ie9

Sync IE9 favorites in AD environment


For most of you that are in an Active Directory environment, your favorites folder for Internet Explorer is most likely stored on a network share. That can be a plus, since they are backed up and if your computer is re-imaged then you don’t have to worry about them. However, when you want to sync your IE9 favorites to your home PC or laptop, this can be where it gets a little tricky. Even Xmarks doesn’t seem to function correctly when your favorites are on a network share. I’m a big fan of Microsoft’s Windows Live Mesh software to sync folders between work and home. However, this software does not allow for syncing folders that are stored on a network share.

How to sync IE9 favorites in Active Directory environment

So here are some instructions on getting your favorites to still sync with Windows Live Mesh.

Step 1 (Work PC)

We are going to use Microsoft SyncToy 2.1 to sync the favorites folder on the network to a folder on your C: drive, and then Windows Live Mesh to sync that folder to another computer. So the first step is to download SyncToy 2.1.

Microsoft SyncToy 2.1

Step 2 (Work PC)

Install SyncToy, launch it, and click on “Create New Folder Pair.”

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Synctoy create folder pair

Step 3 (Work PC)

On the left side you are going to browse to the location of your network favorites. In AD, most likely your “My Documents” folder is stored on the network and that is where you can find your favorites.
Now we are going to create a folder on your C: drive called “IE9”. This will be used for syncing with Windows Live Mesh. So create that and then on the right side select that as the folder and click next.

synctoy - folder pairing

Step 4 (Work PC)

Select “synchronize” and click Next.

Synctoy Synchronize

Step 5 (Work PC)

Name your folder pair, and click Finish.

SyncToy name folder pair

Step 6 (Work PC)

Now we are going to setup a task so that it runs every hour to sync your IE9 favorites. So click on your start menu and type in “task scheduler.”

Synctoy Task Scheduler

Step 7 (Work PC)

Click on “Create a task.”

synctoy - create a task

Step 8 (Work PC)

Name your task and then under “Configure for:” select: Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2.

synctoy configuring

Step 9 (Work PC)

Under the “Triggers” tab click New. Choose “daily”, “repeat task every 1 hour”, and change duration to “indefinitely.”

synctoy trigger task

Step 10 (Work PC)

Next we need to download a little program that will auto-hide the running of this task. By default, it runs the SyncToy command prompt window and it is very annoying. So download this little .NET app: SyncToyHidden.zip. Credit for this little app goes to Zxian @ http://www.zxian.org/2009/01/08/hiding-microsoft-synctoycmd-for-backups/.

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Step 11 (Work PC)

Unzip the download and place it in your SyncToy program files folder.

SyncToy Hidden

Step 12 (Work PC)

Back to our task creation, go to the “Actions” tab and click New. Then input this into the Program field: “C:\Program Files\SyncToy 2.1\SyncToyHidden.exe” and this into the Add arguments field: /hide /quiet -R. Then click Ok, Ok, and we are done creating the task.

Synctoy Action

Step 13 (Work PC)

Now you need to launch Windows Live Mesh and sync the “IE9” folder on your C: drive. This will get it to your home PC and laptop. Make sure Windows Live Mesh is installed and running on your other PCs.

Step 14 (Home PC or Laptop)

Now on your home PC and laptop, setup SyncToy (the same way again) to sync your IE9 folder to your local favorites folder in your user folder. And then your done! You now have IE9 syncing your favorites between work and home using a combination of Microsoft SyncToy and Windows Live Mesh.

Syncing Diagram


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  • Márton Bacsó

    Unfortunately there is a huge problem with SyncToy… If I delete something in the folder at the left it doesn’t delete it in the folder at the right… (despite that there is specific checkbox for that). I recommend Karen’s Replicator instead. It gets the job done.

  • @Marton : I have been using Karen’s Replicator for the past week or so, after you mentioned it. Wow, I am impressed. In fact, I am currently migrating all my jobs I had in SyncToy over to Karen’s Replicator. Thanks for commenting about that!