Folder synchronize over WiFi with SyncToy

Last updated on January 10, 2013 @ No comments yet

While there are hundreds of free and commercial sync tools, I’ve found SyncToy quite easy and useful. It’is a free tool by Microsoft which support Windows 7, Vista and XP. To use this tool, we will need a network connection in order to sync between PCs. It can be Wired LAN or WiFi connection with 3rd party devices (router or switch) or direct connection such as Ad Hoc. As an optional, today we going to set up an Ad Hoc network for direct connection between laptops.

Transfer speed will vary depends on WiFi hardware,  network profile and also wireless condition. We can archive optimal speed with Ad Hoc network since it’s a direct connection between Laptops without any third devices such as router and switch  But of-course LAN with wired connection give the best result.

SyncToy 2.1 is a free application that synchronizes files and folders between locations. Typical uses include sharing files, such as photos, with other computers and creating backup copies of files and folders (Microsoft).

Installing SyncTool

You can download directly from Microsoft download page. No tricky setting needed, simply download and run the setup. You don’t need to install SyncToy on both laptops since it can also write to the other’s laptop folder as long you set a write permission.

install SyncToy

Setting up Ad Hoc for both Laptops (optional)

Although we can also connect both laptop through router or hotspot, today we going to sync through Ad Hoc connection, in case if you stuck on a situation where there are no WiFI connection except Ad Hoc.

  • Click on network system tray icon, and then Open Network and Sharing Center.
  • Select Manage Wireless Networks menu, and click Add.
  • Now select Create an Ad Hoc Network and click Next.

Setting up Ad Hoc network

  • Write a name on Network Name, select security type to No Authentication (Open).
  • Enable Save This Network only if you want to save it to network list.
  • Click Next to start Ad Hoc network.
  • On 2nd laptop connect wireless to this Ad Hoc network.

Setting up Ip Address on Both Laptops

Since Ad Hoc doesn’t automatically gave an IP Address (unless ICS enabled), we then need to manually set IP addresses for both laptops. IP address have to be on the same network, for example on local computer and on the remote computer

  • Click on network system tray icon, and then Open Network and Sharing Center.
  • Select “Change Adapter Settings” menu, and right click on Wireless Network Connection.
  • Click Properties and double click Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  • Check on Use the following ip address to enable manual IP Address.

set ip address

  • On 1st PC, set IP Address to click on Netmask to auto fill netmask address (
  • On 2nd PC, set IP Address to click on Netmask to auto fill netmask address (
  • Click OK to save settings.

Set a Sharing Folder

You can either use password protection or disable password protection for the shared folder. Make sure you know the windows login and password of remote computer in order to access shared folder. This is required if you prefer to use password password protection (recomended). But if you prefer to turn off password protection on remote computer, follow the following steps.

  • On remote computer, click on network system tray icon, and then Open Network and Sharing Center.
  • Select Advanced sharing settings on left menu.
  • Scroll down to the very end of page, and check on Turn off password protection sharing.
  • All the Public folder and sub folders will now visible without any protection.

turn off password protection sharing folder

Create shared sync folder with password disabled

  • Now open Windows Explorer, and navigate to C:\Users\Public.
  • Right click on empty space, select New -> Folder, and name it as Sync (you don’t need to set any sharing option).
  • Check permission to the folder by right clicking Sync folder, Properties and Security tab.
  • Make sure Everyone has Full control access (this is why password protection is recommended).

sync folder on password disabled computer

Create shared sync folder with Password enabled

  • Create a folder anywhere on remote computer with password enable (for example D:\Backup\Sync)
  • Right click on it and click Properties.
  • Select Sharing tab and check on Share this folder.
  • Click on Permissions and set to allow Full control to Everyone.

set permission to sync folder

Remember to also create a Sync folder on local computer which will be used as local source. You can create anywhere on local computer.

Configuring SyncToy

  • Open SyncToy, follow the first run setting until it ready and showing welcome screen.
  • Click on Create New Folder Pair to create a pair.
  • On the Left Folder browse Network to remote Sync folder.
  • On the Right Folder browse to local Sync folder.

configuring sync pair

  • Click Next, and on What do you want to do? selection choose Synchronize to enable bi-direction sync.
  • Click Next, and set a name for the pair, for example My Sync.

Test Synchronizing

  • To test your configuration, copy anything to your local Sync folder.
  • Open SyncToy, on left menu click your earlier pair name (My Sync).
  • Click Run to start synchronizing.

sync progress

  • You’ll see several file transfer information and also progress bar on SyncToy window.
  • In the end of progress you’ll see a summary of run results.
  • Now check on remote computer, your local files should be copied into remote folder.

This also work vice versa, which mean if you copy files in to remote computer and then RUN a sync on SyncToy, the files will  be copied in to local computer.

M Riza

Article by M Riza

Is a blogger since 2007, founder and editor of Oa Ultimate. Working as a network administrator, computer technician, database and web maintainer | Twitter | G+

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