Trial user has personal and business Dropbox account

Carol Judge's Avatar

Carol Judge

18 Oct, 2020 03:07 AM


I don't know if this matters, but I have both a personal and a business Dropbox account. I haven't used the personal one in a long time. I do have the Dropbox desktop program for Windows 10, but it was connected to the business account. I figured out how to unlink the account but couldn't figure out how to connect the desktop program to my personal account. I went to my personal online dropbox which gave me the option to install the Dropbox app. I downloaded the install file, executed it (which I assume deleted the version that was there and then reinstalled it), and the desktop program opened with my personal account.

I'm now trying to set up syncing. I selected "don't sync" and entered an encryption passphrase, then changed the sync method to Dropbox Folder. It does display the filename C:\Users\flame\Dropbox, but when I click OK, nothing happens. I logged onto Dropbox online, and I don't see any files related to Moneydance. I looked in File Explorer and see a C:\Windows\Users\flame\Dropbox folder and a C:\Windows\Users\flame\.Moneydance folder. I don't see a .Moneydancesync folder anywhere.

I don't know what happened, but at some point, the desktop Dropbox app quit working. When I try to open the desktop app, it takes me to my online personal Dropbox account in the browser rather than opening the desktop program. I considered uninstalling the Dropbox app and reinstalling, but figured it would be better to ask before things get more complicated than they already are.

What should I be seeing by way of files? I understand there is supposed to be a .Moneydancesync file - what folder is it supposed to be in? I don't see it anywhere. Even though the desktop program doesn't seem to be working, the Dropbox folder is on my computer. Do I need to uninstall Dropbox and reinstall?

Thanks for any suggestions. I don't know anything about Moneydance and I just downloaded the trial today.

  1. 1 Posted by Carol Judge on 18 Oct, 2020 05:35 AM

    Carol Judge's Avatar

    Update. I did finally figure out how to open the Dropbox desktop app, but I don't see anything related to Moneydance. I closed Moneydance, reopened, and tried to set up sync again. File / syncing - then select Dropbox folder. I do have an encrypt passphrase and it does display the Dropbox folder name (C:\Users\flame\Dropbox), but when I click OK, nothing happens.

  2. 2 Posted by derekkent23 on 18 Oct, 2020 08:13 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Carol

    First what version and build of Moneydance are you running, e.g. 2020.2(1929).

    What is your computer operating systems?

    I assume you are trying to sync between two or more computers?

    If so, I would test that your personal Dropbox account is working. Drop a file in to your Dropbox folder and ensure it appears on your other computers.

    See the notes on Moneydance syncing below.

    When you set up syncing on your primary computer it automatically set up a folder in Dropbox to give C:\Users\flame\Dropbox.moneydancesync

    Also, within the “.moneydancesync” folder an alphanumeric folder, your data set sync folder is created.

    If is this is not happening not sure why, uninstalling and re-installing Dropbox can’t do any harm.

    You could also try the sync method Dropbox Connect. This method does not used Dropbox Client, the Dropbox folder on your computer, Moneydance syncs directly to your Dropbox account in the cloud.

    The third approach is to use the sync method Shared Folder. If you try this first manually set up a folder, say “Moneydance Shared Folder” in your Dropbox folder on your computer. This method allows to set things up more manually than the automated setup using Dropbox Folder. but once set up it works the same as Dropbox Folder.

    If you want me to post detailed set of instruction on any of these methods just post.

    Notes on Moneydance syncing.

    There are three method of syncing supported by Moneydance 2017/2019/2020/2021.

    Dropbox Folder, Dropbox Connection and Shared Folder.

    The sync method Shared Folder can only be used with other computers, it will not sync to mobile devices (phone etc.).
    With "Shared Folder" Moneydance syncs using a folder you create that is shared across computers. This could be a folder in a cloud server such as OneDrive, iCloud, pCloud or Google Drive. I have tested all of these and they all work.

    The following is an explanation regarding the other two syncing methods, Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection. However, if you are an Apple user and did not purchase direct, but purchased through Apple, due to one of the restrictions Apple impose on Moneydance, “Dropbox Folder” is not available. Note in both cases you need to have at least a free Dropbox account. With Dropbox Folder, the most flexible and easiest to set up of the two, you need to install Dropbox client on all your computers, but not no your mobile devices.

    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. Data will be synced once you go back on line when Moneydance is open. 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.” Syncing will occur when you go online, Moneydance does not need to be open.

    You can also use either of these syncing methods Dropbox Folder and Dropbox Connection to sync with mobile device (phones etc.) that have the Moneydance APP installed. The Moneydance mobile APP has Dropbox API embedded.

    When syncing you have one primary and as many secondary computers as you require. 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. DON’T STORE YOUR DATA SET IN DROPBOX or any other shared drive or cloud server as it could become corrupted due to how Moneydance reads/writes small files.

    When you start the syncing process, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) - SYNCING, a syncing folder “.moneydancesync” is automatically created in Dropbox or your Shared folder. If you have more than one data set you can set up syncing for each. The “.moneydancesync” folder in turn has an alphanumeric folder created, one for each data set you sync.

    Your secondary computers, set up using FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE, do not have the same data set as the primary computer. There data sets are automatically created from data synced via the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric folder, created automatically by the primary computer. See under HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER. Although the data sets have the same name the main difference between a primary and secondary data set is you can’t change the sync method when running a secondary data set.

