Synchronizing files and folders between multiple computers or other devices automates the copying of data to each other. If your files aren't syncing, starting to work on a document at the office and wanting to continue with what you were doing when you got home on a laptop can be overwhelming. Synchronization saves you the trouble of manually updating the old version of the document. Several techniques exist to achieve this.
Method 1 of 3: Just drag and drop
Step 1. Select the affected files
Drag them from their original folder to drop them in the destination folder.
- Copy the updated version of the file you want to transfer.
- Paste the updated file in the correct folder and delete the old one. This technique works relatively well if you are using a USB flash drive to transport your data from one computer to another.
Method 2 of 3: The no-network method: Windows Briefcase
Step 1. Right click
You can do this in an empty spot on the desktop or inside a folder. Choose New Briefcase.
Step 2. Name the briefcase
Preferably choose a name related to the work it contains.
Step 3. Drag and drop
Take the folders you want to sync with another computer and put them in the Briefcase.
Step 4. Place the briefcase on a storage device
It can be an external hard drive or a USB stick.
Step 5. Connect the device to the second computer
Step 6. Move the briefcase
Take it from the memory of the external drive or key and drop it on the desktop or other location of the new computer.
Step 7. Edit the files
Edit the files inside the folder.
Step 8. Save your work
You can then move the briefcase back to the external storage device.
Step 9. Reconnect the device to the first computer
Right click and select Update all.
Method 3 of 3: The Network Method: Offline Folder Synchronization
Step 1. Authorize the offline files
You must perform this step on all the machines from which you will be required to work on the documents contained in the folder.
- Go to Computer > Tools > Folder options … > Offline files.
- Select Enable offline files.
Step 2. Share
- Locate the original folder you want to share and right click. Go to the game Sharing and security options.
- Select Share this folder on the network and name it so that other users who have access to it easily recognize what it is.
- Remember to check if the option Allow network users to edit my files is checked, as this is essential to allow updates.
Step 3. Choose the folders to sync
- Go to a second device that also accepts file sharing. Click on Computer > Network locations.
- Choose the file you previously renamed on the server.
- Click on the file or folder to synchronize.
- Check that the option Make available offline is checked, then ask the wizard to automatically sync the folder each time you log on to the second computer.
- Offline File Synchronization is frequently used by businesses so that their employees can keep files up to date while working from home. However, this method cannot work without a server and a shared network.
- To end the synchronization, you can delete the briefcase folder on the original computer. You can also open the Briefcase, right-click on the folder, and change the properties to cut the link to the original.
- When dragging and dropping, be careful not to delete the updated version of the folder.
- Do not drag and drop folders from the briefcase onto the desktop of the second computer, as this will remove the link to the original files.
- The briefcase system does not work in a network. You have to manually move files and folders from one computer to another. Files placed on the same network will not be automatically updated.