How to setup Moneydance to work on 2 computers with Dropbox

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Pat Wendt

11 Feb, 2010 01:22 AM

I want to be able to use Moneydance on two different computers, but I can't figure out how to get it to work with Dropbox. I changed the location of the backup files to Dropbox on my Mac but the Windows machine won't recognize them. This is driving me nuts. Can you please help me?

  1. 1 Posted by Harry on 11 Feb, 2010 02:26 AM

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    You need to change the location of the main moneydance data file (the one that ends with .MD to the dropbox. That is the file that opens. The backup's can be stored to a different file location.

  2. 2 Posted by Pat Wendt on 11 Feb, 2010 02:41 AM

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    Thank you Harry, but I don't understand how to make Moneydance save the data file to Dropbox instead of the default location.

  3. 3 Posted by Harry on 11 Feb, 2010 02:54 AM

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    Just close money dance and then use your file browser (finder on a Mac) to move the .MD file from it's current location to your drop box. After Drop box replicates, then open the file from the drop box location. You can do this by double clicking on the file. MD should save the file to the drop box on exit. Now your dropbox copy of the file is your main file.

  4. 4 Posted by Pat Wendt on 11 Feb, 2010 03:53 AM

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    Harry, you are my hero! It hadn't occurred to me that I could just double click on the relocated file. All is well now. Thank you!

  5. 5 Posted by cduzynski on 15 Feb, 2010 01:31 PM

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    Where is the .MD file located (default location) on a Mac running Snow Leopard?

  6. 6 Posted by PC2MAC on 15 Feb, 2010 02:30 PM

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    I'm assuming you found your files based on your question in this thread, correct?

  7. 7 Posted by cduzynski on 15 Feb, 2010 02:41 PM

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    Thanks for the speedy reply :)

    I am not currently on the Mac running MD, but for now I'll assume yes. Your reply to both threads makes perfect sense and I'll try this evening and add additional comments if necessary. Your replies will also assist with my attempts to eventually use DropBox to sync between my Mac and my spouse's Dell Peecee.


  8. 8 Posted by Michael Evans on 04 Apr, 2010 08:47 AM

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    For what it's worth, I've been using Dropbox for my MD data file for nearly a year without problems. In general, it works like a charm, but obviously it is important to remember to close the file before you try to open it on another computer.

    This isn't a multiuser situation, but it is the next best thing. MD's unMaclike behaviour of quitting when hitting the close button (rather than remaining open on the dock) is positively helpful in avoiding sync problems. I used to hate this, but since I've been using Dropbox I see the advantages.

    PS: Dropbox also helpfully syncs the MD datafile to my iPhone (and, in future, my iPad). But, sad to say, that function is currently as useless as a chocolate kettle!

  9. 9 Posted by Stacey McDonald on 06 May, 2010 02:53 PM

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    I am trying to do the same thing on two windows machines. I have a product called SpiderOak backup. I have it sync my moneydance data directory to the same place on both computers. When opening it up on my 2nd computer I always have to go open the file and enter my license to get it to work. Any suggestions to avoid this would be greatly appreciated.

  10. 10 Posted by Michael Evans on 06 May, 2010 03:06 PM

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    I can only speak for Mac and I continue to have no problems using Dropbox. I am not familiar with SpiderOak backup. However, why not try installing Dropbox, which is a synchronisation system rather than a backup system? It is free and very easy to work with. Find it here Once you've installed it, COPY your up-to-date Moneydance data file to the Dropbox folder on your first computer and then wait for the file to appear on the second computer. After you have opened that file on both computers (assuming you have only one data file) Moneydance should find it. Don't forget to be scrupulous in clothing the file whenever you have finished, whichever computer you are working on. I have had occasional glitches if I leave one of the file open by mistake. When everything is working you can delete the file from the original Moneydance folder (or, of course, leave it there as a back up).

  11. 11 Posted by Pat Wendt on 06 May, 2010 03:34 PM

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    I want to second Michael's recommendation that you install the free version of Dropbox. Not only did it solve my Moneydance on two computers problem, but I've found a surprising number of other uses for it too.

  12. 12 Posted by Stacey McDonald on 07 May, 2010 11:48 AM

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    Thanks to Michael Evans & Pete Wendt. If I cannot get a resolution to my problem I will surely try the dropbox application. Would prefer to try and get this working with SpiderOak (one application doing backup, sync, and remote access instead of having to install another app). The only thing I can think of is that SpiderOak encrypts the file when it goes to the server and decrypts when it comes back, would that cause me to have to reenter the license everytime I open it on the 2nd computer? Thanks again for all the responses.

  13. 13 Posted by Michael Evans on 07 May, 2010 12:59 PM

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    So does Dropbox encrypt as far as I am aware. I suspect the problem is caused by the backup process. What I am assume you are doing is backing up all your data, including folder containing the Moneydance file, and then synchronising this with the similar folder on your other PC. This means you have two distinct data files which are being synced together. Dropbox works in a slightly different way. You make Dropbox your data folder and physically move the Moneydance file into that. You are therefore working on the same file whichever computer you're using. It's difficult to explain why there is a difference between that and backup/sync, but I'm sure its the reason. Incidentally, I use Dropbox for all the data files I access regularly, including spreadsheets and sundry databases, and I have absolutely no problems in working on all this data from whichever computer I'm on. I do have separate backup systems, including Cloud backup, but I do not attempt to use this to synchronise between computers; I just do separate backups for each computer. Dropbox takes care of the specific syncing operation and does it well.

  14. 14 Posted by Stacey McDonald on 07 May, 2010 02:59 PM

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    So it sounds like you actually store and access your moneydance data file from dropbox? There is not a local live copy on your computers?

    Thanks again!

  15. 15 Posted by Michael Evans on 07 May, 2010 05:57 PM

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    It is correct that the main (only) data file sits in the Dropbox folder (or, of course, in a sub-folder of the Dropbox folder). I keep Dropbox on the desktop for easy access, but by default is goes somewhere in the user's documents folder. You can choose when installing or move it later. Dropbox actually stores a copy of the file on all computers, so you can access it even if not connected to the internet. It isn't cloud storage. However, the data files on all your individual computers are all synchronised with the Dropbox cloud and you can use their website to see versions. If you wish, you can go there and restore an earlier version. It just works.

  16. Angie Rauscher closed this discussion on 24 Jul, 2011 07:48 PM.

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