Dropbox Moneydance 2017 newbie sync setup questions

timothyb's Avatar


12 Jan, 2018 02:54 AM

I have what are probably very dumb questions about setting-up Moneydance 2017 to sync between the desktop the android MD app...
I have read the article at http://help.infinitekind.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data/syncing-with-mobile-app and I'm unclear about 3 things.

1. The differences practical between Dropbox Folder vs Dropbox Connection for desktop to mobile sync.
2. I have a DropBox account, but I don't currently have the DB software installed on my desktop or android. Do I need to go ahead and install it on both devices?
3. Once the setup is complete, will the transaction data in Moneydance on android be encrypted *while at rest* on the mobile device or is the sync encryption only used to encrypt the MD data as it travels over the internet during the sync process?


  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 Jan, 2018 08:55 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    You have two options regarding the syncing method when syncing to a mobile device, phone. The both syncing methods need a Dropbox Account, at least the free version. The best and most flexible option is called “Dropbox Folder”. Dropbox Folder requires you to download and install Dropbox Client on your computer. You don’t need Dropbox installed on your mobile device or phone.
    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.”

    Your data set is stored in the default location on the hard drive of your 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.

    When you set up syncing on your computer it created synced data in a Dropbox folder called “.moneydancsync”. 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. 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).
    When Moneydance uses Dropbox, it uses end to end symmetric AES256 encryption. The keys are only held on the devices not in the cloud. Your data set on your computer is also encrypted. I have never read that the data on a mobile device or phone is encrypted, but given Monydance commitment to data security I would be surprised if it wasn’t.


    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by timothyb on 13 Jan, 2018 03:37 AM

    timothyb's Avatar

    @derekkent23, thanks so much for all of these details.
    I'm still trying to wrap my mind around the DB sync process.
    I suppose the best thing is to just dive in and see how things turn out!

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 13 Jan, 2018 03:17 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff just a user.

    Always make a FILE - EXPORT BACKUP first.
    Trying things out is always the best way. as you set up syncing it will all start to make sense.

  4. System closed this discussion on 14 Apr, 2018 03:20 PM.

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