FreeFileSync is a folder comparison and synchronization tool providing highly optimized performance and usability without a needlessly complex user interface.
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- Detect moved and renamed files and folders
- Copy locked files (Volume Shadow Copy Service)
- Detect conflicts and propagate deletions
- Binary file comparison
- Configure handling of Symbolic Links
- Automate sync as a batch job
- Process multiple folder pairs
- Comprehensive and detailed error reporting
- Copy NTFS extended attributes (compressed, encrypted, sparse)
- Copy NTFS security permissions
- Support long file paths with more than 260 characters
- Fail-safe file copy
- Cross-platform: Windows, Linux, Mac OS X
- Expand environment variables like %USERPROFILE%
- Access variable drive letters by volume name (USB sticks)
- Native 64-bit support
- Keep versions of deleted/updated files
- Prevent disc space bottlenecks via optimal sync sequence
- Full Unicode support
- Highly optimized runtime performance
- Include/exclude files via filter
- FreeFileSync portable and local installation available
- Handle daylight saving time changes on FAT/FAT32
- Use macros %time%, %date%, et al. for recurring backups
- Case-sensitive synchronization
- Built-in locking: serialize multiple jobs running against the same network share
FFS is highly capable and very fast. More importantly, it's very reliable - I synchronize about 250K files daily, with typically a few thousand changed and about a 500 MB in size and it has yet to mess up. I used to use MS's SyncToy, but that name actually characterizes it will, a "toy"; SyncToy would frequently get confused and want to move things in the wrong direction or show conflicts which weren't the case (esp. with MS network share drives). One of FFS's strengths is how well it handles conflicts, though I have occasionally wished it had a one-click-for-the-newest button, it's really easy to select a group of files and right-click to send them left or right. Also, FFS is orders of magnitude faster than MSST for high-latency drives, like WAN drives; synchronizations that would take several hours with MSST 2.1 completed in less than 20 minutes using FFS (and that was quite some versions of FSS ago). The UI is adequate, with some very minor shortcomings, like not being able to reorder the list of directories being synchronized. Overall it's pretty easy to use, though I think filters and the two settings dialogs could be merged into a single concept / dialog. The ability to hook in an external compare tool is excellent, and it works very well with WinMerge to check exactly what is different between particular files.
I read about the TimeStamp problem and maybe have a tip. I wrote a similar program (in VB) some years ago and solved this issue as follows. If the copy went OK, I checked the FileModifyTimes after copying. If the stamps were still different, I separately copied the TimeStamp from source to target and voilà: the files are identical again, ready for the next sync operation. I made this feature optional because it writes the obsolete format in the copied file. You could also consider copying the timestamp the other way, thus correcting the original format in the source file. Although this approach does have advantages, I never tried it because I didn't want to tamper with the originals.
I am currently testing this application, although i do not see what the problem is with the created date. NTFS does not seem to give any problems. And who uses FAT32 / 16 these days ? Well the created dates are absolutely fine in my case ... I rate it 4 because there still could be some improvement. For a free software and the hardwork put on this so far ... Its a great app !
Works good. The only thing missing is the ability to preserve time stamps. We need to keep over 900,000 documents sync'd between two servers and be able to preserve the time stamps of the files/directories they reside in but I can't find a way to do it with this software? The other apps out there like DirSync Pro allow this capability... Why not this one?
Fast operation, nice GUI. The only thing that's missing is a way to save the settings which files and folders in a (potentially huge) folder tree should be synced and the ability to re-use that information in a RealSync (real-time synchronisation) between folder trees. Thanks for the tool and keep up the good work!