Sometimes you may need to analyze only the changed files of a particular directory structure. This can be helpful to detect unauthorized file modifications for instance, files that have been updated automatically or manually recently, or project files that other team members have worked with, or to detect files that need to be updated in a remote location.
While it is possible to sort all files by modification date in Windows Explorer, manual copying modified files is not that of a practicable solution if files are also stored in subfolders. This may make the manual operation uncomfortable at the very least, and often time consuming.
The free program Copy Changed Files offers a much simpler solution. Just fire it up after installation to automate the copying of files that have been modified in a specified time period.
You begin by selecting the source and target directories. The source directory will be analyzed according to the specifications that you configure in the second configuration step.
The program can compare contents based on binary comparisons or by copying files automatically that have been modified after a selected date and time. You could for instance configure the program to copy only files that have been modified in 2012. The binary comparison option compares files in the source and destination directories. It will copy non-identical or non-existing files from the source folder to the destination folder.
You can furthermore configure output parameters. It is for instance possible to append date or time to the destination directory structure or files. The program displays how the source folder will look like directly in the interface.
Copying of files can be restricted to specified file extensions or sizes. You could for instance configure Copy Changed Files to only copy documents, e.g. doc, docx and xls, or only files with a size of less than one million bytes. Specific files can also be excluded right away. The forms where file types and names are entered are not very large which is problematic if many items need to be added.
The program overwrites files by default, with options to change the initial behavior to skip if files exist or to append a number to the file name, which can be used as a basic form of version control.
A test run option is available which outputs the number of files that will be copied if the program is run in normal mode. A log tab is available that lists all recent file copying operations.
The configuration files can be saved to the local system to load them again at a later time to save some time.
The Copy Changed Files application is compatible with all recent versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. The program requires the Microsoft .Net Framework 2.0. It can be downloaded from the developer website.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.