How to Compare Folders and Files in Windows 10 –

If you want to compare folders and files in Windows, then continue reading this article as we show you some very useful and free tools to compare and synchronize files and folders.

When copying a large number of files from one folder to another destination folder, you want to ensure that all files are copied to the destination. But it’s difficult to manually compare each folder and file individually to make sure they have the same content.

In this article, you will learn how to easily compare the contents of two different directories and synchronize them to get an exact mirror copy.

3 Best Free Tools to Compare or Sync Contents of 2 Folders in Windows 11/10/8/7.

  1. WinMerge.
  2. FreeFileSync.
  3. General Commander.

1. WinMerge

WinMerge is one of the best free tools for comparing and synchronizing files and folders. This is very useful for finding out what has changed between two similar folders, synchronizing their contents, or merging them.

you can download WinMerge from the official website of the tool. Once the download is complete, open the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the software.

How to Compare Folders and Files in Windows 10

How to compare two folders with WinMerge.

1. Run WinMerge and from File select the menu It’s open or press the button Ctrl + O keys to select the folders/files you want to compare.

2. WinMerge allows you to compare two (2) or three (3) files or folders at once. To compare two folders or files:

a. inside 1St A file or folderchoose Review and select the file or folder you want to compare. Do the same for the file or folder you want to compare 2n.d A file or folder empty space.

b. For Folder: Filter, use if you want to compare all file types *.* as default selection. However, if you want to compare specific file types, check the file extension in the box. Example: .pdf

c. Finally press Comparison. Depending on the size of the files, it may take some time for the list of items in both locations to appear. It shows the similarities and differences between the files or folders you compare.

How to compare folders - WinMerge

3. After some time, the result of the comparison will appear on the screen, the differences are highlighted, so you can easily identify them.

It separates the same files or folders White. Only files or folders that exist in one location are highlighted Grayare highlighted by folders with different contents yellow color

*Note: In Comparison result, Left only indicates that the file is in the first location (1St File or folder), while Just right indicates that the file exists only in the second location (2n.d File or folder).

Compare WinMege folders

5. After viewing the comparison result, you can copy, move, compare, rename or delete a file or folder in WinMerge by right-clicking and applying the desired transformation .


How to sync 2 folders with WinMerge:

WinMerge allows you to easily synchronize the contents of 2 different folders and merge them so that both folders contain the same files.

1. First, select the folders you want to sync, then click Comparison button.

Synchronization of WinMege folders

2. Now hide the files or folders that are the same so you can focus on the ones you want to sync. Dan Appearance tab, remove the mark the Showing the same things option.

To synchronize folders

3. Now you will see on your screen only files located in 1St folder (Left Only) or 2n.d folder (Right only).

3a. Now select the files/folders you want to sync (or click the button Ctrl + A buttons to select them all), then right click and select Copying.

3b. Then, select the location (folder) you want to update/synchronize from the sub-menu.

  • If files or folders 1St not in folder 2n.d folder: select Copying > From left to right.
  • If files or folders 2n.d not in folder 1St folder: select Copying > From right to left.
  • If you want to copy all non-identical files or folders to 1St select the location to a completely different folder: Copying > From the left…
  • If you want to copy all non-identical files or folders in 2n.d Address to another location: Select Copying > Right…

How to synchronize folders - WinMerge

WinMerge settings.

For efficiency, there are some special settings that make working with WinMerge easier. Click to open WinMerge settings Options image or press Editing > Options.

The Options dialog box allows you to customize many WinMerge features, such as the comparison method, the colors in the comparison results, and more. Visit the WinMerge Guide to explore all the options in WinMerge and learn more.


2. FreeFileSync

FreeFileSync is another utility that allows you to compare two folders in detail and synchronize the differences between them. With FreeFileSync you can automate the backup of your data and save time because it only copies the differences.

1. Visit the official website to download FreeFileSync to your computer.

2. Once downloaded, open the file to start the installation. Installing FreeFileSync is one of the easiest programs to set up. You just have to choose The next one several times to install the program.


How to compare 2 directories using FreeFileSync:

1. Open FreeFileSync and click Review Click the button to select the folders you want to compare.

2. Yes Comparison Choose a comparison method. you can compare by File time and size, File contents, or File size.* When done, press the button Comparison button to start folder comparison.

*Note: We recommend comparing when using File contents.

How to compare folders - FreeFileSync

3. After the folder comparison is complete, blue the arrow shows only the files available on the right side green indicates files on the left. You can select the blue or green icon to manually copy the files to another location. By default, FreeFileSync hides identical files and shows missing files in selected locations.


How to sync folders and files with FreeFileSync.

1. Open FreeFileSync and click Review button to select the two folders you want to sync.

2. press Comparison to compare content from two locations.

3. Choose a synchronization method. FreeFileSync allows you to synchronize files in two (2) different locations using different methods:

  • Two ways: This option synchronizes the files in both locations and applies changes to make them similar. Note that this is the recommended option when you plan to sync files with FreeFileSync.
  • Window: This option allows you to copy non-identical files “Left Only” and duplicate them in the “Right Only” folder. Also, the mirror option is famous for removing extra files in the correct folder to make sure the files in both locations mirror each other.
  • Update: Update performs the same function as Mirror, except that it does not replace the files on the right.
  • Special: On the other hand, this option allows you to adjust the settings to suit what you want to archive.

4. Finally, click on Sync Click the button to start syncing the folder.

How to sync folders - FreeFileSync

How to use FreeFileSync to compare and sync local files or folders with the cloud.

FreeFileSync also has the ability to compare and synchronize local folders or files with the Cloud. (Google Drive, FTP, SFTP). For this:

1. select Cloud to the sign Access to online storage settings.

How to compare folders to the cloud

2. In the new window that opens, select Connection type (Google Drive, SFTP or SFTP) and then specify the connection settings.

Synchronize local folders with Cloud - WinMerge

3. Click when done Comparison to compare files between the two locations and optionally click Sync click the button to sync them.


General Commander

Total commander is a file manager that offers built-in FTP clients for file comparison, directory synchronization, search functionality, multiple language support, and cloud drive synchronization.

Key features of Total Commander include side-by-side file windows, directory comparison and synchronization with advanced search functionality. These features make Total Commander an essential management tool for file synchronization. You can download Total Commander from the official download page.

To compare the contents of two folders with Total Commander:

1. Select the first folder on the left panel and do the same for the second folder on the right panel.
2. Dan Mark select the menu Compare catalogs or press SHIFT + F12

How to compare volumes - Total Commander

To synchronize the contents of two folders with Total Commander:

1. Select the first folder on the left panel and do the same for the second folder on the right panel.
2. From the Commands menu, select and Synchronize the tracks.

Folder synchronization - Total Commander

3. Finally click Comparison and Sync.


That’s it! Let me know if this guide helped you by leaving a comment about your experience. Please like and share this guide to help others.

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