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Copy Data Between Two Synology NAS

Copy Data Between Two Synology NAS

Copy Data Between Two Synology NAS

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The Easy Method

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Copy Data Between Two Synology NAS using RSYNC:

How to copy data between two Synology NAS may include a lot of research with trial and error due to the many ways one can go about doing the task.  Using Shared Folder Sync is easy, quick, foolproof and provides an exact copy of the data on the receiving NAS. + you can sync updates either automatically or perform a manual sync at any time.

** I originally wrote this article to describe how to set-up RYSC to allow you to sync data between two NAS devices. In other words, if some or all of your data was deleted/corrupt on the source you could copy it back from the destination.  This setup also allows for a primary and secondary NAS for small business environments where data is updated on one NAS while the second NAS is being upgraded, then the data is synced following the update.

What is required and how to set Shared Folder Sync up

  • You need two Synology NAS on the same network
  • The receiving NAS needs  available space to receive the files being copied
  • You need Advanced Permissions to set up the RSync on the destination NAS

Decisions you should make before starting.

  • Is this a one-way sync or two way, a one-way sync sends data to the receiving NAS when you perform syncs, the source data remains unchanged. Two-way sync will keep both NAS files synchronized, meaning if you delete files from one NAS the other NAS files will be deleted.  If you are just trying to copy data from your source to the other NAS I recommend one-way sync. Therefore if you require file versioning I recommend using DRIVE or Cloud Server. Shared Folder Sync is a replica of the files.
  • Will this be an automated recurring Shared Folder Sync or will you perform the sync manually?  I run mine manually.

Limitations:  Currently Synology RSYNC does not support selecting destination volume or database, it will be the default volume.  A future update will add this feature.

How to Set Up Shared Folder Sync

(1) Enable RSYNC - On the NAS: Go to Control Panel -> File Services ->Click the RSYNC tab, then enable RSYNC service. You can leave the default port. RSYNC needs to be enabled on both Synology NAS. 
(2) You need advanced permissions to perform RSYNC - Go To Control Panel -> Shared Folders ->Select the Folder to SYNC -> Then click Edit Tab 
Then Click Advanced Permissions Tab->Enable the Advanced Shared Permissions checkbox ->then click the advanced shared permissions button 
(3) Finally enable the user account with Read/Write 
Summary Thus Far:  You Enabled RSYNC Service on the NAS, You Enabled Advanced Permissions on the folder to sync, you granted permissions/rights to the account/user that will perform the sync. 

Next Steps - Set Up the Task List

During this part, you have options to perform one-way sync, two-way sync, leave destination file enacted even if the source file was deleted, or delete destination files if source files are deleted.

(1) Go to Control Panel->Click Shared Folder Sync 
(2) Click Task List then -> Click Create -> Give The Task A Name
(3) Select the Source Sync Folder
(4) Set the Sync Destination NAS Where Data Will Be Copied To - Test Your Connection!
(5) Execute the Sync -> First Sync click FULL SYNC, for updates ->Sync Now
Final Summary: You have established a Shared Folder Sync which offers an easy way to keep a copy of important files on a second NAS. Depending on what options you choose, your destination NAS will have a copy of the source files.
This is useful for copying files/folders but does not offer version history. Thus if you delete a file from the source and do sync the file will be removed from the destination.  If you require versioning I suggest you set up a Cloud Server.

Now the Good Part: Use my Amazon Affiliate Link Below

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ismail Ural · 4/14/2020 7:37:57 AM

Was very useful ! Thanks a lot !!!

TrueToad · 4/28/2020 3:35:26 PM

My Pleasure - Wrote this article up following my a couple of days figuring out how to copy data between two Synology NAS devices. Thought I would share with others in case they needed to do the same.

Guy Gilbert · 5/20/2020 2:49:37 AM

In your first screen grab is reads "Enable the rsync service to render your DiskStation a backup destination for another Synology server...." but if I read your post correctly, you are advising to do this on the source DiskStation. A bit confusing?

TrueToad · 6/13/2020 8:14:29 AM

Enable RYSNC on the source and destination NAS.

Wu Jang · 5/28/2020 5:49:29 AM

Thanks for these instructions! For folks going this route, also take a look at this which offer similar advice:

TrueToad · 6/13/2020 8:19:22 AM

Thanks for the comments - There are a few other sources on how to keep files either in sync or a duplicate set on another NAS using RSYNC or snapshot replication. There are many scenarios to consider for each.

Andrew · 5/30/2020 11:27:57 AM

Are these NAS devices both on the same modem?

TrueToad · 6/13/2020 8:24:20 AM

In this situation for illustration purposes, they are located on the same network. However, you can establish a remote RYSNC on a NAS that is geographically located, such as a second office.

Les · 6/15/2020 5:24:42 AM

Thank you for the instructions. What if I only want to backup a subfolder? EG, I want to sync my \\SourceNAS\Video\Movies folder but not the \\SourceNAS\Video\TV folder. Given that the method described applies only at the Shared Folder level, could I create a user that performs the sync task with no permission access to the source TV folder?

