How do I share the Moneydance file between two Macs?

Vince Pulice's Avatar

Vince Pulice

10 Apr, 2018 01:53 AM

I have an iMac and a MacBook Pro that I want to share the file between. I have the file in Dropbox already.

  1. 1 Posted by dwg on 10 Apr, 2018 04:29 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    If you are using Moneydance 2017 do not place your data set into Dropbox.

    The methodology for data sharing is different between Moneydance 2015 and earlier and Moneydance 2017.

    What version of Moneydance are you using?

  2. 2 Posted by Vince Pulice on 10 Apr, 2018 06:48 AM

    Vince Pulice's Avatar

    Thanks for the response. I'm using 2017.7.1 I guess I'll have to move my
    datafile from Dropbox back to Mac #1.

  3. 3 Posted by dwg on 10 Apr, 2018 07:20 AM

    dwg's Avatar

    The following article details setting up syncing between computers so that data can be "shared".

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 10 Apr, 2018 07:38 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff just a user.

    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,

    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 is more flexible. For example, with Dropbox Connection if you lose your internet connection when running Moneydance you could lose data. With Dropbox Connect a API in Moneydance talks direct to your Dropbox file in the cloud. Whereas with Dropbox Folder Moneydance talks to the local Dropbox folder on your hard drive. Then syncs to your cloud Dropbox folder when the internet is available.

    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 builds 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. 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. 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).

    Set Moneydances auto backup under FILE – PREFERENCES – BACKUPS to use Dropbox in case your computer hard drive fails. However, don’t use the same location as this will result in primary and secondary computers backups overwrite each other. Remember the data sets are not interchangeable.

    Moneydance 2017. Setting up syncing using the internal syncing engine.

    1. On your primary computer use FILE – EXPORT BACKUP to save a backup in case something goes wrong.

    2. On your primary computer under FILE - SYNCING, set your “Encryption Passphrase”, set “Sync Method” to “Dropbox Folder”, click OK.

    3. Wait for Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync” and its contents to be created. Check the Dropbox icon states “Up to Date”. This can take some time.

    4. Wait until the same Dropbox folder appears on your second computer, again watch the Dropbox icon this time on your second computer and wait till it states “Up to Date”.

    5. On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set”. If it opens in to an existing data set click FILE - NEW.

    6. Select “Open Synced File” and use dropdown to select “Dropbox Folder” then click NEXT.

    7. You should see a search screen headed “Select a synced document to open”

    8. After a short search delay, it should then list your un-synced data set name used on your primary computer.

    9. Highlight your data set name and click NEXT.

    10. Enter the encryption password, the “Encryption Passphrase” you set on your primary computer under FILE – SYNCING.

    11. Then click on FINISH. Wait for your data to be synced.
      You may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the second computers side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.

    For more information and how to sync to mobile devices, phones see

    If in any step you don’t get things how I describe, detail what you are seeing, including screen shots.

    Hope this helps.

  5. System closed this discussion on 10 Jul, 2018 07:40 AM.

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