FreeFileSync – spiffy sync app

freefilesync_icon Samer had covered FreeFileSync at Freeware Genius and his review was practically glowing. I hadn’t touched my setup with SyncExp in a long time so was little bored with it.

So, FreeFileSync – portable, open source (and glowing) tool to sync files and directories.

What it does

App’s main screen is usual for compare-type apps dual-pane view.


It compares directories, shows differences and actions to be performed to get them in sync, using algorithm of your choice (update, mirror, two-way, custom).

Strong features

  • flexible preview with quick override of any action;
  • filters and custom algorithms;
  • few unique features, like customizable way to handle deleted files;
  • works fine with Unicode and network.


Usually I refer to interfaces that stray away for conventional in negative way. In this case FreeFileSync manages to combine a lot of own ideas with nice overall experience.

Interface logic is dominated by large icons, especially those that describe sync-related issues – they make whole small icon-language.

Makes very interesting impression. Personally I don’t like it. :) It eats screen space and I just hate to hover over everything to get an initial idea what it does. Still I am sure there are plenty of people who will like this interface completely.


Moving on from interface, which should be only seen once for initial setup of serious sync routine.

FreeFileSync allows to save jobs in custom XML-based format and automate them by running as command line argument. There are all needed options in place:

  • silent mode;
  • logging;
  • relative paths;
  • running external commands on failure.

Again what I personally don’t like is that jobs are completely separate from interface. There is no quick way to clone or adjust multiply tasks, no way to run them in bulk and no scheduling in sight.

It only handles sync itself, for anything else you have to write own scripts or use additional tools to make it all tick.


Certainly an app well done that offers most of common features and complements them with original ones and interesting interface on top. However for automation and bulk tasks this is more of a single component, than complete solution.

Home&download http://sourceforge.net/projects/freefilesync/

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  • ZenJu #

    Hey, nice review! > There is no quick way to clone or adjust multiple tasks > no way to run them in bulk This will be a feature of the next version v2.3: Each folder pair gets its own optional configuration (filter and sync-settings) FreeFileSync is still heavily in development... so there will be a couple of cool new features in the future :) -ZenJu
  • Rarst #

    @ZenzJu My sync routine is 8 tasks in bulk at moment, would be tricky to set up with FreeFileSync easily. Will follow future versions. Now I have to for Appnews.net anyway. :)
  • The DataRat #

    One of only a couple of my fav file sync / back-up proggies ! The DataRat .