Run FreeFileSync's RealtimeSync as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

How to Run FreeFileSync's RealtimeSync 24/7 as a Windows Service with AlwaysUp

Start your RealtimeSync monitoring as soon as your PC boots and keep it running unattended in the background. Automatically survive reboots, accidental shutdowns, and other failures.

FreeFileSync is a free, open source application that helps you to keep folders synchronized. The RealtimeSync component allows you to monitor one of more folders and automatically synchronize files if a folder changes. Unfortunately RealtimeSync is not designed as a Windows Service, so we'll show you how to have AlwaysUp keep it running all the time.

To configure RealtimeSync to run as a Windows Service:

  1. Download and install FreeFileSync, if necessary. This will also install RealtimeSync.

  2. If necessary, setup a RealtimeSync configuration file that monitors your folders and performs the desired synchronization.

    To ensure smooth operation in the background, be sure to check the Run minimized box and select the Close progress dialog option when creating the FreeFileSync batch file that RealtimeSync will run. We also recommend selecting to Ignore errors and entering the full path to a log file that you will check regularly for errors and warnings. All these settings are documented in the FreeFileSync help file.

    FreeFileSync Batch File Settings

  3. Download and install AlwaysUp, if necessary.

  4. Start AlwaysUp.

  5. Select Application > Add to open the Add Application window:

    Add Application

  6. On the General tab:

    • In the Application field, enter the full path to the RealtimeSync executable, RealtimeSync.exe. If you have installed FreeFileSync in the default location, this will be:

      C:\Program Files\FreeFileSync\RealtimeSync.exe

    • In the Arguments field, enter the full path to your RealtimeSync configuration file (*.ffs_real). Our file is called SyncQBFolder.ffs_real and it lives in the FreeFileSync, so we'll specify that full path in this tutorial. Be sure to place your entire path in quotes if it contains a space!

    • In the Name field, enter the name that you will call the application in AlwaysUp. We have stuck with the default (RealtimeSync) but you can enter another name if you prefer.

    RealtimeSync Windows Service: General Tab

  7. Switch to the Logon tab and enter the username and password of the account in which you installed and configured FreeFileSync - probably the account you are logged in to right now. It is very important that RealtimeSync runs in this account to find its settings!

    RealtimeSync Windows Service: Logon Tab

  8. Click over to the Startup tab and check the Ensure that the Windows Networking components have started box. This informs AlwaysUp that RealtimeSync needs networking support to do its work.

    RealtimeSync Windows Service: Startup Tab

  9. We are now done setting up RealtimeSync to run as a windows service so click the Save >> button to record your settings. In a few seconds, an entry for called RealtimeSync (or whatever you called it) will show up in the AlwaysUp window. It is not yet running though, and the state will be Stopped:

    RealtimeSync Windows Service: Created

  10. To start RealtimeSync from AlwaysUp, choose Application > Start "RealtimeSync". The application will start in the background, on the isolated Session 0, and you won't see the usual tray icon on your desktop.

    Click the green circle to open a tooltip with details of the running process:

    RealtimeSync Windows Service: Running

  11. That's it! Next time your computer boots, RealtimeSync will start monitoring and synchronizing your folder immediately, before anyone logs on.

    We encourage you to edit RealtimeSync in AlwaysUp and check out the many other settings that may be appropriate for your environment. For example, boost RealtimeSync's priority (if it has a lot of copying to do), send an email if RealtimeSync crashes, prevent the computer from automatically going to sleep, and much more.



RealtimeSync not working properly as a Windows Service?

  • Consult the AlwaysUp Troubleshooter - our online tool that can help you resolve the most common problems encountered when running an application as a windows service.
  • Launch RealtimeSync (or FreeFileSync) from a windows service command prompt to see error messages, reveal startup problems and more.
  • From AlwaysUp, select Application > Report Activity > Today... to bring up a HTML report detailing the interaction between AlwaysUp and RealtimeSync. The AlwaysUp Event Log Messages page explains the messages that may turn up.
  • Browse the AlwaysUp FAQ for answers to commonly asked questions and troubleshooting tips.
  • Contact us and we will be happy to help!

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