An Introduction to Windows Vista Sync Center – Sync files between your laptop and desktop

If you consistently use a desktop computer in the office and a laptop while traveling, being able to accurately sync the many versions of your files is important. Windows Vista has a built-in tool called the Sync Center to help you with this task. Sync Center is a file management system that will keep your files in sync between a primary computer and your mobile equipment. Sync Center automatically determines the latest version of your files and overwrites older versions with the newest version. Sync Center communicates with shared folders on a central server and downloads the latest version of the files to your local equipment. Sync Center can be used with portable music players, portable video players, mobile phones, mobile computing devices, PDAs, and many other types of hand held devices.

In order to use the Sync Center, you must have a shared directory that you would like to sync. Navigate to a shared folder, right-click the directory and choose Always available offline.
It will take Windows Vista a few minutes to ensure that all the shared files are available offline.
To start Sync Center click Start and type Sync Center and hit enter.
Click Set up new sync partnerships in the left panel. You will now see the folder you made available offline. You can manually Sync all the files in the folder by clicking Sync. In order to automate this process so that you do not have to manually sync your files daily, choose Schedule.
Choose Create a new sync schedule.

Click the folders or files you would like to automatically sync and click Next.
Choose At a scheduled time.
Click More Options…
In order to ensure that your folders are continually synced choose The computer has been idle for at least 5 minutes. While this may be excessive, it ensures that you will have the newest copy of your files at all times, click OK and then Next.
Give your offline file schedule a name and click Save Schedule.
Now, whenever your computer is idle for five or more minutes, it will automatically sync all the files in your shared drives.

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