McMaster University

Faculty of Health Sciences
Web Design

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How to synchronize local files with newer files on the server

When a website on the server has been changed, but the website on your local hard drive does not reflect the change, then you do have to synchronize the copy of the website on your local hard drive with the copy that is on the server.  You need to do this whenever someone else uploads changes to the server or whenever you update the website with Contribute and then want to continue working in Dreamweaver. 

  1. If you are using Dreamweaver CS3, click on the Synchronize icon in the Files panel.

    If you are using Dreamweaver 8, go to the menu bar and select Site --> Synchronize Sitewide. If you are are using Dreamweaver CS3, you may also activate the Synchronize dialog using the menu bar, but clicking the icon in the Files panel is faster.

  2. When the Synchronize Files dialog box pops up, select “Entire … Site” from the Synchronize field, “Get newer files from remote” from the Direction field, and click the Preview button.

  3. Dreamweaver will now compare all your local files with the same files on the server.  It compares the dates of the local files with the dates of the remote files.   If a file has a newer date on the server, then that file is added to the list to be downloaded to your local drive. When process is complete, a Synchronize Dialog box will pop up with this list of files with newer dates on the server. Usually all of the files will have “Get” in the Action column.  At this point you can choose to selectively download (“Get”) files.  Since you will want to “Get” all the files, click the OK button at the bottom of the Synchronize dialog box.


  4. The Background Activity dialog box will show the progress of the download.

  5. When the Background Activity dialog box disappears, the download is complete, and the website on your local drive should be the same as (synchronized with) the website on the server.