Free Backup Software for Windows

Microsoft SyncToy

SyncToy is a free file sync tool for Windows released by Microsoft. With a simple operation interface, it is easy-to-use and highly customisable.

In this example we are going to backup a folder, using synchronise, and store this on a USB device. Then create a scheduled task that performs the synchronise at pre-determined times.

Download SyncToy from here

Once you have downloaded and installed SyncToy, the next step is to “Create New Folder Pair“.

Select the directory or folder you want to backup by selecting the “Browse” button for the Left Folder.

Now select a folder or drive (in my case I am using a USB drive) that will be used to store your backups, this could be Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive etc. Do this by selecting “Browse” for the Right Folder. You should have something like this when you have finished.

Select “Next” to continue

Make sure “Synchronize” is checked, then select “Next” to continue.

Synchronize will keep the source and destination directory the same, whatever changes are made to the source directory, will be replicated in the backup directory.

In future backups, only the changes will be updated to the backup directory.


New and updated files are copied both ways. Renames and deletes on either side are repeated on the other.


New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right.


New and updated files are copied left to right. Renames and deletes on the left are repeated on the right. No deletions.

The next screen will ask you to name your folder pair, once you have done this select “Next” to continue.

The last screen will display your newly created backup (synchronisation). There are a few options on this screen.

You can create a new folder pair, this just repeats what you have previously done. You can continue to do this until you have created backups for all the directories and folders you wish to backup.

You can preview the folder pair. This runs a simulated backup run and displays what is going to be backed up, and where it is going to store all the files and folders.

Run, this will perform that backup run for the selected backup name. The first time you do this may take some time as SyncToy has to copy all the folder files and directories over to the backup location. On subsequent runs, only data that has changed will be copied over.


At this stage, the backups are only manual, you will have to launch SyncToy every time you wish to backup your data.

See how to schedule the backup tasks automatically here.