I love sitting and waiting for a 50MB file to open, don’t you? Gives you plenty of time to take care of some bills and catch up on politics. File loading is one of the most inefficient times of the day because it invariably leads to 20 minute conversations about the best truck hitch to use. Not to mention the disturbing looks from management. That’s not a good feeling, so let’s boost that loading speed by adding a little sync to your system.

Where are your files?
If you’re in a company that has all the files protected on a server or use a PDM system with a vault, it’s going to take longer to load files because your loading information from another computer. Depending on how you or your IT department has network traffic and servers set-up this can affect load times considerably. For example, if you’re using the server your files are on as the print server, email server and internet server, it’s going to get slow. First step is to get all your files their very own special place to frolic.

Load’em fast
To do this, the files you are loading need to be on your local hard-drive. You could just copy them back and forth manually, but then you don’t know what has changed and what hasn’t. Some PDM systems handle this but not for every file you may use.

So here’s the fun part. Download SyncBack. It’s a free sync program that makes syncing your files super easy. Install it like any other program and start it up. Now, follow these steps.

Set up a sync folder
First thing you want to do is create a folder on your hard-drive to Sync to. I used C:_Files. The underscore keeps it up at the top of the folder list.

Create a profile
To create a profile, just select the New button. Select your Source and Destination to sync. You‘ll want this to be a custom profile, so select the last option on the Simple Tab under I would like to…. Here’s a screenshot of my setup.


Protect those local files
You don’t want the local files to change. The profile handles part of this. For some added security you can choose this option in SolidWorks. Go to Tools, Options. Select External References and select the very top option, Open referenced documents with read-only access.


Run the profile
The first time you run it you can do a test and it will give you the results. There are some advanced options you may want to tweak depending on how you want to work, like scheduling syncs in the Expert section Background Tab. The program is very intuitive and simple to adjust. It’s definitely one of the best free programs out there.

Advanced Usage
There’s ways to set up scripts and permissions to add another layer of protection to local read-only files. A good IT pro will know how to do this. If there are questions about this just leave a comment or contact me.


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.