Syncing with Dropbox

dsgee's Avatar


12 Sep, 2017 04:01 PM

I have just updated to 2017.4(1624) I have chosen so far to specify my remote Dropbox folder as my destination file as I use Moneydance on 2 Macs in different locations. Before this I had the file stored locally with Dropbox syncing turned on but there was a problem - when I moved to the second computer [which of course had an earlier copy of the file on it] the program opened the old one, which synced immediately with it so that the updated file was lost. I have no problem with my current setup as each computer syncs with Dropbox, which has the latest version of the file at all times.
Now, each time I open Moneydance I get the warning about a shared folder and have to confirm before I continue. Can I switch this warning off or can I set things up so that I don't get the updating problem when I change computer venues?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Henry on 13 Sep, 2017 07:42 AM

    Henry's Avatar


    Thank you for contacting us.
    The reason for the warning is that Moneydance (and most software with complicated file structures) work better with local files, because Dropbox (or any other file sharing system) could be changing files, or parts of files, out from under the software.

    This is the primary reason we added computer-to-computer syncing in Moneydance: so that the full data set could be shared in a safe way.
    When you enable syncing in Moneydance, it creates a unique folder for the currently open data set in a special (hidden) folder. If you use Dropbox for syncing (as either a connection or folder) you can most easily view these hidden folders here:
    Moneydance reads and writes to that folder in such a way that there will never be any conflicts. Filenames are unique and the data is encrypted using your sync key. 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 (ie not the file modification date).

    The best setup in your case is to have your main data file on one Mac and to enable syncing on that primary Mac, on the second Mac you then only access the sync file.

    The step by step instructions for setting this up are here.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let me know if you have further questions or need any assistance.

    Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by derekkent23 on 13 Sep, 2017 07:59 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    You should move your data set to the default location which can be found under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER or accept the warning and use the automatic move feature to do this. For information the data set is a folder named youdatasetname.moneydance This is a folder not a file it contains other folder and files.

    Be WARNED when using 2017 unlike earlier versions, say 2015 if you don’t move your data sets it may become corrupted due to how syncing now works.

    You can still set the auto backup and make manual backups “Export Backup” to Dropbox in case you have a local hard drive failure.

    I had a problem syncing which was fixed by the lead developer Sean. This fix is included in the latest 2017 Preview build at This and other fixes are not yet in the released build. So update to the Preview build.
    After updating to the preview build reset syncing as follows.
    In the following the main computer is the computer first set up. The second computer is the computer synced to the main computer by using FILE – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE.
    On your main computer use FILE – EXPORT BACKUP to save a backup in case something goes wrong.
    I would recommend using the syncing method “Dropbox Folder”. Therefore before resetting sync ensure under FILE – SYNCING that Sync Method is set to Dropbox Folder.
    On your second computer click on HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER to open a file explorer, close Moneydance and delete your data set “yourdatasetname.moneydance”
    In your Dropbox folder delete the folder “.moneydancesync”.
    Open Moneydance on your main computer and wait for Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync” and its contents to be created. This can take some time.
    On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set” – “Open Synced File” and perform the initial sync steps.
    For the detailed steps on how to set up syncing take a look at

    If you still experience issues report back.

    Hope this helps.

  3. 3 Posted by boreham on 13 Sep, 2017 03:15 PM

    boreham's Avatar


    In your reply above you said:

    "The best setup in your case is to have your main data file on one Mac and to enable syncing on that primary Mac, on the second Mac you then only access the sync file."

    My experience on Macs is that, on setup, the second computer creates a local data file in the default location. The actual data files on the two computers are then kept in sync by the .moneydancesync folder in Dropbox, which acts like a carrier pigeon between the data files on the two computers.

    My experience is therefore not that you "only access the sync file on the second computer".

    Perhaps I am misunderstanding something.

  4. 4 Posted by dsgee on 13 Sep, 2017 03:19 PM

    dsgee's Avatar

    Thank you so much to you and Henry for your help.  Could I trouble you further as I want to make sure I get this right?
    The problem with an earlier version was that when I had Dropbox sync turned on the main file was still stored in the local folder.  When I changed computers there was of course an earlier version stored locally there so the program automatically opened that.  That version then synced with dropbox and overwrote the latest file.  I overcame this by moving the main file to the dropbox folder in the cloud.
    I want to be absolutely sure that if I follow your instructions I will achieve the same result so that the latest file is always synced to Dropbox and this file will be opened whichever computer I use.  If I return from my other computer and open MD on my home Mac, will that not open the file in the local folder [i.e. an older version] so that I have the same problem in reverse?
    Thanks again, 

          From: derekkent23 <[email blocked]>
     To: [email blocked]
     Sent: Wednesday, September 13, 2017 8:59 AM
     Subject: Re: Syncing with Dropbox [Problems #36615]
     #yiv1580335020 pre {width:92%;margin:10px 2%;padding:5px 2%;background:#efefef;border:1px solid #d6d6d6;}#yiv1580335020 blockquote {margin-left:0;padding-left:1em;border-left:5px solid #ccc;}

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 13 Sep, 2017 04:02 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    If you reset syncing first, as I described, then when you reinitiate syncing the data set on your second computer will be created to align too the data set on your main computer. Reread my earlier post on resetting syncing. Also make sure you use the syncing method “Dropbox Folder” not “Dropbox Connection” as I recommended.
    Did you update to the latest preview version? Do so ensure you don’t get problems.
    As you work with Moneydance on your main computer the local data set is updated. The same happens when you work with your second computer, its local data set is update. The clever thing is that Dropbox is used via the .moneydancesync folder to sync the two local data sets.
    All changes are recorded in the .moneydancesync folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking timestamps that are internal to the file (ie not the file modification date). This way if you work with one of your computers, even if it is off line, when it goes online again it will update the .moneydancesync folder in the cloud ready to sync to the other computer when that goes online. If both your computers are running Moneydance at the same time you can watch the two computers sync in real time, syncing occurring about every 30 seconds.

    Hope this helps.

  6. System closed this discussion on 13 Dec, 2017 04:10 PM.

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