WinDataReflector: file synchronization with visual comparison

Martin Brinkmann
Mar 3, 2017
Updated • Mar 21, 2018

WinDataReflector is a free portable file synchronization software with visual comparison feature for Microsoft's Windows operating system.

The program is offered as a portable version that you can run from any location. The program is tab-based, and differentiates between backup and synchronization tasks.

Update: A free version of the program is still available but it is feature limited. It can't sync more than 150 files and does not support more than three tasks in total.  Use a free alternative such as File Move, AOMEI Backupper 4.0 or another free file synchronization program for Windows instead.

The core difference between the two options is the following: Backup copies files from the source path to the target path, and that is about it. Synchronize supports two-way syncing between the selected folders, or one-way synchronization of the source folder and the target folder.

Note that you may also define custom sync settings in the project properties.


Select one of the available tabs, or the synchronize or backup buttons at the top to start a new project. You need to select a source and target directory regardless of task that you select, and may hit the process button once you have done that to have WinDataReflector scan the two paths.

Files and folders are displayed then, and stats about the file count and data size of the source and target path as well.

If you select synchronize, the required disk space to sync all files to the two directories is displayed, as well as the total number of files that are not in both or in the right directory.

While you can hit the sync or back up buttons right away to start the process, it is recommended that you check the project properties at least once. Here you find listed the following options:

  1. Define if and when files get deleted during the process (only sync).
  2. Define if a new or the same folder should be used for the backup (backup only)
  3. Enable NTFS file permission copying.
  4. Change synchronization rules.
  5. Add exceptions (with or without regular expressions).
  6. Schedule the job to run regularly.
  7. Enable comparison of CRC checksums, and verification using checksums.
  8. Enable logging.

Some of these options are quite useful, as you may schedule jobs, or change what is processed by a job.

A click on the schedule button in the main program window opens a list of all projects. You may open the settings from there as well. This can be useful if you have set up several jobs already, maybe even that many that you need to scroll to access them in the interface.

Closing Words

WinDataReflector is a powerful file synchronization and backup program for Windows. It supports one-way, two-way and custom sync jobs, backups with or without compression, and lets you run one or multiple jobs manually or on schedule.

The software supports copying NTFS file permissions, the filtering of files or folders using regular expressions, checksum verification, and more.

Now Read: the best free file synchronization programs for Windows

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  1. smaragdus said on March 21, 2018 at 9:21 pm

    Since version 2.0.0 WinDataReflector is no longer freeware, see:

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 21, 2018 at 9:33 pm

      Thanks, have added an update to it. There is still a free version but it is severely limited.

      1. smaragdus said on March 24, 2018 at 4:47 am

        Yes, the “free” version is so crippled that it looks like a demo. Similar (and far more powerful) commercial synchronizers like BestSync & SyncBack do not restrict the number of jobs and the number of files processed in their free versions, the limitations affect mostly cloud and FTP backup & sync, encryption, versioning, scripting, e-mail support, etc, that is why these free versions are usable while the “free” WinDataReflector is not.

  2. marni said on March 3, 2017 at 5:28 pm

    It’s still early days but so far i love WDR. Seeing exactly which files differ between versions is a big help, or at least a nice fuzzy warm security blanket.
    My only complaint is that it lacks skins- is stuck in Windows glare-white mode. But that’s fairly standard, and one can’t quibble about such in freeware anyway.

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