Synchronize Folders Across Multiple PCs with Windows Live Sync

Last Updated Dec 16, 2008 12:01 PM EST

windows-live-sync.jpgIf that headline sounds familiar, it's because you're thinking of Windows Live FolderShare. That beloved service is now Windows Live Sync, and its goal is the same: To let you synchronize files and folders across multiple PCs.

What's different? For starters, Microsoft has bumped the library limit to 20, with 20,000 files per library. (It used to be 10/10,000.) Better still, Windows Live Sync is now available for Mac (OS X 10.5 and later), a surprising but very welcome development.

If you're already a FolderShare user, you'll need to install Sync on all your PCs. Fortunately, there's very little labor required on top of that -- the new software automatically rebuilds your libraries. The exception is shared libraries; here's the scoop on those:

Sync won't be able to rebuild your shared libraries, but we've tried to make it as easy as possible to set these up again. If you were the owner of a shared library you'll have to resend the invitations to your friends, family, or coworkers to start sharing the library again. (Sorry, we know it's a pain, but we hope you'll forget all about it once you see huge improvements we're making to Sync.) Don't worry if the people you shared libraries with don't have Window Live IDs; we'll help your people switch using their preferred e-mail addresses.
For more information, read the complete Windows Live Sync FAQ. If you never bothered to try FolderShare, I highly recommend trying Sync. It's a fast, effective, and free way to keep information in sync across multiple computers (like, say, home and work systems). No wonder it made the list of five freeware gems I use everyday.
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