screenshot below) and select a folder you want to sync to and press “OK.” You can press the + symbol on the left hand side to add a folder to sync. In my example I’ve selected to sync my documents folder to my flash drive. I plugged in letter G.
To configure the synchronization, click the green gear next to the “Synchronize” button. You’ll have the following options:
- Two Way Sync: Compare both locations and rename files if there are duplicates with different creation dates. This is good if you’re using both your synced folder and sync target folder to save data and don’t know which has the newest versions.
- Mirror: This is great to make an exact “copy” of the information in the left folder to the right folder. The left folder always has priority, so anything in the left folder will overwrite anything in the right folder.
- Update: Copies only new or updated files to the right folder.
- Customize: The sky’s the limit, click it to see how impressive the rules can get.
The default options for errors are a pop-up a box that asks you what to do and to place deleted files in the recycle bin. Both are good options to leave on.
Once you’re done picking your options, click the “Synchronize” button. A final confirmation pop-up will show you the files changed on each side, the total data and the type of sync. Click “start” to begin.
A synchronization window will open and show you the progress, copy speed, files and time remaining. You can pause and cancel the sync if needed. You will be prompted once it’s complete. The speed of the sync is going to be limited to how quickly your backup device can copy the data. If you’re using a USB flash drive, make sure to use a fast one. USB 3.0 flash drives in a USB 3.0 port run many times faster then a USB 2.0 drive.
My opinion of this free utility could not be much higher. It perfectly copies and syncs folders and allows a lot of customization. You can even save jobs by going to “Program” menu and “Saving as Batch Job.” I would definitely recommend downloading this great utility. You can read more about FreeFileSync by clicking here.