How to sync folders with xcopy

Written by susan reynolds
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How to sync folders with xcopy
Flash drives can facilitate file synchronisation. (flash drive image by jimcox40 from

XCopy is a utility within Windows that has the ability to copy folders and files from one location to another. It is especially useful for syncing files on a workplace computer to a home computer. The XCopy program works in the Command Prompt. It is not very user-friendly, and you have to know some commands, but it is quick and useful if you need to sync folders in Safe Mode. Some people use XCopy with an external hard drive because they can copy files easily.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • USB drive

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  1. 1

    Right-click on an empty space on your desktop wallpaper.

  2. 2

    Select "New" and then "Shortcut." A small, blank text box will prompt you to enter a folder location.

  3. 3

    Type in the following command in the blank box:

    xcopy " import folder name*.*" x:\transfer /d /y /s

  4. 4

    Replace "import folder name" with the name of your folder that you want to sync. Also change the "x" to the letter drive where you want to import the file. For example, if you want to sync the "C" drive folder to the "F" flash drive, you might type: xcopy " C:\foldername*.*" F:\transfer /d /y /s.

  5. 5

    Press on the "Next" button. Type "Export" when it prompts you for a file name. Click "Next."

  6. 6

    Click once on the shortcut icon you just created and hold down "Ctrl," "Alt" and "Delete" at the same time. It will create a second icon.

  7. 7

    Right-click the second icon and click on "Properties" and then "Shortcut." Switch out the folder names that you typed in Step 3.

  8. 8

    Click on "OK" and name the shortcut "Import."

  9. 9

    Complete Steps 1 through 8 on the other computer that you are syncing with your first computer.

  10. 10

    Plug in a flash drive to your first computer and click on the "Export" shortcut. Plug the same flash drive into your other computer and click "Import" to move files between computers.

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