FreeFileSync Open Source File Synchronization

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FreeFileSync User Manual:

External Applications

When you double-click on one of the rows on the main dialog, FreeFileSync opens the operating system's file browser by default:
Windows:explorer.exe /select, "%local_path%" & exit 0
macOS: open -R "%local_path%"
Linux: xdg-open "$(dirname "%local_path%")"
To customize this behavior, or integrate other external applications into FreeFileSync, navigate to Menu → Tools → Options → Customize context menu and add or replace a command.

All entries can be accessed quickly by pressing the associated numeric keys 0–9 or via the context menu that is shown after a right mouse click. The first entry can also be executed by double-clicking on an item.

In addition to regular Macros, the following special macros are available:
Macro Description
Full file or folder path
Creates a temporary local copy for files located on SFTP and MTP storage. Otherwise identical to %item_path% for local files and network shares.
File or folder name
Parent folder path

  • To refer to the item on the opposite side, append "2" to the macro name:
    %item_path2%, %local_path2%, %item_name2%, %parent_path2%.
  • To generate a list including all selected items (separated by space), append "s" to the macro name:
    %item_paths%, %local_paths%, %item_names%, %parent_paths%.


  • Start a file content comparison tool:
    Windows: WinMerge
    "C:\Program Files (x86)\WinMerge\WinMergeU.exe" "%local_path%" "%local_path2%"

    macOS: opendiff (requires Xcode)
    opendiff "%local_path%" "%local_path2%"

    Ubuntu: kompare (sudo apt install kompare)
    kompare "%local_path%" "%local_path2%"

  • Show file in Windows Explorer:
    explorer.exe /select, "%local_path%" & exit 0
    Explorer.exe does not set an exit code, but FreeFileSync will show an error message if it does not find exit code = 0 ("Success"). To mitigate, append (&) command exit 0 to set the exit code explicitly.

  • Open command prompt for the selected item:
    start cmd.exe /k cd /D "%parent_path%"
    FreeFileSync hides the console window, so start opens a new window. cmd.exe /k runs the following command without immediately exiting the console. cd navigates to the directory, even if it's on a different volume (/D).

  • Copy item path to Clipboard (as alternative to CTRL + C)
    echo %item_path%| clip

  • Write list of selected file paths to a text file:
    echo %item_path% >> %csidl_Desktop%\file_list.txt

  • Preview files using Quick Look on macOS:
    qlmanage -p "%local_path%"

  • Pass a list of selected files to a script as command line arguments:
    C:\my-script.cmd "%local_paths%"

Macros need to be protected with quotation marks if they resolve to file paths that could contain whitespace characters.