Microsoft's previously released public Beta of SyncToy has reached the final v1.0 and is available for download since yesterday. The easy to use, customizable application helps you copy, move, rename and delete files between folders and computers.
There are new sources of files coming from every direction: digital cameras, E-Mail, mobile phones, portable media players, camcorders, PDAs and Laptops. Increasingly, computer users are using different folders, drives and even different computers (such as a Laptop and a Desktop) to store and retrieve files. Yet managing hundreds or thousands of files is still largely a manual operation. In some cases it is necessary to get copies of files from one place; in other cases there is a need to keep two storage locations exactly in sync. Some users manage files manually, dragging and dropping from one place to another and keeping a mental card catalog in their heads. Others use one or more applications to provide this functionality for them.
Now there is an easier and free way. SyncToy is a free PowerToy for Microsoft Windows XP that provides is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps users to do the heavy lifting involved with the copying, moving and synchronization of different directories. Most common operations can be performed with just a few clicks of the mouse and additional customization is available without added complexity. SyncToy can manage multiple sets of folders at the same time; it can combine files from two folders in one case and mimic renames and deletes in another. Unlike other applications, SyncToy actually keeps track of renames to files and will make sure those changes get carried over to the synchronized folder.
We listened to your feedback. SyncToy was released as a beta in early August 2005. We collected feedback from the discussion forum on the Windows XP Professional Photography web site, from the customer feedback survey in the product (to access the online survey, open SyncToy and select Help, then select Customer Feedback), from a large number of professional and hobbyist photographers at Microsoft and from various world-wide forums, sites, reviews and blogs on the web. Most of you (55%) asked for the ability to type in a UNC path to select a folder. We added this feature between the beta release and the current v1.0 release.
Features added in response to customer feedback include:
- The ability to type in a UNC path
- Support for longer folder pair names and ability to widen the left pane to see those longer names
- The ability to support the maximum length for folder paths and documentation was added to the help file about how to set up a share to be able to sync deep folder pairs
- Better handling of the difference in precision between NTFS and FAT timestamps
- More discoverable link to the help file for information on how to schedule SyncToy using the Windows XP Task Scheduler
- Support for 800x600 screen resolution
- Added a warning for users if the selected action will take some time to complete
- Added brief explanations of the actions in the user interface
- Improved behavior when choosing folders to include or exclude when there are large numbers of folders involved
- Improved support for accessibility modes
Please note that SyncToy is not part of Windows and is not supported by Microsoft Technical Support. For this reason, Microsoft Technical Support is unable to answer questions about SyncToy. To speak to other users and contribute feedback about your experiences with SyncToy, please use the forums accessible from the Professional Photography web site.
Cheers ~ Arne