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Python program for simple file comparison and backup
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File Backup With Python

A simple application for comparing and backing up files

It's been a while, still works (on my Windows 10 machine), but it's time to review the code.

Environment and System Configuration

Built in Windows 7 with Python 3. Only tested in a windows environment. There may be issues in other environments due to the '/' and '\' difference between Windows and Unix based systems.

Python 3 can be downloaded from The GUI was built using the Tkinter package which is included in the Windows python download.

Application Installation Instructions

Clone or download this repository

Operating Instructions

Navigate to the backup folder in the repository. There should be one file Run it with:

$ python3

This will open a graphical interface and users can select a Source and Destination folder and choose to:

  • List Outputs the list of files in the source folder
  • Compare Compare the files in the source and destination folders and outputs a list of the files in the Source folder, flagging the ones that are not in the destination folder and therefore need to be backed up
  • Copy Compare the files in the source and destination folders and if the source folder has a newer copy of a file (or the file doesn't exist in the destination folder), copy the file from the source folder to the destination folder and also output a log

Logs are output to stdout and time-stamped text files a copy_log folder

Overview and Discussion

This was a personal project both to learn and use Python but also because I had wanted a file-copy/backup program that did exactly what I wanted. Most of the programs available had a lot of extra features I did not need. Building this project I learnt about manipulating file systems, GUI interfaces in python and classes. I use this to compare and backup files from my laptop to external storage.

It compares files based on file names and the time it was last modified. I have not tried using this for large sets of files.


Carol Wong

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