I have made a script that syncs one folder to another. So if, for example, you saved some changes in a file in directory A, then that file would have the same contents om directory B if you set it up.

It runs on Python 3 and the watchdog module. If you are wishing to try it out (and please do), make sure to install watchdog with pip install watchdog.

Here is the code:

import logging
import pathlib
from watchdog.observers import Observer             # pip install watchdog
from watchdog.events import FileSystemEventHandler  # PyPI: https://pypi.org/project/watchdog/
import time

# Thanks @Tarik and @joelhed on Stack Overflow
# https://stackoverflow.com/questions/62501333/

# Set logging level
                    format="%(asctime)s - %(levelname)s:\t%(message)s",
                    datefmt="%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S")

# List of files to sync to
# Example: [["move", [path (string), path]],
#           ["create", path],
#           ["delete", path],
#           ["modify", path]]
changes = []

# Define the main application code
class FolderSyncer(object):
    def __init__(self, src, dst):
        # Define paths
        self.source_path = src
        self.destination_path = dst
        logging.debug(f"\nSource path:\t\t{self.source_path}\n"
                      f"Destination path:\t{self.destination_path}")
        # Make a file system observer
        self.observer = Observer()
        # Schedule it with our EventHandler(), the path, and recursive
        self.observer.schedule(EventHandler(), str(self.source_path), recursive=True)
        # If we are completely synced
        self.synced = False

    def __enter__(self):
        logging.debug("Entered the Folder Syncer")
        # Start the observer
        # Must return self for context managers
        return self

    def run(self):
        while True:
            if len(changes) > 0:
                # Remove first change from queue
                change = changes.pop(0)
                # We are still handling changes, so we are not synced
                self.synced = False
                logging.debug(f"Handling {change[0]} from {change[1]}")
                # Handle change here, pretend to do something
                if change[0] == "move":
                    (self.destination_path / change[1][0].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).replace(
                        self.destination_path / change[1][1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")
                elif change[0] == "create":
                    # If it's a file
                    if pathlib.Path(change[1]).is_file():
                        # Write the file's contents
                        (self.destination_path / change[1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).write_bytes(
                    # Else, it's a directory
                        (self.destination_path / change[1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).mkdir(exist_ok=True)
                elif change[0] == "delete":
                        # Try to remove as file
                        (self.destination_path / change[1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).unlink()
                    except PermissionError:
                        # It's a directory, so remove it as a directory
                        (self.destination_path / change[1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).rmdir()
                elif change[0] == "modify":
                        (self.destination_path / change[1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).write_bytes(
                    except PermissionError:
                logging.info(f"Finished handling {change[0]} from {change[1]}, {len(changes)} changes left!")
                if not self.synced:
                    self.synced = True
                    logging.info("You are all completely synced!")

    def __exit__(self, exc_type, exc_value, traceback):
        logging.warning("Exited the Folder Syncer")
        # Stop the observer
        # Join the observer to the current thread

# Define an event handler
class EventHandler(FileSystemEventHandler):
    def on_moved(self, event):
        super(EventHandler, self).on_moved(event)
        what = "directory" if event.is_directory else "file"
        logging.debug(f"Moved {what}: from {event.src_path} to {event.dest_path}")
        changes.append(["move", [event.src_path, event.dest_path]])

    def on_created(self, event):
        super(EventHandler, self).on_created(event)
        what = "directory" if event.is_directory else "file"
        logging.debug(f"Created {what}: {event.src_path}")
        changes.append(["create", event.src_path])

    def on_deleted(self, event):
        super(EventHandler, self).on_deleted(event)
        what = "directory" if event.is_directory else "file"
        logging.debug(f"Deleted {what}: {event.src_path}")
        changes.append(["delete", event.src_path])

    def on_modified(self, event):
        super(EventHandler, self).on_modified(event)
        what = "directory" if event.is_directory else "file"
        logging.debug(f"Modified {what}: {event.src_path}")
        changes.append(["modify", event.src_path])

with FolderSyncer(pathlib.Path(r"U:"), pathlib.Path(r"F:\USB 64GB sync")) as folder_syncer:

You will most likely want to change the directory you want to sync and the location. To do that, scroll down to the bottom and change the parameters in the pathlib.Path() objects. For example, if you want to change the directory you want to sync D: to E:, than you would change:

with FolderSyncer(pathlib.Path(r"U:"), pathlib.Path(r"F:\USB 64GB sync")) as folder_syncer:


with FolderSyncer(pathlib.Path(r"D:"), pathlib.Path(r"E:")) as folder_syncer:

I would appreciate any code optimizations, bug-squashing, clean-ups (It's quite messy, even with classes), and some security fixes are good too. Performance is a plus, but I would like to keep it readable too.

Thanks in advance!

(̶O̶h̶,̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶B̶T̶W̶,̶ ̶w̶h̶y̶ ̶i̶s̶ ̶̶f̶o̶l̶d̶e̶r̶̶ ̶n̶o̶t̶ ̶a̶ ̶t̶a̶g̶?̶)̶ Totally didn't forget that folder means directory*. Thanks Reinderien


  • \$\begingroup\$ why is folder not a tag? - Folder is a colloquial alias for directory; file-system captures it well enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Reinderien Jun 22 '20 at 2:56

Python 3 classes

You should omit (object) as the base class for classes in Python 3.


changes is a global that's mutated by FolderSyncer, so immediately this is neither re-entrant nor thread-safe. Maybe move the changes list to a member of FolderSyncer.

Anonymous tuples

Your changes has a few other issues:

  • The inner lists should be tuples, because - though the outer list changes - the inner items do not.
  • The inner lists have implied positional significance - item 0 is assumed to be an operation string and item 1 is assumed to be a path. This should be replaced with a class (maybe a @dataclass) with operation and path members.
  • The operation, being stringly-typed, has no guarantees about constraint to valid values. It should be replaced with an Enum.


There's a lot to unpack here:

                (self.destination_path / change[1][0].replace(str(self.source_path), "")).replace(
                    self.destination_path / change[1][1].replace(str(self.source_path), "")

Let's first reformat it so that it's legible by humans:

source_path, dest_path = change[1]

    / (
        .replace(str(self.source_path), "")
    / (
        .replace(str(self.source_path), "")

I can only be half-sure that I got that right. That one-liner should be unpacked into probably at least five separate statements, with well-named temporary variables. Otherwise, this is madness.

Further, you're doing a mix of pathlib (good) and string manipulation (not good). Attempt to avoid str() and replace(), and use the path manipulation functions from pathlib to extract what you need.


Rather than writing pathlib.Path all the time, consider just from pathlib import Path.


If you're doing this:


because the console window will disappear if you don't, then there are better solutions that don't pollute your code and hang the program for your user. The reason I'm guessing this is why you sleep is that you have Windows-style example paths.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for your answer! I will work on this tommorow (If I have time). The only reason I have a time.sleep(1) is that to reduce CPU usage. If it doesn't have a big impact, I'll remove it. \$\endgroup\$ – Unsigned_Arduino Jun 22 '20 at 3:34

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