Q: What is the difference between scheduling a profile and running a profile in the background?
There are a number of ways to run a profile (see this article for a complete list), however to have a profile run based on the date & time there are two main methods:
- Scheduling with the Windows Task Scheduler
- Have a profile configured to run in the background
A profile can both be scheduled and set to run in the background.
The Windows operating system comes with an integrated scheduler (the Windows Task Scheduler). This scheduler lets the user configure Windows so that certain programs are run at certain times, e.g. every day at 9am. For example, most anti-virus software will prompt you to create a scheduled task to scan your computer for viruses every morning. There are a number of advantages to scheduling profiles:
- A scheduled profile can be configured to run even when you are not logged in
- A scheduled profile can switch the computer on (from hibernation or standby) to run the profile
- The date & time of when the profile is run, and how often it is repeated (e.g. daily), is highly configurable
- You do not need to have SyncBack running to have a profile run at the scheduled times
SyncBack has the ability to run profiles at periodic intervals, e.g. every 2 hours. This is different from scheduling a profile because it is not based on a specific date & time but instead the frequency. There are a number of disadvantages to having a profile run in the background:
- You must be logged in for the profile to run
- SyncBack must be running for the profile to run
- The profile can only be configured to run every x seconds/minutes/hours and not at a specific date or time
If profiles are configured to run in the background then it is best to configure SyncBack so that it starts automatically when you login to Windows (see Preferences->Options in the main menu).
Which method should be used?
In general it is better to schedule a profile instead of having it run in the background. However, if you want a profile to run frequently (e.g. hourly) then it is advisable to both schedule the profile and have it set to run in the background. This gives you the best of both worlds: your backup will be performed even when you are not logged in, and your backups will be performed frequently while you are working so that if you need to restore a file the backup copy will be more recent.