What is SyncToy Windows 10? How to use SyncToy to sync folders or files automatically? What if SyncToy task scheduler is not working? This post on MiniTool will show you what you want to know. It will also show you an alternative to SyncToy – MiniTool ShadowMaker.

SyncToy Windows 10

When you use a Windows computer, you usually might back up your important files to avoid losing data after sudden system failures. Is there any method to back up crucial data periodically and automatically? Most commonly, you may choose to sync folders in Windows 10.

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As for synchronization, it is usually related to cloud storage services, for example, Dropbox or OneDrive, but you can also sync your files or folders locally. Here, Microsoft has released its own sync tool called SyncToy.

This is a free syncing application that is a part of Microsoft’s PowerToys series. It offers an easy-to-use graphical user interface for syncing files and folders between locations. Some of the typical uses include sharing files with other computers and creating backup copies of files & folders. Additionally, it is written using Microsoft’s .NET framework and uses Microsoft Sync Framework.

How to Use SyncToy Windows 10

After knowing this Windows 10 sync tool, some of you may want to know how to use SyncToy. Actually, it is quite easy to sync folders Windows 10 with this sync app. Here is the guide below:

Operation 1: Download and Install Microsoft SyncToy on Windows 10

Step 1: First of all, go to Microsoft Website and click the Download button to get SyncToy.

Step 2: Select one version that you wish to download. Please select the x86 version if you use the 32-bit version of Windows 10. If you use 64-bit Windows 10, make sure you choose the 64-bit version of SyncToy. Then, click the Next button to start the download.

download SyncToy Windows 10

Step 3: Once the .exe program is downloaded, please locate the file and double-click it to start setup.

Step 4: Please read Microsoft Sync Framework 2.0 Core Components agreement and click the Accept button to continue.

Step 5: Windows is installing Microsoft Sync Framework 2.0 Core Components, please wait patiently.

Tip: Windows may inform you of the .NET Framework version 2.0.50727 that this setup requires. You need to download it and run the setup again. Just get this version from Microsoft website.

SyncToy requires NET Framework version

Step 6: Check I have read and understand the warning above, and agree on the license agreement by hitting the I agree option.

Step 7: Choose a destination directory where you want to install SyncToy. Then, confirm the installation to finish all the operations.

After you have downloaded and installed Microsoft SyncToy on Windows 10 computer, now let’s see how to use it to sync files or folders.

Operation 2: Sync Folders Windows 10

To start synchronizing your files or folders with Microsoft SyncToy, you need to do the following steps:

Step 1: Double-click SyncToy 2.1 on your Windows 10 PC to open it. Then, please click the Create New Folder Pair button to go on folder sync.

create new folder pair SyncToy

Step 2: In the pop-up window, click the Browse button to select Left Folder and Right Folder to continue. Then, click the Next button.

As for the former folder, it should be one on your computer that contains personal information like pictures, documents, videos, and more. As for the latter folder, it should be a folder on the external hard drive for each folder you want to synchronize from your computer.

Tip: Here, you can create a new folder on an external hard drive or USB flash drive. You can give the folder a name that allows you to recognize it as a backup folder, like Photos_Backup, as shown below.

choose folders you want

Step 3: SyncToy Windows 10 offers you three options to synchronize two folders and you need to choose one sync method that you want to use.

Synchronize: This option will synchronize any new, updated, renamed or deleted files. This means if you delete or rename any file on either side, the changes will be also performed to the second folder. In other words, both of these two folders have exactly the same files.

Echo: This option works similarly as the previous option but with one difference that is changes are only applied from the left folder to the right folder. That is to say, if you make any changes (file modifications, new files, rename, delete) to the right folder, there will not any changes in the left folder.

Contribute: This option is like the Echo option but it doesn’t allow deleting. In other words, if you delete any file in the left folder, that folder won’t be removed from the right folder.

SyncToy offers three sync options

Step 4: Input the name of the folder pair (e.g. My Pics Backup) and click the Finish button.

Step 5: Then, you can see the SyncToy Acton and some details about the task. Here, you can change the action. The job has not been run yet. You can click the Preview button to see the files being synced. From there, you can exclude certain ones. If everything looks correct, just click the Run button.

preview or run the sync task

Step 6: After successful folder sync is created by SyncToy Windows 10, you can see a detailed report.

Windows 10 SyncToy run completed successfully

Tip: If the sync task is not successful, you are able to go to see what errors have occurred.

Now, all information about how to use SyncToy has been shown to you. To protect data well, you may choose to sync folders in Windows 10 once a week, every day, etc. Then, some of you might want to know: how do I schedule SyncToy in Windows 10? Just get the answer from the following part.

SyncToy Windows 10 Schedule

How to schedule SyncToy in Windows 10 to run automatically? Here, you need to use Windows Task Scheduler. Follow the step-by-step guide:

Step 1: Go to Windows 10 Search box, type task scheduler and click the result to run this tool.

Step 2: Click Create Basic Task in the right Actions pane.

create basic task

Step 3: In the pop-up window, enter a name and a description so you can recognize the task easily.

Step 4: Please decide when you want the synchronization to start; this is entirely up to you.

choose sync frequency

Step 5: Set up the time point for the task to run.