TrueToad · 6/16/2020 4:06:44 AM

Shared Folder Sync does not currently support sub-folder selection. If you require granularity for certain sub-folders then you may want to investigate Hyper Backup.

Be advised Hyper Backup is vaulted backups in a database on the destination, meaning you can not simply browse the folder contents in the vault without using the Synology Hyper Backup explorer.

To start using Hyper Backup go to your package center, download Hyper Backup and give it a try.

David Melanson · 6/19/2020 3:34:32 PM

Is it possible to view an ETA when syncing large amounts of data? I'm currently syncing ~11TB to a second NAS and am trying to figure out how long it will take. Both NAS are connected to my network via cat6. TIA

TrueToad · 6/22/2020 7:00:59 AM

By the time you read this reply your 11TB sync should be finished. One way to determine the ETA is by looking at your resource network monitor and doing some math. My NAS has 2 pair of bounded gigabyte connections at around 1500mbs thus would roughly take 17 hours. Here is a link to a calculator -

Morpheus31 · 7/1/2020 8:20:51 AM

I simply want to copy the data from one NAS to the next as fast as possible. I do not want/need syncing. But for this purpose I still setup like described, "sync", then turn off Rsync?

TrueToad · 7/18/2020 9:46:49 AM

Yes, you can disable RSYNC after you finish. I set mine up as manual sync thus as the source files change I can perform a sync to keep the files updated on the second NAS. For my use, I prefer manual syncing, that way if I make a dumb move It won't sync and remove files on the second NAS.

Sharmaine Johnson · 7/1/2020 2:22:58 PM

Thanks for this article!

TrueToad · 7/18/2020 9:48:54 AM

You are welcome!

René Wegener · 12/22/2020 1:24:52 PM

You should tell us that we can't choose the destination directory, we can't choose the destination volume etc with the out-of-the-box Rsync from Synology.

SuperUser Account · 12/31/2020 11:53:20 AM

Yeah, that is a little bit of an annoyance not being able to set the destination volume. I hear that feature will be forthcoming in an update. By the way, I updated the article to indicate so in the Limitations section.

Thanks for your input

sherwin · 12/5/2021 9:17:35 PM

i ran into this as well but i found another article that says you can change the volume on the destination once the share is created. i tested it on a small folder, ran the rysnc and it copied it to volume1. then i changed the location on the destination to volume2. i added a text file on the source then ran the rsync again. it sync'd it to the new location in the destination (volume2). you might be able to start a rsync task with larger folder. cancel it after a few minutes just for it to create the share in the destination NAS. then change the location and run the rsync again. i haven't tried but i think that will work.

TrueToad · 12/10/2021 11:01:03 AM

Sherwin, Thanks for sharing your insights. Maybe someone will find it useful and give it a try.

Dave Stahr · 12/23/2022 7:51:53 PM

Thank you - this worked perfectly. I canceled the sync on the source, moved the share on the destination to the correct volume, then restarted the sync, and data went to the correct volume/share. Workaround, but whatever. WORKs which is what I needed. Moving several terabytes of data post-rsync would take forever.

Robert · 12/30/2020 1:26:02 PM


Thank you for the article, but for some reason it can make a bit of confusion

Mybe it is better to HIGHLIGHT that you'll go into

File Services > rsync > enable the rsync...


Then beware since the the task creation will fool you when working between TWO Synology NAS devices in the same LAN, so my suggestions are:

- Be SURE to setup a fixed IP on both the NAS devices

- Be SURE to MANUALLY type the NAS IP of the destination device


- Privileges for the rsync account are set in the respective control panel icon, check-out for the "Privileges" icon



TrueToad · 12/31/2020 12:20:17 PM

Thank you, Robert,

I welcome everyone's feedback - Agree there are a couple of approaches depending on a persons NAS configuration. Yes, you can set up a destination only copy of data from one to another and not both directions. I wrote this article to describe how to sync the data between two NAS and thus RYSNC would need to be set up on both the Source and Destination.

Example: I have a primary NAS and secondary backup NAS setup consisting of 4 NAS devices - My configuration allows data to be synced between a Primary and Secondary NAS and vice versa and thus I have RSYNC set on both the source and destination. When the primary needs maintenance and users are directed to the secondary NAS, and when maintenance is finished on the primary, I can return to service and sync the updated/new files back to the primary.

As far as setting IP addresses - that will work except if DHCP is enabled where the IP may change over time. In my 4 NAS setup, I never had an issue when I type the name of the NAS I wish to sync with, each of my NAS has unique names regardless if the IP changes.

As far as " Privileges Icon" that too is a second way to set permissions. Thanks for taking the time to make your comments

DanceDad · 5/17/2023 8:28:52 AM

One suggestion in regards to DHCP; many routers will allow you to make what are called DHCP reservations. This is what I typically use instead of actual static IPs. This would typically be under an Advanced menu in the router. Netgear routers will even let you select a currently connected device then add the reservation for it. The reservation is based on the Ethernet MAC address of the device. This lets you assign an IP address that the device will always get when it performs a DHCP request. As an example, i have my DanceDadNAS set with a reservation of so I never have to worry about it pulling a different IP address. This also lets you see all of your assigned IP reservations and not accidentally load a static IP into two different devices.

