After resetting my laptop to its factory settings. I’ve lost a lot of programs that are no longer compatible with Windows 11. One was Microsoft’s SyncToy, which I used to back up my files to an external hard drive. Is there a good free alternative?
Backing up your files is an essential, ongoing task, so getting this sorted out should be a priority. Microsoft discontinued SyncToy in 2021, but there are plenty of alternatives to choose from. One of the best is
IDrive, which you may already recognise as the name of a paid-for online backup service (www.idrive.com). Its backup software is free to download, letting you archive files on an external hard drive or SSD at no cost.
To download it, visit https://www.idrive.com/online-backup-download and click the Windows button in the Download IDrive Full Client section. Install and launch it, then plug in your drive and click the button beside ‘Backup files to Local, Wi-Fi or Express device’ on the Backup screen.
Click the ‘Change…’ button at the bottom (1 in our screenshot), then select the folders you want to back up. Next, click the three dots B and select your external drive as the location for the backed-up files. Now click Backup Now 3 if you want to perform a manual backup, or Schedule □ if you want to set up a regular backup. We’d recommend the latter.
When scheduling your backup, select a start time (the end of the working day or overnight makes sense) and on which days it should run. You can set up an email alert should the backup fail. Select the ‘Notify on failure’, then tick the box beside ‘Email notification’ and type your email address.