Step 6: Check the Start a program option.

choose perform action

Step 7: Click the Browse button in Program/script and locate to SyncToy.exe. Normally, it is located in “C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyCmd.exe”. And type -R in the Add Arguments textbox.

start a program

Step 8: Then, you can see an overview of how the task will run. Just click the Finish button

overview of how the task will run

As you see from the above guide, Windows Task Scheduler can assist you in SyncToy Windows 10 schedule. However, it is complex to set up an automatically run Windows sync task.

What’s more, some of you may report the issue: SyncToy Task Scheduler not working Windows 10. Sometimes, when you sync folder in Windows 10 with SyncToy, some errors like SyncToy failed to create folder pair,  SyncToy access denied, SyncToy not copying all files, etc. may appear.

In order to sync files or folders in Windows 10 on a regular basis easily and effectively, you probably need a SyncToy alternative. In the following part, we will show you professional file sync software, MiniTool ShadowMaker.

SyncToy Alternative: MiniTool ShadowMaker

MiniTool ShadowMaker, a piece of reliable and professional Windows backup software, can be used to back up files, OS, disks or partitions within simple clicks. Additionally, it can be as free sync software since it offers a feature called Sync that allows you to sync files or folders to other locations.

Importantly, MiniTool ShadowMaker offers an option called Schedule, enabling you to automatically sync files or folders easily in case of SyncToy Task Scheduler not working Windows 10.

Right now, you can download this SyncToy alternative from the following button and install it on your Windows 10 to start file synchronization.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

Tip: The Trial Edition of MiniTool ShadowMaker allows you to free use for 30 days. If you want to use it all the time, please upgrade it to Pro Edition or an advanced one.

How to sync folders Windows 10 automatically? Here is the guide.

Step 1: Run MiniTol ShadowMaker Trial Edition on your computer.

Step 2: Then, this Windows 10 SyncToy alternative will go to the Home page. Just click the top Sync feature for file or folder sync. In this page, you can view two modules: Source and Destination.

Go to the Source part, and choose files or folders that you want to sync.

choose files or folders to sync

Then, go to the Destination part, choose a storage path to save the synchronized files or folders. Here, you can choose a USB flash drive, external hard drive, Network or NAS.

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sync folders Windows 10 to other location

Step 3: Now, the sync source and destination are selected. MiniTool ShadowMaker will return to the Sync interface. If you want to know how to sync files automatically in Windows 10, you can make full use of the Schedule feature in the bottom left corner of Sync interface. Just click it and switch this feature to ON.

Here, four schedule settings are offered: Daily, Weekly, Monthly and On Event. Please choose one, set up a time point and click the OK button to confirm the setting for automatic file sync.

automatically sync files automatically with MiniTool ShadowMaker

Step 4: After automatic file sync setting is set, please click the Sync Now button to execute the sync task immediately. And automatic sync tasks will be done at the time point that you have set.

sync now in sync page

Tip: Before executing folder or file sync, you can use Options to make advanced settings such as Comparison and Filter, as shown below. For more information, go to the help document.

file sync options

You can also let this alternative to SyncToy Windows 10 schedule the setting in the Manage page. Similarly, you need to operate the step 1, step 2 and step 4. And then, click Edit Schedule from the context menu to set up a time point for automatic file sync.

automatically sync files or folders in Manage page

Further reading:

In Manage, you can manage your sync task. For example, by clicking Edit Source, you can receive the following window where you are able to click the Add or Delete button to change the source folders in sync. After updating successfully, you still need to click the Sync Now button to finish the sync task.

update sync source

If you want to view the folders or files that you have synchronized by using the SyncToy alternative, MiniTool ShadowMaker, you can directly locate to that folder.

“I had SyncToy in Windows 10 but it’s a complex and sometimes I met SyncToy Task Scheduler not working Windows 10. Thankfully, MiniTool ShadowMaker is a good SyncToy alternative.”Click to tweet

Bottom Line

What is SyncToy Windows 10? How to use SyncToy to sync folders? This post gives you the answers in detail. However, it is fairly complex for most of you and some of you may even report the issue of SyncToy Task Scheduler not working Windows 10 if you need to sync folders automatically.

Fortunately, MiniTool ShadowMaker, SyncToy alternative 2018, can be used to satisfy your needs. Just get it from the following button and sync folders in Windows 10 easily.

MiniTool ShadowMaker TrialClick to Download100%Clean & Safe

If you have any question when using our free sync software, please leave your idea in the comment part or send an email to [email protected]. Of course, any suggestions are also appreciated.

SyncToy Windows 10 FAQ

Does SyncToy work on Windows 10?
SyncToy 2.1 can work perfectly on Windows 10. If you are using this program in Windows 7/8 and you will be happy since you can continue using it on Windows 10. Just download SyncToy from Microsoft’s website and have a try.
Can SyncToy run automatically?
SyncToy is an excellent tool to ensure your files are kept in different locations. You can run this file sync tool automatically as long as you configure a task with Task Scheduler.
How do I schedule SyncToy in Windows 10?
  1. Go to Windows 10’s search box and search for task scheduler.
  2. Click Create Basic Task in the Actions section.
  3. Type in a name and description.
  4. Choose the frequency of when to start the task.
  5. Set up a time point.
  6. Select what action to perform the task.
  7. Finish the Program/script section and confirm the task.
How do I sync files in Windows 10?

MiniTool ShadowMaker, a professional file sync software, can be used to help you easily sync files in Windows 10.

  1. Download MiniTool ShadowMaker and install it on your PC.
  2. Choose a local computer to manage.
  3. Go to the Sync window, choose files that you want to sync and specify a path.
  4. Start the file sync operation at once.
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