How to Automatically Scan Folders

This tutorial describes how to use DropIt to automatically scan some defined folders at a time interval. DropIt supports several methods to process files and you can also enable “Folder Monitoring” from Options.

From “Monitoring” tab of Options window you can easily manage your monitored folders. To start to use this feature you only need to select “Enable scan of monitored folders” checkbox, define a scanning time interval and a possible minimum size. Your folders will be scanned every N seconds (with N the defined time interval) and only if bigger than the defined minimum size.

folder monitoring

Now, to add a new monitored folder, you only need to double-click the table or click the “Add” button. It will open the following window to define a new monitored folder:

This very simple window allows to select the desired folder and to associate a profile to it. In this way, when the selected folder is automatically scanned, DropIt uses the associations of that profile on the processed files.

Finally, if you desire to ignore monitored subfolders, you only need to add the following association (and do not create other associations for folders):

ignore subfolders



58 thoughts on “How to Automatically Scan Folders

  1. Pingback: How to Back Up Files | DropIt Blog

  2. Hi.

    Is there anyway to move a full folder based on it’s contents? For example, if i monitor a download folder and i download a folder with software in it, i want it to detect that there is an .exe file in there and move that whole folder to my documents. However it is important that the whole folder is copied across since there are other files that the exe depends on in that folder.

    Loving the software so far, thanks!

      • Ok great, I don’t know how hard it is to implement to be honest but it would really make the program a complete solution for me if it was possible to add it in.

        It’s still a very useful tool that i’ll continue to use either way!

        Thanks for the reply and great software 🙂

  3. hi! I am trying to create a catalog of all my movie and music files scattered across different disk volumes. I’d like to be able to scan, discover and compare if i had duplicate copies and also generate a jukebox type listing. Does your product have this now or do I need to do a workaround?


    • You could download the Portable version of DropIt (in this way you don’t have to install it) and try to use “Create List” action to generate html lists of your files. You can configure the output selecting what properties list, so you can add also “CRC Hash” or “MD5 Hash” columns, to easily compare files for duplicates. I recommend you to try, reading the pdf Guide and these tutorials.

  4. Hi,

    Is it possible for the monitoring function to ignore sub-folders? Currently I want my downloads to self organize. I want them in my downloads folder but I then want them to move into a sub-folder dependent on their type. I also want anything older than two months old to delete so ideally I would be able to turn on/off subfolder monitoring on a per rule basis, although the same rule for different folders wouldn’t be too much bother.

    Is this possible with DropIt?

    • You can ignore sub-folders creating an association with ## as rules and “Ignore” as action. In this way all unassociated folders are ignored, while associated folders are processed.
      You can also define an association with “Delete” as action and a date additional filter to remove old files.

  5. Any idea to On or Off the Pop out “Process Partially Failed” message box ?
    Because it make the Monitoring stop working while detected error…

  6. Hi, I am testing postit now. I selected a folder and enabled subfolder scan. However, I think it is only scanning the 1st subfolders in the tree. For example, my folder structure is like monitored_folder/sub1/sub2, sub2 is not processed.

    • What association are you using to process included files? Maybe you have an association that process “sub1” instead of scan it.

  7. Is it possible to monitor a unc path using alternate credentials? I have a drive that has to be mapped using a specific user to get the access needed. It would be great if Drop It could pass those credentials.

  8. Is there any way to get the processing (for automatic scanning) to run in the background? As of right now, the “DropIt – Processing” window keeps popping up in the middle of my screen every 60 seconds..

    • In the last versions you can configure it in:
      Options >> Monitoring >> Show progress window for monitored folders

      • I have “Show progress window for monitored folders” unchecked, am I missing something? The version I’m using is 5.2.

      • Sorry, my mistake, I was confused. I had “Show progress window during process” unchecked (on the main tab). I unchecked “Show progress window for monitored folders” under the monitoring tab and it’s working fine now! Thanks.

  9. Hi there,

    Very nice efforts, I hope my long time problem can be solved with this tool.
    This is my setup. I program in java on my desktop and need to run the developed jar file on different machines. I currently have a filezilla running which I use to copy files to another location.

    I have created a profile and under this profile different associations (each for the servers where the JAR should be copied). I only need to upload one JAR file, so as the rule, I put in the name of the JAR file.
    I don’t want to upload the LIB folder, that stays the same. So in the profile, as the last association, I placed the ignore subfolder rule with ## as the rule and ignore as action.

    Furthermore, I have enabled the monitoring of the folder where the JAR file is situated and disabled scanning of subfolders in the first tab.

