If you’re interested in finding out how to compare two folders on your Windows PC, this article is for you.
The first step is to locate the item in question by using the search bar at the top of your computer screen. Next, select and right-click that item and choose “compare with” from the resulting menu. This will open a new window that displays any changes made between what’s currently selected (in our case, we are selecting folder1) and whatever was previously selected before it (folder2).
In order to see what has changed since then, simply click on “edit” so as not to make unnecessary changes or deletions while comparing items within different windows
The “command to compare two folders in windows” is a command-line tool that can be used to compare two folders and show the differences between them. It also allows users to merge files from one folder into another.
In today’s world, backing up data and information is a must. When we backup our files and folders, we often wind up with two or more identical folders, and we don’t know which one is the most recent. In this case, deciding which folders to preserve and which to remove might be difficult. If this occurs, you may manually compare two directories using a third-party application or using built-in commands in Command Prompt or PowerShell.
If you don’t want to install any third-party software, this post will teach you how to compare folders in Windows 11 using WinMerge, a sophisticated folder comparison tool, or CMD, Windows Terminal, or Windows PowerShell.
Related: In Windows 11/10, How to Sync Files Between Two Folders or Computers
With WinMerge, you may compare folders on Windows 11.
WinMerge is a free and open-source comparison and merging program for Windows that allows users to compare files and directories and see the differences in an easy-to-understand and manage visual format. A step-by-step instruction to using WinMerge to compare two folders in Windows 11 is provided below.
1. Go to https://winmerge.org/downloads/ and download WinMerge. To avoid having to install the program, we suggest downloading the portable version (ZIP file).
2. Run the setup and follow the on-screen instructions to install the program if you downloaded the installer version. If you download the ZIP version (portable), unzip the folder to a convenient location and launch WinMergeU.exe from there.
3. Press Ctrl + O or choose File > Open in the WinMerge window. Click Browse under 1st File or Folder and go to the first folder you wish to compare. Repeat for the second file or folder.
While you’re in the folder you wish to compare, click Open when you’re browsing. You are not need to choose any of the files in the folder. Instead of exploring the folder, you may explicitly input its path. You may also compare two folders by adding a third one.
After you’ve picked at least two folders, click Compare to compare them.
4. WinMerge will then open a new tab with the comparison result. It will inform you which files are new, which ones are changed, and so on.
5. In addition to comparing the availability of files in two directories, WinMerge also enables you to inspect the actual differences of certain supported file types, like as text files, and change them straight from the software.
Double-click the file in the comparison result tab to see the differences. WinMerge will then open and compare the chosen files from the two directories in a new tab. You may then inspect the differences between the two files and make any changes you want.
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Using Command Prompt, compare two directories.
If you don’t want to install anything, you may use the built-in robocopy command utility in Command Prompt or the new Windows Terminal in Windows 11 to compare two directories.
This approach will show you which files in the two directories are different (newer or older), which files are freshly added, and which files are missing. It is unable to provide precise comparisons such as the real changes between two text files.
Follow the instructions below to compare folders in Windows 11 using Command Prompt or Windows Terminal. In the instructions below, we’ll use Windows Terminal instead of Command Prompt, although the commands will work in either.
1. Select Windows Terminal (admin) from the Start menu, or search for “command prompt” in Start and launch it as administrator.
2. Type the following command in Windows Terminal. Replace the folder paths with the actual locations of the two folders you wish to compare on your computer.
robocopy /L /NJH /NJS /NP /NS “path to first folder” “path to second folder”
Consider the following scenario:
robocopy /L /NJH /NJS /NP /NS “C:folder” “C:folder 2”
Tip: If your folder structure is intricate and manually entering the folder paths in the terminal is cumbersome, right-click the folder and choose Copy as path to copy the whole path to the folder. By right-clicking in the terminal window, you may paste the folder path into Windows Terminal.
3. If there are any differences between the two directories, the terminal will display them.
For example, if a file exists in folder1 but not in folder2, *Extra File or New File will appear next to the file’s name. If two files with the same name are different, it will display either Older or Newer next to the file name.
Using Windows PowerShell, compare two directories.
Follow the instructions below to compare two directories using a Windows PowerShell script. The discrepancies between files with the same name are not checked using this approach. It just compares the file availability in the two directories.
Click Start, type Windows PowerShell into the search box, then launch it as an administrator.
Enter the following commands in the sequence given in the elevated PowerShell window. After each each line, press Enter. Replace the folder paths with the locations of the two folders you wish to compare on your computer.
Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path “C:folder” $fso = Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path “C:folder” Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path “C:folder 2” $fsoBU = Get-ChildItem -Recurse -path “C:folder 2” Object-Compare -ReferenceObject -DifferenceObject $fso $fsoBU
PowerShell will then display the results of the comparison by displaying the missing files from both directories.
A method to comparing the differences between two folders in Windows 11 using a comparison tool or commands using CMD or PowerShell.
Nyau Wai Hoe’s last update was on December 13, 2021.
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The “winmerge compare folders” is a command-line tool that allows users to compare two folders in Windows. It can also be used for merging the contents of the two folders.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I compare two folders in Windows?
A: To compare two folders, you can do a deep file system search to find where they are on your hard drive. If the folders are in different locations, use Windows Explorers Compare Folders tool
How do I compare files in two folders?
A: You can compare files in two folders by putting the folder with your first file into a text document and comparing it to the second.
How do you compare two folders and copy missing files?
A: You can compare two folders and copy missing files by opening each one in the Finder, selecting their contents, pressing Command+C to copy them into a third folder of your choice.
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