FreeFileSync – Synchronize, Transfer & Backup your data

FreeFileSync is a free, open-source tool that allows you to synchronize, transfer and therefore save your data intelligently. It is able to manage long names, access rights on folders. This tutorial introduces you to this free tool which is a must-have for transferring large files.

Summary 

  • 1 FreeFileSync its strengths
  • 2 FreeFileSync preparation
    • 2.1 Setup
    • 2.2 Interface
    • 2.3 Options to configure
  • 3 Using FreefileSync
    • 3.1 Migrations of large volumes
    • 3.2 Saving synchronization options & using a script
  • 4 To go further

FreeFileSync its strengths

  • It is multi-os (Windows, Linux Mac) so if you need to transfer between different computers of different brands it is very practical
  • It is easy to use, the interface is clear, uncluttered and easy to understand.
  • It is possible to automate tasks, create a script to facilitate the transfer of files

To download the tool, simply go to the official site   then to the Downloads section and finally choose the file according to your system.

FreeFileSync Preparation

Installation

Once downloaded and installed ( take the time the installation kit may offer an addition of advertising ) launch the application

Some antivirus detects the application as a virus but I assure you it’s because of the ads that are offered during installation.

FreeFileSync is clean and virus free.

Know that you can have the app ad-free by donating (any amount ) to the developers.

The donation also offers the possibility to download FreeFileSync in portable version (without installation).

Depending on the amount you will have a longer or shorter update time.

freefilesync donation page
freefilesync install

Interface

Once launched we have access to its interface

interface freefilesync

Options to configure

First we will go to the  Tools > Options section , we will check the boxes that allow you to transfer the rights, the open files and make a secure copy (it avoids copy errors)

freefilesync option to check

The tool is well configured so we can launch our transfers

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Using FreefileSync

The goal is to choose a “SOURCE” folder on the left then a “TARGET” folder on the right. By clicking on the green toothed wheel you can choose the type of transfer

freefilesync synchronization option

See what works best for you.

Generally I choose Update mode to add the contents of the folder to another. If I ever deleted a folder in the source it is not deleted on the right. Then it depends on your situation.

Once configured, you can launch a first synchronization. Before doing anything a summary is displayed

freefile-sync-synchro

Above the software tells me that it will add 1 file, the total weight added will be 7.13KB, the added file is file1.txt.

By starting the synchronization your data is transferred to the target.

Remember to check the logs when finished to make sure there are no errors.

freefilesync logs

Migrations of large volumes

I used FREEFILESYNC to migrate file servers . So I could easily migrate (without impacting users) several hundred GB of data. All I had to do was launch a first synchro (which takes the most time) then after that it was only the modified files that were added to my target. Once the niche is defined with the users, I cut off access to the source so that the target can take over. This operation saved me time, migration over time, rights preserved, long names transferred without problem …

Saving synchronization options & using a script

Using the floppy disk you can save your synchronization settings as a script. Just double click on the script file to restart your transfer with the same parameters.

freefilesync sync backup

Once saved, you have the parameters which are memorized

freefilesync backup settings

For further

With this tutorial you should be able to migrate data without too much hassle. Here you have a free tool, well thought out to facilitate your backups, your large and restrictive file transfers (rights, long names). For the more seasoned you can plan your scripts via the Windows planning manager to automate your transfers!

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