    Unfortunately, with every change of the JAR file (for instance after the code has changed) DropIt asks to create an association for each of the JAR/TXT files in the LIB folder, although I had requested them to be ignored.

    Am I missing something? If this would work, it would save me a great deal of pain and efforts 🙂
    Thanks in advance.

  10. Hallo i like this product, o would like to use it as an archive tool.
    I would give it an entire folder (with subfolders) and make him compress (.zip) all files except *.jpg retaining path. But after that i would like to delete all the compressed files…how can i do this? Thanks!
    For example if in the original foldet i have a .doc file and a jpg file i would like to compress .doc in .zip, delete .doc file and then keep *.jpg file. How can i do this?

    • Currently you can easily create the archive, but compressed files cannot be automatically removed. It is a feature planned for one of the next releases. At the moment you could consider to create two similar associations, that match with the same files, but one to Compress and the other one to Delete. In this way you can process your folder two times: the first one to create the archive (selecting Compress action) and the second one removing compressed files (selecting Delete action).

      • Thank for reply, and what’s the right sintax for compressing a file adding to his new name the old file extension? Consider that i’m using %ParentDir% ad a destination folder. So i would like to keep destination folder and adding to new the old file extension (Example o for *.doc files)

      • You can add this string to you destination: %FileExt#+++%
        Note that #+++ is used to convert the string to all uppercase characters.

      • Thanks, i’ve found this:
        %FileNameExt#r(.,_)#–#d( )#d(-)#r(docx,_DOCX)#d(__)
        Replace point with underscore (also cleanup double underscore…);
        Remove spaces;
        Remove dashes
        Replace file extension with _Fileextension
        It does the job!
        I really miss the “delete after compress” utility!
        Thanks for now!

  11. Hello,

    I’ve the same problem that Martín Quevedo posted it on June 13, 2013 at 2:42 am… Working with subfolders:

    I’m trying to process this structure:
    folder1 > subfolder1 (with addiotional subfolders)
    folder1 > subfolder2 (with addiotional sobfolders)
    folder1 > subfolder3

    I’m using only one association like tutorial “How to Organize Lots of Files”, in deed I’m in the situations for separting in first time.

    Dropit only process the subfolders1 and ignore files in the other two.

    Thanks in advance

  12. Thanks a lot. It worked perfect.

    Excellent tool. Where can I donate?


    Pd: feature request. A way to order files using some words in the file name as a grouping criteria. For example, image you a few .pdf, .doc, and flv related with java or some others progamming languages and you want to put together in deferents folders by language . I mean in a similar way that dropit separate automatically by file extension. Maybe using a heuristic approach.

    Thanks again.

  13. Hi,

    I’m using the monitoring option to upload files from 1 specific map to a FTP server every 5 minutes, or at least that is the intention.
    The problem here is that every time only the first file uploads and all the others fail.
    I have tried different settings etc, but the problem keeps occuring.

    Do you have any idea what the issue could be here?


    King regards,

      • Still trying hard on this. Each time with some other options/settings etc, but there is still no progress… Sometimes it actually uploads 2 files and then the others fail, but even this happens rarely. It’s a really vague issue, I don’t see what could cause this. The files are all max 100-150 KB, so it would be very surprising if that was that the problem.

  14. I have Drop It Configured to scan my downloads folder. I have a rule to move EXE and ISO into a subfolder. I also have the ## ignore subfolder association. During every scan it is still scanning the subfolder and trying to move it ontop of itself.

  15. Hi,

    Great tool !
    In the ‘Monitor’ feature, can we have an option to just detect changes, not to recall action (my current action is to create a list file) each time the folder is processed ? If no changes are made to selected folder, the file won’t be recreated.
    Moreover, I wonder if it is possible to have additional actions like ‘send an e-mail’ or just display a pop-up message (modal pop-up or windows systray message option would be great too) (but only if the ‘detect changes’ option – see above – is implemented to avoid sending mail each time the action is processed) ?

    Thanks a lot.

  16. Hey there!

    I agree with Eric above, DropIt really needs to be able to track changes such as newly added files.