David Schwartzer · 6/10/2021 1:32:06 PM

Is it possible to do something like this when the destination NAS is not a Synology NAS? I would like to sync my Synology to a Netgear server.

TrueToad · 6/12/2021 11:29:35 AM

I browsed the Netgear community but did not find an answer to your question. That said, there is an interesting video somewhat related to this question:

It seems if you have a Netgear ReadyNAS which supports RYSNC it very well might be possible. Otherwise, you may be forced to map a folder from the Netgear and run a Synology backup to that folder, not a true sync perse but it might be useful.

Flash · 8/14/2021 8:42:16 AM

Is there any way that I cloud sync just specific folders and files, not only share folders?

TrueToad · 8/15/2021 2:14:26 AM

The short answer is no. Synology RSYNC does not offer that level of control. Version 7 of DSM RSYNC has been move under the "File Services" tab for what it is worth.

Emeline · 9/15/2021 7:39:54 PM

Hi, first of all thank you for your article, it was so useful. I am a bit lost between the one-way sync and two-way sync. I would like to do a one-way sync because afterwards, I would need to delete the folders on the source NAS, but I am afraid it will delete the folders on the destination NAS. I did all steps as you explained, at the end I clicked on sync now (understood afterwards that I should have clicked on full sync but I guess it does not do much of a difference in my case). Is there a parameter somewhere that I need to add to explain I just want a one-way sync ? How to be sure that when I delete, it won't delete on the destination NAS?

Thank you very much for your help.

TrueToad · 9/16/2021 12:55:40 PM

Emeline, The simplest way to accomplish what you wish to do is: Following your initial sync and you verify all files and folders exist on the destination NAS. Open the TaskList and delete the task, additionally, unlink the job in the "connection list" as well this will ensure the destination files/folders will remain.

Note: The location has changed in DSM 7 Connection and Task list are found in the File Services under the Advanced tab.

picasso · 10/15/2021 3:07:32 AM

Thanks for the useful article. But how to turn one-way sync with a schedule. I would like folders to be automatically copied only one way, but not deleted from the destination nas even if I delete them from the source nas.

TrueToad · 10/17/2021 6:56:33 PM

For one-way sync - Establish RSYNC on the destination NAS only. You will then have the option to set RSYNC as manual, as files change, or on a set schedule. These options are presented during the setup. RSYNC is now under File Services in DSM 7.0

Gatred · 1/12/2022 10:51:07 AM

Thank you for your valuable step by step guide. I was wondering. I want to transfer some at the beginning and then all my shared folders to another Synology NAS but I'm reluctant using rsync because I want to keep all access permissions. Each shared folder has a lot of subfolders with a lot of subfolders etc. So it's a big tree. Different folders have different access permissions with either local or domain users. I need to sync that info also not just the data.

Do you have any recommendation?

TrueToad · 1/16/2022 2:51:09 AM

Gatred, In the past I have used Synology NAS Configuration Backup and Restore. When my primary NAS had a hardware failure I was able to restore Users, Groups and permissions to a new NAS.

You may want to explore this option. A video is available here:

Steven · 5/22/2022 11:22:19 AM

This is just the article I've been looking for but I can't get it to work. I just recently purchased a 420j and I'm attempting to copy 4tb of files from my 214se. I've set up the 420j with rsync and now trying to set up the 214se with shared folder sync. I don't see the servers in the destination block so I enter the ip, username and pw. set Task to manual sync and all I get is "Connection failed. Check network". I know the network is working between the 2 servers because I have a Windows copy running another folder at this time. Horribly slow so I thought after reading this article that it would be faster using rsync. Any suggestions?

TrueToad · 5/23/2022 6:13:40 AM

Steven this could be one of several reasons. I am assuming you followed the instructs.

(1) Is port 22 open/allowed on your network and BOTH NAS on the same Network.

(2) Did you enable Advanced Permissions?

(3) Did you create or are using an account with correct permissions on the source & destination

(4) Are both NAS running the same DSM versions - as along as they both are in the same tier i.e. or

(5) Did you check the package center to ensure your packages are all up to date on both ends

(6) Synology offers the Synology Assistant for you PC Desktop. You can download it from the Download Center, then run it to determine if both Synology NAS are in fact visible.

James · 12/21/2022 1:55:15 PM

This is all a bit misleading (not helped by the fact Synology call it Folder Sync). Your image at the top of the page shows arrows going both ways which suggests 2 way sync but my own tests and Synology say this a one way sync.

TrueToad · 12/26/2022 7:09:21 AM

Setting up RSYNC on both NAS does allow you to keep the files synced. Example: NAS 1 is the default for users; NAS one has a problem - Switch users over to NAS 2. When NAS 1 is back in working order, sync from NAS 2 to NAS 1; this will sync any new or changed files.

** I suggest you set up a test folder to understand how to get it to work; RYNC will create a duplicate folder with a 1 next to it. Delete the original folder rename the folder - back to the original name, and then recreate the task.

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