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Automated Synchronization

The primary purpose of RealTimeSync is to execute a command line each time it detects changesin one of the monitored directories or when a directory becomes available (e. g. insert of a USB-stick). Usually this command line will trigger a FreeFileSync batch job.


Example: Real time synchronization - in combination with FreeFileSync

Start RealTimeSync.exe located in FreeFileSync's installation directory and enter all folders you want to monitor. Instead of doing this manually you can import a ffs_batch file via Menu → File → Open. This not only extracts all directories relevant for synchronization but also sets up the command line to execute the ffs_batch file each time changes are detected. Now press Start to begin monitoring.

RealTimeSync main window



  • The command should not block progress. If you call a FreeFileSync batch job, make sure it does not show any popup windows. See notes in Command Line Usage.
  • RealTimeSync will skip showing the main dialog and begin monitoring immediately if you pass a ffs_real configuration file or a FreeFileSync ffs_batch file as first command line argument to RealTimeSync.exe. This helps you integrate RealTimeSync into your operating system's auto start:
          "C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\RealTimeSync.exe" "D:\Backup Projects.ffs_real"
          "C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\RealTimeSync.exe" "D:\Backup Projects.ffs_batch"
  • RealTimeSync is not tied to starting FreeFileSync. It can also be used in other scenarios, like sending an email whenever a certain directory is modified.


Example: Automatic synchronization when a USB stick is inserted

Save a ffs_batch configuration in the USB stick's root directory, e.g. H:\ and let FreeFileSync run it when the stick is mounted. But instead of hard coding the USB drive letter H:\ (which may change occasionally), refer to the USB stick via its volume name instead.

Configure RealTimeSync as follows:

Monitor USB stick insert
"Backup" is the volume name of the USB stick in our example.

Whenever directory H:\Data becomes available, RealTimeSync executes the command line which starts the batch job located on the stick. RealTimeSync will also trigger each time files are modified in H:\Data.

The full path of the last changed file and the action that triggered the change notification (create, update or delete) are written to the environment variables %change_path% and%change_action%.


Example: Log names of changed files and directories (Windows)

Show which file or directory has triggered a change. Enter command line:

    cmd /c echo %change_action% "%change_path%" & pause

Write a list of all changes to a log file:

    cmd /c echo %change_action% "%change_path%" >> %UserProfile%\Desktop\log.txt
When RealTimeSync executes a Windows batch file (bat or cmd) a black console window is shown. You can hide it using the Visual Basic script HideConsole.vbs located in FreeFileSync's installation directory:

wscript "C:\Program files\FreeFileSync\HideConsole.vbs" C:\MyBatchFile.cmd



  • If multiple changes happen at the same time, only the path of the first file is written to variable %changed_file%.
  • While RealTimeSync is executing the command line, monitoring for changed files is deliberately inactive.

The command line usually starts a synchronization task using FreeFileSync which naturally leads to additional file change notifications. Therefore the RealTimeSync change detection has to be deactivated to not go into an endless loop. On the other hand it is not likely that changes (other than those from FreeFileSync) happen in first place since RealTimeSync runs the command line only after a user-specified idle time has passed. This makes sure the monitored folders are not in heavy use. In any case, files changed during the execution of FreeFileSync will be synchronized the next time FreeFileSync runs.