Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I would like to synchronize my local directory content with another local directory on another partition or disk (or e.g. a pendrive).
I can synchronize my local directory content with a remote one (through FTP) with WinSCP, even with keeping remote directory up to date continously, but I don't know any programs that do the same between local directories.
I'm mainly looking for a program for Windows, and it should also be compatible with XP.

Can you help me with this? Thanks in advance.

share|improve this question

ROBOCOPY a command line utility can do that (and more). It is included with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008. Available in the Windows Resource Kit for various other versions (Windows 2000, Windows 2003 etc).

share|improve this answer
thanks for your answer, but could you be a bit more specific? How would you synchronize or keep a directory up to date continously with robocopy? AND I didn't mention, but I would like to use the program on Windows XP... :( I will complement the original post. – Sk8erPeter Aug 4 '11 at 11:29
btw someone writes that Robocopy cannot do things like what I asked:… ... – Sk8erPeter Aug 4 '11 at 11:36
SyncToy might be more what your after then. SyncToy 2.1 – Brian Aug 23 '11 at 15:17
Yes, HerrStrinson has already recommended it, but unfortunately it can't keep a directory up-to-date after modifying any files in it like WinSCP. :( – Sk8erPeter Aug 24 '11 at 10:40

Please have a look at Microsofts SyncToy It provides a intuitive gui in case your not much of a fan of the shell. It has about the same features as robocopy, though - I'm not sure which requirement of yours is not met... it does 2way sync on file level, latest timestamp wins.

share|improve this answer
yes, in the meantime I have also found this program, which seems to be really useful. You can set a "left" and a "right" directory which can be synchronized, but I chose the "Echo" option, which performs the following task, citing: "New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right." That's exactly what I needed. Thanks, I'm just testing this program, if it's OK, your answer will be accepted. ;) – Sk8erPeter Aug 4 '11 at 12:31
hmm, there's a function that I'm missing: no option for keeping a directory up-to-date, like with WinSCP (which listens for changes on given directories, and updates remote directories immediately if any changes happen). Or maybe there was an option that escaped my attention... :S – Sk8erPeter Aug 4 '11 at 13:21

Is Unison what you want?

Unison is a file-synchronization tool for Unix and Windows. It allows two copies of a collection of files and directories to be stored on different hosts (or different disks on the same host), modified separately, and then brought up to date by propagating the changes in each replica to the other. Unison can deal with updates to both replicas of a distributed directory structure. Updates that do not conflict are propagated automatically. Conflicting updates are detected and displayed. Unison can communicate through a direct socket link or through an rsh/ssh tunnel. It uses network bandwidth efficiently.

(Download page)

share|improve this answer
Thanks, I'll give it a try too! What I don't like about it now is that installation is not too simple, because it has to be built, citing from readme: "We provide two options for building Unison on MS Windows. Both options require the Cygwin layer to be able to use a few GNU tools as well as the OCaml distribution version. The options differ in the C compiler employed: MS Visual C++ (MSVC) vs Cygwin GNU C." But it doesn't mean it's not a good program, so I'll give it a go. Here are some screenshots if someone is interested: – Sk8erPeter Aug 4 '11 at 12:49
@Sk8erPeter There are windows binaries available. – Janis Veinbergs Aug 4 '11 at 19:44
sorry for not giving a feedback for a long time, but I didn't have time to try the program's options until now. It's a great program, BUT I still miss the opportunity to keep my directories up-to-date like in WinSCP, which can continously monitor my files in a given directory, and "upgrade" my local OR remote files when there are any changes. I would really like to have a WinSCP-alternative for local files... :( But thanks for your recommendation, you got a vote-up! – Sk8erPeter Aug 24 '11 at 12:02
@Sk8erPeter oh WinsSCP has a feature where it triggers sync when file has changed? Didn't know that - thought you have to initiate command by hand. Unison does that by hand except you can set up a cron job/schedule task so it does it for you each x minutes. – Janis Veinbergs Aug 24 '11 at 13:33

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.