How To Backup Your Photos Locally With GoodSync

Learn how to use GoodSync as part of your photography backup strategy. Use it to replicate your photos between two local drives.

November 26, 2023

If you care at all about your images, you’ll have a solid backup strategy in place. I recently wrote an article that explained how you can go about setting up your own system:

In that article I mentioned the use of GoodSync to backup your files to an external hard drive or NAS device

Let me show you how to use it

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What Does GoodSync Do?

At a basic level, GoodSync is a software package that will syncronise two file locations so that both locations mirror each other.

It is perfect to use as part of a photography backup solution.

A couple of standout features:

  • Syncronise two file locations to backup your data
  • Automated, scheduled and real-time file transfer
  • Block level data transfer to minimise transfer sizes
  • Version history control
  • Configurable recycle bin to guard against accidental deletions
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How To Set Up A Photography Backup

Before you start backing up files with GoodSync there are a couple of things you’ll need to know first:

  • The location of the files that you’re looking to back up. Something along the lines of c:/users/you/pictures/photography
  • The location of the drive that you want to replicate the files to. Preferably on a different physical drive. Something like d:/backups/photography

Create A New Job

The first thing you’ll need to do is create a new backup job. GoodSync will allow you to create any number of different backups jobs with different settings if you so desire. We just need one job for our photo files

Screenshot of the Goodsync new job window
Create A New Backup Job

Give your job a name. Something like Photo Backup - PC to External HDD

Choose the backup job type.

Select The Source and Destination Locations

Next you’ll need to select the source location (where your current files live) and the destination (where your files will be duplicated).

Do this by clicking on the folders at the top of the screen

Screenshot showing the Goodsync Source and Destination settings
Choose File Sources

Then choose your locations and hit the apply button

Screenshot showing GoodSync File Location selector
Choose File Locations

At this point, you have a simple backup solution. You will probably want to configure a few more things before you start though

Change The Backup Settings

Right-click on the name of your backup job and choose options

In the general tab you can choose the number of days you would like to keep deleted files for. If you delete a file from your main PC, they will be kept in your backup for the number of days you choose here. Personally, I input 365 days. This gives me a year to recover any accidently deleted files.

GoodSync Backup Settings
Choose File Retention

Next, if you want the backup to run automatically: click on the auto tab. You can choose GoodSync to run whenever a file in your source folder is added, editied or deleted. The delay setting is just to give your PC time to finish with the file before it is copied across. You can also choose to run the backup on a timed schedule or when GoodSync starts if you’d prefer.

Screenshot showing the Goodsync auto run settings
Automate the backups

I’d suggest leaving all of the other settings at their default. Hit the OK button when you’re done.

Wait For The Sync To Happen

If you chose the automate settings that I suggested above, GoodSync will automatically scan your folders and perform an initial sync.

There is nothing more you need to do – When GoodSync is open, it will keep an eye on your files and sync them whenever there are changes.

If you didn’t choose an automatic option you will need to hit the Analyse button. Once the analysis is done you can then hit `sync’ to start the process. Without the automation you will need to do that every time you want to update your backup

Remember: the more automated your backup is, the less likely you are to forget to do it. Less effort is better


Following the steps above, you will be able to sync two folders to backup your photos.

This will satisfy the ‘2’ in the 3-2-1 backup strategy that I spoke about in my ‘How To Backup Your Photos’ article.

You can download the GoodSync software by clicking on the banner below to try it out for yourself

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