Syncing Windows 10 computers

Bruce Taszarek's Avatar

Bruce Taszarek

05 Jul, 2018 07:56 PM

I currently have Moneydance installed on my home computer, which runs Windows 10. I am attempting to install Moneydance on my wife's Windows 10 computer and sync Moneydance so that she can also access the Moneydance file.

Following the sync instructions on your website, I get to the final step which says something like "Starting initial sync, this may take a while." After 24 hours of waiting, I don't think the sync in working.

Both computers run Windows 10 (Auto updates) and both have the current version of Moneydance installed.

Any suggestions?

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jul, 2018 09:24 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Initial syncing should take no more than a few minutes.

    First make sure both computers are running the same build of 2017 from https://infinitekind.com/download-moneydance-personal-finance-software

    You did not state which syncing method you were trying to use. The following is based on resetting the sync method Dropbox Folder. Dropbox Folder requires that you have Dropbox client installed on both computer under the same Dropbox account or when it is created you invite your wife to share your folder ".moneydancesync".

    1. Set primary computer “Sync Method” to “Don’t Sync” under FILE – SYNCING, then click OK.

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

    3. On your second computer click on HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER to open a file explorer, close Moneydance and delete your data sets “yourdatasetname.moneydance” assuming it has been created. As syncing was not completed it may not exist.

    4. Using your primary computer in the Dropbox folder delete the folder “.moneydancesync”. Watch the Dropbox icon and wait till it states “Up to Date”. This can talk some time.

    5. In your second computer check that in the Dropbox folder that the folder “.moneydancesync” has been automatically deleted. You need to give Dropbox a short time to complete this deletion.

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

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

    8. 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”.

    9. On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set”.

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

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

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

    13. Highlight your data set name and click NEXT.

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

    15. 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.

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

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 05 Jul, 2018 09:32 PM

    Bruce Taszarek's Avatar

    Thanks for the detailed reply, but I'm not trying to sync with Dropbox, but with a shared folder. As I said, everything seems to work just fine up to the final step, when the "Initial Sync" just seems to stall...

  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jul, 2018 09:40 PM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    If not in Dropbox were is the shared folder?

  4. 4 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 05 Jul, 2018 09:53 PM

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    The shared folder is on my computer (my computer and my wife's computer are on the same network). Again, I'm just following the Moneydance instructions for syncing with another computer using a shared folder and everything works fine up to the final step.

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Jul, 2018 10:06 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    It's my understanding that Shared Folder is intended for cloud servers other than Dropbox. For example OneDrive, iCloud or Google Drive.
    Other users have tried to use Shared Folder on network drives and it does not work reliable, if at all, even corrupting data.

    The best way forward is to get a free Dropbox account and install Dropbox client so you can use Dropbox Folder. If you also want to sync to a phone Dropbox is the only way.

  6. 6 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 06 Jul, 2018 04:40 PM

    Bruce Taszarek's Avatar

    I have to say that I find it a bit disturbing that infinitekind would publish a set of instructions for a process that they know doesn't work (shared folder sync). Kind of makes one suspicious of the entire software package...

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 06 Jul, 2018 05:11 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    As I say it's my understanding that Shared Folder is intended for cloud servers other than Dropbox. For example, OneDrive, iCloud or Google Drive, not private networks.
    I use Dropbox Folder and do not have any problems.
    Perhaps Support could step in and clarify in case I understanding is incorrect.

  8. 8 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 06 Jul, 2018 07:57 PM

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    Well, that's certainly NOT the impression one gets when installing Moneydance. There are two choices for syncing with another computer, Dropbox and Shared Folder. In fact, if you intend to use the "Shared Folder", the website advises that your data file should reside on the original computer.

  9. 9 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 06 Jul, 2018 09:05 PM

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    http://help.infinitekind.com/kb/syncing-and-sharing-data/syncing-with-other-computers

    Here's the link to the specific instructions for syncing (either with Dropbox or a shared folder) which I have followed and which work fine up to the last step.

  10. 10 Posted by derekkent23 on 06 Jul, 2018 09:33 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Yes, I am very familiar with that document.

    As a user I sync between two windows computers and an Android phone using Dropbox Folder without any problems. I been doing this for well over a year.
    I keep my data set in the default location on my hard drive as recommended. I have a second data set on my main computer which I do not sync, again as recommended located in the default location on my hard drive. I set my manual and automatic Moneydance backup locations to a Dropbox folder. It all works for me, what else can I say.

  11. 11 Posted by Bruce Taszarek on 07 Jul, 2018 03:29 PM

    Bruce Taszarek's Avatar

    I think that the problem I'm having has to do with the word "shared". I think that Moneydance uses that word to refer to folders such as OneDrive and Dropbox, whereas I was thinking it meant folders that were identified as "shared" in Windows 10,

    Not being very familiar with Dropbox (I do have and account) I have a couple of questions.

    1. In reading the information on the Moneydance website over the past week or so, I thought I read that two people could be working with Moneydance at the same time and that Moneydance would properly sync. Do you have any knowledge/experience with this?

    2. You indicate that you have two data sets(duplicates?) on your main computer in the default location. How do you have two files with the same name in the same (default) folder?

  12. 12 Posted by derekkent23 on 07 Jul, 2018 05:49 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Assuming you are using Dropbox Folder with a Dropbox account both computers have access to or Shared Folder with such as OneDrive were both computer have access then you can have the same synced data set open on both computers. Enter a transaction on one computer and within 30 seconds it will appear on the other.
    During testing I did some time ago I found syncing between two devices to be reliable. On rare occasion if I had the same data set open on two computers and my phone I found a new transaction would not be synced. Now I don't have more than two devices open at a time. I know Sean the software developer has done work on syncing since I did the tests, so I should really test again, but have not got round to it.
    So to your question I have a lot of experience of having the same data set open on two devices at the same time, all good.

    Sorry misunderstanding. On my main computer I have two data sets I maintain. One data set is synced to a second computer and an Android phone. The second data set is not synced. The two data set have different names.

    If you are interested this is how I think syncing works.

    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 say 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.

    Hope this helps

  13. System closed this discussion on 06 Oct, 2018 05:50 PM.

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