Pathsync: synchronize two directories with ease

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Pathsync is an open source drive or directory synchronization tool that can compare two paths and provides a number of options for copying files back and forth across the two.

It offers a number of useful options such as filtering by user-defined filename mask or extension and user-defined buffer size for the copying operation.

There are many scenarios where you will find this tool useful: if you need to synchronize files between a laptop and your main computer, if you backup files on a network or external drive.

However it has to be noted that its purpose is synchronization; if you are looking for a backup tool that can schedule automated backups there are many freeware options such as Karen’s Replicator, Cobian Backup, Jaback, or SyncBack.

This program is as straightforward as can be, but offers some good options as follows:

  • Sync directions: bidirectional, single direction (left to right or right to left), or single direction without deleting missing files or folders. These relate to whether the user wants to give primacy over one directory over the other, and whether there was activity to be updated on one of the directories or both.
  • Filename masks: you can specify which file extensions Pathsync should consider or alternately which ones not to be considered. Examples: *.mp3;*jpg;*avi will only sync mp3s, jpeg images, and avi videos. !*.mp3;* will include everything except mp3 files, !music’;* will include everything except the directory named “music”, and *proj_A* will only sync files that have “proj_A” in the filename.
  • Preview actions: once you set your paths and filename masks Pathsync will analyze your directories and display a list of actions. You can review these and right click on any one of them to change it if you so desire.
  • Ignore list: you can set Pathsync to ignore file sizes, file dates, missing local files, or missing remote files when performing its analysis.
  • PathSync Screenshot - copy throttleThrottling file copying: this is one of my favorite features. Once copying begins, Pathsync allows you to manually adjust the memory buffer used for copying, which can significantly increase the copying speed.
  • Performance: worth mentioning is the impressive speed by which Pathsync performed the analysis of the two directories.

Wish list:

  • The ability to define batch jobs or a list of jobs under the same settings. Currently you can only compare two paths at a time, which forces you to put everything that you want to synchronize in one root directory.

The verdict: wonderful program for quick, ad-hoc directory synchronizations. I recently moved some 40 gigs of stuff from one laptop to another on the network, for which I used this program extensively and found it to be a delight. I will again mention that it is not designed for automated or scheduled backups and does not offer such options as encrypted or zipped backups. However, what I like is the simplicity of it as a straightforward tool that does a fantastic job.

Version Tested: 0.35

Compatibility: WinAll.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 123K).