Portable version of SyncToy RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Many applications are portable now, meaning that SyncToy could be on the backup drive (USB or Hard Disk for example) and be executed directly from there. Then it would, without installation, keep the relative path of the drive and all the settings. Nothing should be saved on the host PC for a portable application.

    That's my wish for the coming releases of SyncToy which offers some nice functionalities compared to other tools. Without this however, it's harder to backup/restore (since restoration means you're on a freshly installed machine without SyncToy).

    Of course the just one way use the tool. This wish is also related to the post http://forums.microsoft.com/sync/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=2941582&SiteID=75 .
    Wednesday, March 12, 2008 3:30 PM

All replies

  • That would be a bit of work.  Right now we keep some metadata relative to each of the folders.  That way we can easily check for changes.  If we kept it on the USB drive, it would make an assumption that you would never plug in another USB drive with different metadata on it.  I am not sure we can make that assumption, and if you could I might ask you why you care if we keep some metadata on the folder and not the USB drive? 


    If you are ok with some things like metadata and settings being store on the actual machine, you might try taking a look at U3 USB thumb drives.  I have never tried it with SyncToy but these drives allow you to persist applications on the device which can automatically execute when plugged in.  Not sure if it will work, but it might be interesting to try.



    Thursday, March 13, 2008 12:02 AM
  • Yes it is OK and also a wish that the data are saved on the USB, as long as the place where they are saved is clear enough. Now plugin in one place and then in another is the basis of portable applications. Doesn't mean that it could backup from the HD to the USB on any PC. It means that it could backup let's say on the home PC (from HD --> USB), and then restore on any PC (USB --> HD). May be restore manually; backup is the most important to me.

    A first step would be the abilty to import/export the settings.

    U3 is a proprietary format, I'm not sure if it can run application that are not U3 compilant. Many other tools are portable and provide USB launcher, like Portable Apps, PStart, and others. PortableApps also provide many good portable applications and explain some about how to make them.
    Thursday, March 13, 2008 1:47 PM
  • I second this. I also use portable apps and keep a usb key on me when travelling so I can easily use another computer and access the relevant apps and documents I require. This has been invaluable. The only downside has been syncing all my documents since the only software that offers close to true syncing capabilities is Toucan which is not as intuitive as SyncToy. SyncToy would be a fantastic app if you could connect your usb to your personal computer, run synctoy and sync all your documents, emails, etc. so whether I am using the usb on another computer or updating things on my personal computer, the files are always up to date on both. This would also apply if had to clean install my computer or buy a new computer, I could just connect the USB and all my docs would be restored. I am also not fussed about metadata being stored on the usb as long as it is clear where the data is being stored.

    Another option that would be useful would be if SyncToy could determine if the USB is connected to your personal computer, e.g. by looking at you mac address, and then auto sync with your computer when connected, via autorun on the USB. The detection method could then also provide a warning if you are trying to sync data with a different computer.

    Thanks for all the great work to date.

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008 7:38 AM
  • Perhaps there is a way to create a scheduled task using the windows task scheduler to run synctoy whenever a usb key is inserted.  I tried looking through the possible options in vista's task scheduler but saw nothing in the trigger portion for when a usb key (or even a specific one) is inserted.  Perhaps one of the mods could enlighten me to the possibility of doing this?
    Saturday, April 19, 2008 6:15 PM
  • I was also searching for a portable version of synctoy. I am in college now, and syncing/backing up my work between my school account and my home computer isn't possible, since I can save files on my school account, but can't install programs there, removing synctoy as an option there. It would be nice to have my pairings set up on my USB flash drive, then just pick the sync I want to run and have it happen. For this to work in U3, a special version would have to be designed to work with it. If it's in the realm of possibility for MS to make a portable version, then that's where my vote would go.
    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 9:51 AM
  • Hi sm00th101,


    Yes, we have discussed this in the past but have not made any firm plans to implement this feature and in fact it is on the list for consideration.  I do certainly agree that this would be quite an attractive feature.


    Thanks for the feedback.



    Tuesday, September 23, 2008 4:00 PM
  • I have to put my 2 cents in for the portable feature.

    I was just searching for a portable version, as I need to backup some data on a computer that has been compromised by trojans, and it is difficult to install Synctoy from the compromised OS.  If I could simply run it from the usb drive without an install, it would be far better.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009 10:24 AM
  • I would love to see a portable version of SyncToy.
    Saturday, March 14, 2009 6:27 PM
  • Me too. It would be great
    Wednesday, February 3, 2010 12:47 PM
  • I too would absolutely love to see SyncToy become available as a portable USB-driven application. It would be fine for it to store the metadata on the flash drive. This gives SyncToy a real advantage over other programs that cannot detect deletions and file renaming nearly as well or at all.
    Thursday, February 11, 2010 2:12 PM
  • Is there any headway on a portable version at all?


    I would totally be back on the SyncToy band wagon when this happens.

    Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:56 PM
  • A Portable version would be great.

    Keep all the data you want in the Portable Folder of SyncToy.

    Saturday, September 11, 2010 10:52 AM