grsyncx - Mac GUI for rsync allows beginners to synchronize folders

grsyncx - Mac GUI for rsync

The rsync tool can be found on Linux and Unix systems - and thus also on macOS. It is extremely useful if you want to synchronize two folders - even on different computers. Even if beginners who are not familiar with the terminal often believe that they have no need for such tools: in practice it often looks different, because rsync does a lot more than a simple copying process.

excerpt from the Wiki articles to rsync:

An important feature of rsync is that it can not only copy entire files, but also parts of files. If a file has been changed on the source data carrier, only the changed parts of this file are transferred to the target system (delta coding), which saves time.

You can already see that this type of file synchronization can be exciting, for example for backups or the synchronization of folders between computers.

The Mac GUI grsyncx allows beginners to use rsync - very comfortably.

The Mac GUI grsyncx allows beginners to use rsync - very comfortably.

grsyncx offers functions for advanced users in a simple look

The hurdle that Mac novices currently have with rsync is using the command via the Port. If you're not used to using the terminal, you'll often spend minutes on the documentation until you've put together the right command.

On the other hand, it is much more intuitive and easier with the GUI grsyncx, which also allows all possible options for the sync. Among other things, you can protect the Finder attributes so that the date and time of creation or addition is not changed, which would happen with a normal copy process.

How easy it is to use the rsync tool grsyncx is shown in the developer's guide:

  • Open the app on the Mac
  • Select source folder or file
  • Select target folder
  • Select settings for synchronization
    • All options have small help texts when you hover over them.
    • The option "Preserve extended attributes" allow everyone Finder tags to protect. 🎨
  • If you are satisfied with the options, you can either start a simulation via the toolbar or start the actual synchronization. 🎉
  • When the process is finished, enjoy your backup. 👍

Learn more can be downloaded from the Mac App Store, where the app costs 2,99 euros that benefit the developer. If you want the app for free, you can Get the program via GitHub.

If you are looking for something to do a 1: 1 backup of your Mac system disk, then I would like to contact you Carbon Copy Cloner refer. This has been the tool I've been using to create bootable backups on my Mac for years.

Reader tip: RsyncOSX for more complex jobs

My reader Renato wrote to me via the comment function that he used the Rsync GUI "rsyncOSX" is used. In his opinion, this tool is less beginner-friendly, but it offers more flexibility when configuring the rsync job. If you are not afraid of many options and a less clicky-bunti-like user interface, you can take a look at RsyncOSX .

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  1. TT says:

    Mmhh ... after I let the € 2,99 jump in the MacAppStore, I notice that a synchronization in the real sense - as I understand it - apparently does not take place, but actually only a copying process from the source to the target . files already present there are not copied again from the source. So more or less an incremental backup.
    Apparently the option of a “two-way synchronization” is unfortunately missing here - and only this, in my opinion, deserves the general name “synchronization”.

    So if I have 2 folders, for example: folder A and folder B where A contains files a1, a2 and a3 and B contains files b1 and b2, then I would like to be able to use synchronization in the real sense that afterwards both folder A and folder B contains the five files a1, a2, a3, b1 and b2.

    If I can see it correctly - and that's why I bought it - unfortunately not with grsyncx ... Of course I would like to be taught better!

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Peter! I haven't tried the app, but rsync isn't inherently bi-directional sync either. That means, in order to synchronize in both directions, you have to run two instances. I found this recommendation for the rsync app in a forum:

      Just run it twice, with "newer" mode (-u or -update flag) plus -t (to copy file modified time), -r (for recursive folders), and -v (for verbose output to see what it is doing ):

      rsync -rtuv / path / to / dir_a / * / path / to / dir_b
      rsync -rtuv / path / to / dir_b / * / path / to / dir_a

      This won't handle deletes, but I'm not sure there is a good solution to that problem with only periodic sync'ing.

      You have to see if you can do that with grsyncx.

  2. TT says:

    I had just forgotten one thing:
    Unfortunately, with grsyncx it does not seem to be possible to save individual "synchronizations" (certain source / target folders, as well as the associated settings) in order to come back to them later.
    Obviously you have to redefine it again and again as soon as you have backed up or "synchronized" something else in between. Pity!

  3. TT says:

    Hello, Jens! Thanks for looking - you could take a closer look at that. In fact, I have now thought that you can of course do 2 passes - first one from A to B and then one from B to A, whereby "Delete on Destination" is not selected each time and "Wrap in Source Folder" is not selected either. Then you should finally get 2 folders that each contain in the same way all files that were initially contained in A or B (i.e. the said "union set").
    Here, however, the wish from my addendum comes into play again - the whole game would be much more pleasant if one could save individual "synchronization sets" with their settings for further use (like in CCC).

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hi Peter! Yes, you already know more about the tool than I do. : D But it's a shame that the sets don't exist. But maybe you poke at the developer and ask about the feature. Sometimes the programmers react very positively and are happy to receive new ideas.

  4. Renato says:

    I've had a few attempts with rsync, but then always rejected it... and now I have a topical reason again and came across your article.

    After various comments on Grsyncx I remembered another GUI for rsync that I downloaded ages ago...:

    RsyncOSX (

    It seems to me to be very powerful (and therefore probably only suitable for beginners to a limited extent...?!??) - I myself am inevitably still using an old version 5 on my Mojave Mac, the current V.6.6.9 is for BigSur and is now also up German localized… – maybe an alternative to Grsyncx?!?

    (I just did a larger sync (~80GB) to an external hard drive after a few new tests. Works very well; I'm curious whether the additional "daily schedule" that was set also works so well...)

    • Jen Kleinholz says:

      Hello Renato!
      Thank you for your email and the suggestion. I'll put that in the article right away. Will definitely help someone. LG, Jens

  5. Renato says:

    Hi Jens,

    it's a pleasure :)

    LG Renato

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