    I was really hoping DropIt would automate copying files downloaded via torrent, but I’m not sure it’ll work now. 😦

    I’m trying to scan the main torrent “Completed Downloads” folder, and then copy videos to proper folders on my NAS for playback. The 2 problems I’m facing are:

    1) Because DropIt can’t track new files or which files it’s already copied, it constantly tries to recopy the same videos over and over in an endless loop. I think I can reduce this problem by only matching files that are a few minutes old when setting up an Association. (Although this could be easily broken if DropIt isn’t running or fails to run within those few minutes which would lead to files not getting copied)

    2) … but even then it will still try to recopy the files a few times with those minutes. The problem then is that the files have already been copied once and I’m presented with a File Already Exists dialog box repeatedly. I was hoping to find an option to set “Skip” as default (for all drops) whenever it tries to copy a duplicate file, but there is none. There’s only the “Apply to all duplicates of this drop” option.

    Maybe I’m just doing something wrong and there is a way to accomplish what I need? If not, I hope the program continues to develop with new features geared towards the automated sorting(ie: copying files and leaving the source files where they are for seeding) of files/videos downloaded via torrent apps.


  17. Hello, I am encountering the same problem as Peter. I would like dropit to scan one of my folders every so often, and when a new file is added to it, copy that file to a different location. But I only want each file to be copied once, not every time dropit scans the folder. I was wondering if there was a way to solve this problem by now?

  18. I am copying a file from one folder to another with .zip format, it is working fine but i made some restrictions that file should be copy whose creation & modification time is less then 1 minute using monitoring too with 30 seconds of interval. It is copying a file smoothly but it is archiving the file with new file name (e.g my file name is test, first time dropit copying the orignal file e.g test second time(30 sec of difference from monitoring) DROPIT is copying a file with name test(1) with orignal file test). Can any please help me out.

  19. Confused about a couple things.

    1. When I add an association rule, I can tell it to make operations based on OR using the ; and | chars, but when I do this it processes separately, like an OR should. What I want is more of an AND operation.

    I used this in my association rules:


    This in turns moves (as the action) all files that have a OR b in the file name OR have the file type .xxx. This is the only way I have found on your WIKI that allows multiple rules in one action but I want the AND instead. For example, I want the same rule line as above but maybe with different operators in place of ; | that tell it to do an AND instead of an OR.

    This way, once it processes it will take only files that have both a AND b in the name AND have the .xxx extension and move those only. Is it even possible to process rules with AND in Dropit? Maybe I missed it, if so I apologize.

    2. I am monitoring a folder. I want to tell it to do multiple actions/rules some of which are moving files, some renaming, and some deleting. My concern is that it will try to do things all at once or out of order. So far, I have not seen any type of execution order expressed in the application. For example, I checked if you could move associations up and down in the list to see if maybe they are processed/prioritized by their list order within that profile, wouldn’t allow it. So then I turned to the monitored folder list and thought maybe you have to add a new profile with new associations for every set of actions to create the order… again doesn’t seem like it. So, is there any way to ensure things are done in the proper order? In my case, I want to move media type files to media (file_ext) folders, then move again based on name to more specific folders, then do deletions to clean up other files that were included and are not needed, I also have RSS downloads constantly being pulled into the directory being monitored so I don’t want things to get out of order. If it could just run everything together at once, but stick to the same order each time that would be fantastic.

    • 1. you can do it with few more complex patterns, for example *a*b*.xxx to match files that contains a and b and xxx as extension, or maybe *a*b*.xxx;*b*a*.xxx to match also files with b before a.

      2. in DropIt you cannot define a process order, but you can click the “star” when you edit an association to make it a “favourite association”, to be sure to execute it before the others. You could also consider to define more specific destination folders for your files, to execute a unique action to “move media type files to media (file_ext) folders, then move again based on name to more specific folders”. I recommend you to read some some tutorials of the official wiki to find more examples about it.

  20. Hello;
    i appreciated your skills and your program.
    Can we do password protection while “drop it” in system tray , and lock “start task manager” or hiding it inside “start task manager” ? I dont want curious people to see “drop it ” or close program when using same pc.i am using this program for backup databases.

    if you have another solution or idea for my questions, can i learn ?

    thank you.

    • Hi, sorry for the late. I’m not sure it is possible to add a feature like this. Anyway currently I’m not able to work on DropIt, but the code is open source and anyone could consider to improve it.

  21. Hi.

    I setup a mnitoring folder, with the filter *;**

    From reading the manual this is suppose to move all files and folders. The problem is that it ignores every folder that has a subfolder in it. I monitor the folder “Pictrures”. In that folder I have “month\date\nameoffile.jpg.

    If I remove the date folder and only use the month folder it works, but as soon as there is one more level of subfolders it ignores the entire folder.

    If I add a folder with files in it everything works. If I add a folder with a subfolder in it nothing happens.

    How can I make Dropit move ALL folders including those with subfolders?

    I am on version 8.2

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