Microsoft has released an interesting new utility named SyncToy – the “toy” part is because it’s part of the PowerToy series of utilities, not because it’s playful.

SyncToy is an easy to use, highly customizable program that helps keep multiple copies of files organized. It was designed by photographers who wanted to keep an extra copy of their photos on an external hard drive. I’ll use it to keep an extra copy of my music library on a separate drive. It can be used as a simple backup program, to make an extra copy of your documents and Outlook PST file. The program can handle many different ways to copy, move, and synchronize folders.

SyncToy is not for novices! It’s easy to understand if you’re already familiar with moving files from place to place, but a bit daunting if you don’t already understand the basics. It can be scheduled to run automatically, but that requres a manual addition to the Windows Scheduled Tasks – again, not for the faint at heart.

If you’re curious, read the white paper outlining the goals for the program and how one photographer used it to keep track of thousands of photos on vacation.

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