I have this need to keep certain folders synchronized from one Mac to an external disk drive plugged into the USB port.
Mac users can choose from dozens of sync and backup apps, but I’ve been searching for one that does the sync (source to target) automatically whenever a file in the source changes. That’s easier said than done.
Tops on my list is FolderWatch, a Mac app that is designed to keep files in one folder fully copied to another folder. Whenever a file in the source folder changes, that file is synced with the target folder.
On the surface, it seems simple enough. Create a new folder pair– a source and a target. Change a few settings and FolderWatch watches the source folder for file changes, and copies them automatically to the target folder.
This is also a good way to backup files from one Mac to another, automatically, as files change. And, it’s a good way to share certain files with others, by having FolderWatch make the copies from your Mac to another Mac.
Most of the time, FolderWatch works perfectly. When I change or edit or add a file to the source folder, FolderWatch makes sure that file gets updated to the target folder.
Sometimes FolderWatch seems to go to sleep and nothing gets copied. Other times, FolderWatch forgets to delete the folders on the target after they’re deleted from the source.
I don’t mind that FolderWatch is a one way only sync, but it’s critical that it work all the time, every time, without failure of any kind. I don’t want to have to double check what happened after every time I change a file.
It runs in the background, doesn’t use much CPU, and should be set it and forget it. But FolderWatch has a problem with folders with many files (and you don’t necessarily know the number threshold), too. When FolderWatch becomes a more stable utility, I’ll be a happier utility owner.