Checking backup integrity with sync off and sync on?

tonyt's Avatar


09 Jan, 2018 05:24 PM


I am using latest MD 2017 and High Sierra. Sync is turned off. My data file is in my documents folder and my backups are on a separate hard drive and also on time machine.

If I want to check the backups work properly, what is the best way to proceed without disturbing things? Am I right that I find my latest backup, copy it to my documents folder, unzip it and rename it to something different from usual as long as it has the .moneydance extension and then open the newly named data set in MD2017. As long as everything is OK I can then delete that file and reload my normal data set?

Where I get even more confused is what to do if I ever decide to sync between two computers. I guess I would have to do some deleting of sync files in dropbox, but what about locally on each machine if I want to set up sync between two PCs?

In fact, is there ANY way I can use dropbox or the cloud or a shared folder or local network of some sort to sync between two PCs without generating all those sync transaction files. I did this for years with MD2011 with no bother, my wife and I just made double sure the other half was not using MD at the same time!


  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 10 Jan, 2018 10:53 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff just a user.

    Always make sure all your computers are running the latest released build of 2017 from

    All you need to do to test that backup/restore works is to
    Make a backup FILES – BACKUP.

    The restored backup will not overwrite your existing data set it automatically uses a different name.

    Switch back to your original data set by using FILE – OPEN.

    Your can see the restored data set by clicking on HELP – SHOWN DOCUMENT FOLDER. Close Moneydance and delete your restored data set folder if you want. Remember a data set is not a file it’s a folder containing other folders and files.

    See these articales relating to syncing.
    The following overview may help understand how syncing works.

    Before version 2017 you could place your data set in Dropbox and open the same data set on your two computers, provided you opened only one at a time. Opening on both computer at the same time could lead to data corruption.

    Moneydance 2017 has an inbuilt sync engine which allows you to work on the same data set on two computers and on mobile devices at different or even at the same time.

    You have a number of options regarding the syncing method. The syncing method “Shared Folder” is not discussed here. The other two syncing methods need a Dropbox Account, at least the free version. The best and most flexible option is called “Dropbox Folder”. However, if you did not purchase direct, but purchased through Apple, due to one of the restrictions Apply impose on Moneydance, you will have to use “Dropbox Connect” in the following steps. Dropbox Folder requires you to download and install Dropbox Client on all your computers.
    The following is an explanation given by Sean the software developer regarding these two syncing methods, Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection.
    “With "Dropbox Connection" Moneydance uses the Dropbox API to talk to the Dropbox service directly. So, you don't need to have Dropbox client actually installed on your computer, but you do need to be online when Moneydance is running in order for changes to be synced. With "Drobox Folder" Moneydance will just read and write files to your Dropbox folder on your computer, which means that you need to have Dropbox client installed and running, but you don't need to be online in order for Moneydance to read and write the changes.”

    When syncing with 2017 you have a primary and a secondary computer. The data set is stored in the default location on the hard drive of your primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Your data set is a folder not a file. It contains other folders and files. The data set folder is named yourdatasetname.moneydance. In later build of 2017 you are prompted to allow Moneydance to automatically move your data set to the default location if Moneydance detects you have your data set in Dropbox or on another cloud server. If you don’t allow your data to be moved it may become corrupted! DON’T STORE YOUR DATA SET IN DROPBOX or any other shared drive.

    Your second computer does not have the same data set as the primary computer. Its data set is created from data synced via Dropbox folder “.moneydancsync” created automatically by the primary computer. If you are using “Dropbox Connect” and don’t have Dropbox Client installed you can only view the folder Moneydance creates as part of syncing by logging into your Dropbox account.
    The folder “.moneydancesync” may be hidden, so if you are looking for it set whatever your file explorer is called to show hidden File/Folders. The data set has the same naming convention as the primary data set and is stored in the default location on the secondary computer’s hard drive, but it’s not a duplicate of the primary data set. They are not interchangeable. In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync”, creating small transaction files (mdtxn files) in such a way that there should never be any conflicts (at least not to any important files). Filenames are unique and the data is encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”). All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking timestamps that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date).

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by tonyt on 11 Jan, 2018 05:44 PM

    tonyt's Avatar

    Many thanks derekkent23
    I am totally confused so if you are prepared to help, can we do this one step at a time?
    I have my two sets of data saved in my documents folder. I have also found in my user library a container with data and other files in it in it with the same name.
    My backups are on an external hard drive.
    If I restore, what am I restoring, where does it restore to and what name will it have? Talk about complicated! And that's without worrying about trying to restore a file and restart sync - if I ever go that far!
    Hope you can help...

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 11 Jan, 2018 06:46 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    The default location for your data set can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. This will open a file finder at the default location. If you have moved your data set then it will not be displayed at this location. You data set has the naming convention youdatasetname.moneydance. Your data set is not a file it is a folder containing other files and folders.

    Moneydance has two types of backups. A manual backup you can make at any time, FILE – EXPORT BACKUP. An automatic backup of the last session of the day. You set up this backup under FILE – PREFERENCES - BACKUP. You can select the location the backups are to be stored. I use a Dropbox folder in case my hard drive should crash. If you have not change the backup location the default location can be found under HELP – SHOW ARCHIVE FOLDER. Manual backups have the naming convention yourdatasetname-yyyymmdd-time.monetdancearchive. Automatic backups have the naming convention yourdatasetname.yyyy-mm-dd.moneydancearchive. A backup is ZIP file.

    When you restore one of these backups using FILE – RESTORE FROM BACKUP the restored data set is stored in the data set default location. The name of the restored backup data set is the same as the backup, except it ends in”.moneydance” not “.moneydancearchive”. With Moneydance shut down you can rename the data set provided you leave the extension as “.moneydance”. When you start Moneydance after renaming a data set it will open in the welcome to Moneydance window with your data set name listed on the right. You can delete old data sets you don’t wont.

    Hope this helps

  4. System closed this discussion on 12 Apr, 2018 06:50 PM.

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