Picture Dropbox or Onedrive or some such, with their ability to keep files in the master storage online and only download them on demand, and later when I delete some files I have the option to either remove them locally ("dehydrate") but keep the master copy, or erase them from the storage, too.

So, with that in mind, I need that exact feature, but with an external drive (or several) instead of a network device. Copy files from the drive to local folders, have something keep track of changes and deletions, be able to either write changes to the drive again, or just free up local space but keep master files intact on the external drive.

The software should run on Windows. Price margin would depend on whether it could also sync to online clouds, etc. - but without a monthly fee for its own storage service.


1 Answer 1


Not particularly expensive, for Windows, is a program called Allway Sync. The free version allows trial configurations, but when usage reaches an undetermined point, money is required.

It allows for local to local drive synchronization, local to external sync, folder to folder sync, just about anything you can imagine.

The profiles can be individually to include or exclude deletions, to make the transfer unidirectional or bidirectional.

The profiles can be configured to auto-start when a specific drive is connected, or when any external drive is connected.

I've used it on a regular basis, installed it for clients, family and friends and it's quite a useful relatively inexpensive program.

allway sync screen capture

Image from linked page.

  • Nah, that's a regular drive-to-drive sync, with no centralized database of files - if I delete files locally, it won't recognize whether I just removed those that I don't want to keep local, but I want to keep them in the backups, or whether I want to erase the files entirely - at least not without fiddling with "direction" settings. I use FreeFileSync for simple syncing already, but I need something more. :) Commented Feb 24, 2021 at 20:12

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