4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

If you’re synchronizing directories or backing up data, it’s a good idea to double-check that the copy you’ve made is identical to the original. Issues can occur where data doesn’t copy perfectly or some data doesn’t copy at all. If you have two identical folders on a PC, use the tricks below to compare files.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

You can use the Properties menu to quickly compare folder sizes and files. However, it is basic and doesn’t provide detailed information. Alternatively, you can use the Command Prompt or third-party tools like WinMerge and FreeFileSync to compare folders and check for missing files.

1. Use the Properties Menu

To compare two folders on Windows, simply open File Explorer and right-click on a folder to access its Properties.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Note the size, number of files, and sub-folders in it. Open the properties of another folder and check the same.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

If File Explorer isn’t opening on Windows, check our guide to fix the problem.

2. Via Command Line Using the Command Prompt

The trick above shows the basic differences between two folders. For more details, you can use the Command Prompt or Windows PowerShell to compare folders. It only shows the differences between folders, not sub-folders.

See also  4 Best Ways to Boot Windows 11 Into Safe Mode

Step 1: Launch File Explorer, right-click on a folder, and select Copy as path. Note it down.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Step 2: Repeat the process for another folder.

Press the Windows key and search for Command Prompt.

Step 3: Open Command Prompt with admin rights. Step 4: Type the command below, including both file paths. robocopy “D:\Test” “D:\Test 2” /L /NJH /NJS /NP /NS

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Command Prompt displays the differences between two folders:

– “EXTRA File” indicates files present in the second folder but not in the first.

– “New File” indicates files present in the first folder but not in the second.

– “Older” indicates files available in both folders, but with an older creation date in the first folder.

– “Newer” indicates files available in both folders, but with an older creation date in the second folder.

3. Use WinMerge to Compare Content of Two Folders

WinMerge is a free comparison tool for Windows users. You can compare up to three folders with the software. Let’s see how it works.

Step 1: Download WinMerge on Windows.

Step 2: Double-click the downloaded file and follow the installation process. It asks you to install extensions and language packs.

Step 3: Open WinMerge and press Control+O to open a new comparison. To select a folder, click “Browse…” on the far right under the “1st File or Folder” bar. Use the browse feature to select a folder you want to compare.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Step 4: In the browse window, enter the folder you want to compare and click Open. If you only select the folder without entering it, the browse window will enter it for you. Repeat this process for the second folder below the first folder.

See also  7 Best Fixes for Typing Status Not Showing in WhatsApp on iPhone and Android

Step 5: After selecting both folders you want to compare, make sure both “Read-only” checkboxes are ticked. Also, ensure that the “Folder Filter” is set to the default “*.*” to compare all files. Once you’ve set up the comparison, click Compare.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Step 6: The comparison process may take a while to complete when dealing with large folders.

Step 7: Once completed, you’ll receive a list of all files in the folders. The results table includes: filename, subdirectory path, comparison result, edit dates for both folders, and file extension for each compared file.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

WinMerge Features

The comparison results show if files or folders are identical or different. “Right only” means the file or folder was only in the second folder being compared, and “Left only” means the file or folder was only in the first folder being compared.

Different results are color-coded for easier identification. A white background indicates identical files, a yellow background indicates different files, and a grey background indicates files only in one of the two folders being compared.

Double-clicking on a folder reveals its contents, while double-clicking on a file opens a side-by-side comparison and highlights any differences between the two files.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Each comparison you run opens in a new tab. To start a new comparison, click on the “Select Files or Folders” tab on the left, change the targets, and click “Compare” again. If you only want to update the existing comparison, you can click the refresh icon on the right or press F5.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

4. FreeFileSync to Compare Two Directories

FreeFileSync is capable software for comparing files in two folders. It compares folders, syncs missing files, and gets the job done easily.

See also  4 Best Ways to Change Themes in Windows 11

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

You can check synchronization speeds and choose from various options to complete the sync. Customize the options by adding filters to skip important files or perform other tasks.

4 Best Ways to Compare Files in Two Folders on Windows 11

Developers frequently update the software, but the UI appears crowded and outdated. If you don’t like WinMerge, give FreeFileSync a try.

Manage Identical Folders Like a Pro

Manually comparing content in two folders can be time-consuming and inconvenient, especially on a small screen. Use AI tools like ChatGPT and Google Brad to compare two files efficiently.

Leave a Comment