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How To Run a SyncBack Profile

Author: Swapna Naraharisetty, 2BrightSparks Pte. Ltd.

A SyncBack profile can be run automatically or manually. An automatic backup provides a convenient way to backup data regularly without any human intervention. It saves you time and effort in running backups and ensures the data is always backed up.

A manual backup enables you to run the profile interactively so that you have more control over the backup. With manual backups, you can review and choose which files to backup or change their actions, e.g. change a file from delete to skip, before copying the files. This prevents accidental modification or deletion of data.

Depending on your requirements, you can choose to run a profile manually or automatically in the background. This article explains the various options available to run a SyncBack profile.

Manual Backup Options

Using the Run option

To run a profile manually using Run option, select the profile in the SyncBack main window and click on the “Run” button (or right click on the profile, choose “Run” from the pop-up menu or press Ctrl + R shortcut keys).

Run Button

SyncBack will display the Differences Window showing the list of files along with their actions (Copy, Move, Delete, etc.). This gives you an opportunity to review the files and optionally change the actions if needed (e.g. a file may be marked for deletion, but you may decide not to delete that file, so change the Action to Skip). If the profile was run automatically and unattended, e.g. via the Windows Task Scheduler, then the Differences window would not be displayed. After reviewing the Differences Window, you can click on “Continue Run” button to continue the backup or click on “Abort” button to stop the profile run.

Using a Hot-key

Hot-keys are a quick and simple way to run a profile manually when certain keys are pressed. You can set the hotkey in SyncBack or in Windows.

To configure the Hot-key in SyncBack, modify the profile > go to When > “Hot-key” settings page > Click on “Run the profile when this hot-key is pressed” edit box and press the keys you want to assign as a hotkey. To configure the Hot-key in Windows, create a shortcut for the profile (select the profile you want to create a shortcut from SyncBack main-window and drag it to the desktop), right-click on the shortcut, select Properties from the pop-up menu, click on the “Shortcut” tab and press the keys you want to assign as a hotkey in “Shortcut key” edit box.

If you are using a hot-key defined in SyncBack, then SyncBack must be running for the hot-key to function, so you may want to enable “Start with Windows” option to start SyncBack automatically when you login to Windows.

For additional details on Hot-key, refer to the Run SyncBack Profiles Using Hot Keys article.

Automatic Backup Options

On Schedule

Scheduling enables you to run a profile automatically at a specific date and time. SyncBack interfaces with the Windows Task Scheduler to run profiles automatically at a set time of the day or week, e.g. every day at 9 am. You can create a scheduled task for the profile under Modify profile > When > Schedule page or select the profile and click on the “Schedule” button.

The advantages of scheduling a profile are:

  1. You do not need to have SyncBack running as the Windows Task Scheduler itself will invoke a new instance of SyncBack to run a profile at the scheduled date and time.
  2. Your backups can be performed even when the user is not logged in.
  3. You can configure the profile to run on a specific date & time and repeat the scheduled run every X minute or hour.

You can refer to the SyncBack: Running a profile every hour tutorial to create a schedule task for a profile and configure it to run every 1 hour.

Periodically

With the Periodically setting, you can configure the profile to run frequently in the background, e.g. every 15 minutes. This can reduce the amount of data lost between backups.

To configure the Periodically setting, modify your profile > go to When > Periodically settings page and set the interval to run the profile in “Run this profile every” option. The profile is triggered automatically in an open instance of SyncBack by comparing the “Last Run” time of the profile, your system clock and the Periodic interval set in the profile configuration.

Note that SyncBack must be running for background profiles to run so you may want to enable “Start with Windows” option to start SyncBack automatically when you login to Windows.

For additional details, see the Using SyncBack > Expert mode > When, periodically section in the help file.

On File Change

With the On Changes setting, SyncBack automatically detects file changes on a source drive (file creation, modification, or deletion) and replicates the changes to a destination drive. This helps to ensure that every version of a file is copied to the destination and protects your data against malicious attacks or disasters. SyncBack must be running for it to be able to detect changes.

To configure SyncBack to watch for changes, modify your profile > go to When > Changes settings page and tick the option “Run this profile when any files or directories are changed on source/destination”.

You can refer to the Continuous Data Protection article for information on how to configure real time backups and important points to consider when using this option.

Login/Logout

The Login/Logout trigger will run a profile automatically on Windows login, shutdown or logout.

To configure a profile to run when you shutdown or logoff from Windows, modify your profile > go to When > Login/Logout settings page and tick the option “Run this profile on Windows shutdown/logoff”. Note SyncBack must be running for the profile to run automatically when you shutdown or logoff from Windows. Also, it's not recommended to run a profile on logoff or shutdown. Modern versions of Windows will not let processes run for too long because they may delay shutdown.

To configure a profile to run when you login to Windows, modify your profile > go to When > Login/Logout settings page and tick the option “Run this profile when I login to Windows”. When this option is enabled, SyncBack creates a schedule task in Windows task scheduler with the trigger “At logon of Computername\Username” to run the profile automatically when the user is logged in.

For more details, refer to the Using SyncBack > Expert mode > When, Login/Logout section in the Help file.

On Device Insert

A profile can be configured to run automatically when an external device, e.g. a USB key, with a specific label, volume/hardware serial number or drive letter is attached to the computer (where SyncBack is installed and running). Note SyncBack must be running for it to be able to detect drive insertion.

To configure the “When, Insert” trigger, modify your profile > go to When > Insert settings page and specify the drive letter, label and/or serial number of the device. To make sure the drive can be detected correctly before configuring the profile, go to When > Insert page, insert the USB device to the computer, and a window will appear showing the details of drive insertion and removal.

Insert Log

On Program Start or Stop

You can also configure a profile to run when a third-party program starts or stops. For example, you want to backup a PST file as soon as Microsoft Outlook is closed.

To configure a profile to run automatically on program start/stop, modify your profile > go to When > Program page, click on Add button (below the relevant list-box), and select a program that will trigger a profile when it starts or stops.

To make sure a program start/stop can be detected correctly, go to When > Program page, a window will appear at the bottom of the settings page with details of programs that are started or stopped.

Program Log

Be aware that in some rare cases, detecting when a program starts or stops can increase CPU usage.

Conclusion

The only way to protect your data from permanent loss is to make regular backups. These backups can be performed manually or automatically. SyncBack offers several automatic and manual options that you can use to make a backup of your data.

Automatic backup options such as Login/Logout, On File Change, On Device Insert, and On Program start/stop are only available in the SyncBackPro and SyncBackSE and are not supported in SyncBackFree.

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