    Once set up you can say add a transaction on one computer and within 60 seconds see it appear on your other computers or mobile device e.g. phone.

    In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the folder “.moneydancsync” / alphanumeric in the Dropbox folder, 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 end to end encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”) only held on your devices, not in the cloud. All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking Unix Time stamp that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date). At interval these transaction files are rolled up in to a truck file to reduce the number of small transaction files. The alphanumeric folder also contains other support folders and files.

    All this is transparent to the user.
    Set up syncing
    1. First set up syncing on the computer you have chosen to be the primary computer, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – SYNCING and follow the on screen instructions.
    2. Wait for the Dropbox icon to read up to date, then for the secondary computer Dropbox icon to do the same.
    3. On all of your secondary computers set up syncing, FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW - OPEN SYNCED FILE and follow the on-screen instructions.

    Hope this helps.

  3. 3 Posted by Carol Judge on 18 Oct, 2020 07:13 PM

    Carol Judge's Avatar

    Hi Derek!

    Thanks so much for the reply. I'm using Moneydance 2020.2 (1929) with a Windows 10 laptop, and I'm trying to sync with my husband's computer. My documents folder is C:\Users\flame1\.moneydance\documents.

    I have not been able to set up syncing and I don't see a folder called C:\Users\flame\Dropbox.moneydancesync. As I mentioned, when clicking on File/Syncing, I get the screen to select Dropbox Folder, I do have an encryption passphrase, and it does display the filename C:\Users\flame\Dropbox, but when I click OK, nothing happens. Should have gotten something indicating that the setup was successful?

    If I understand correctly, when I'm using Dropbox Folder, I can edit my file even when I'm not connected to the internet. This is important to me because I do want to be able to categorize credit card receipts even if I don't have online access, so, hopefully, we can make that method work.

    To test whether my Dropbox is working, I dragged a file into my Dropbox desktop program and shared it with my husband's Dropbox account. He was able to access the file on his computer.

    Once we figure out how to get the .moneydancesync folder created on my Dropbox, I think all my husband has to do is download Moneydance and "open synced file" from there. His Dropbox account isn't even used in this process, correct?

    I don't know if it would shed any light, but when I installed Moneydance, I used the import from Quicken option. I have not tried to add any transactions - I just reviewed what was imported. Then I tried to set up syncing.

    Any other suggestions? I will try uninstalling the Dropbox client and reinstalling to see if it makes any difference, but I'm not hopeful since it appears to be syncing correctly.

  4. 4 Posted by derekkent23 on 18 Oct, 2020 08:18 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Carol

    I will think about this more tomorrow, but reading your post does raise a question. It’s getting late in the UK.

    You state you Moneydance document folder is located at C:\Users\flame1\.moneydance\document and your Dropbox folder is at C:\Users\flame\Dropbox unless this is a typo this implies you have different windows accounts on your computer. If this is the case this is why Moneydance can’t create the sync folder “.moneydancesync” Dropbox client must be installed on in the same windows account as Moneydance.

    When you succeed in setting up the folder “.moneydancesync” you must share this folder with your husbands Dropbox Account. Moneydance transfers data from your computer into the alphanumeric folder it creates in Dropbox\.moneydancesync to your cloud account. This is shared with your husbands Dropbox account in the cloud then down to Dropbox\.moneydancesync on his computer. His copy of Moneydance reads this data. The reverse happens when he makes a change in Moneydance. So yes, your husbands Dropbox account is used in the process.

    Hope this helps.

  5. 5 Posted by Carol Judge on 18 Oct, 2020 09:31 PM

    Carol Judge's Avatar

    Hi again Derek!

    Thank you so much for your help. The "flame1" vs "flame" was a typo on my part. I use flame1 as a user ID sometimes, and it was just force of habit that I typed it. There is only one Windows account called flame.

    I tried to post the update below before I saw your response but it failed captcha. In the meantime, I just saw your response so I don't know if I messed anything up with the Dropbox account. I assumed if I had a laptop and a desktop of my own, I would use my Dropbox account on both of them, so I made the assumption (perhaps a wrong one) that I should authorize my husband's desktop on MY dropbox account. This is what I wrote before seeing your last message.

    Update! I don't know when it happened, but the .moneydance sync folder did appear in my Dropbox although it was empty. I then had my husband download Moneydance on his computer and open MY dropbox on his machine. He opened a new Moneydance file, selected Dropbox Connection, and then Open Synced File. It asked to authorize Dropbox, and then opened a browser tab under my Dropbox account. He copied the authorization code into Moneydance but it initially didn't find any files to sync.

    However, once he authorized Dropbox, the alphanumeric file was created under the .moneydance sync folder. He tried to authorize it again and got a different code which created another alphanumeric file. I'm not sure when it happened, but it eventually started working. I do have one alphanumeric file that has data in it, and he can see my test file on his computer!

    So now I have some new questions:
    1. Can I delete the empty alphanumeric files that are in my .moneydancesync folder?

    2. My initial file that I imported from Quicken was called Carol's Quicken Data Test. I didn't know that would be the name of my Moneydance file. Can I change that filename somehow or would I have to start over with importing an appropriately named file, like Our Moneydance Data, and then delete the existing test file?

    3. Both of our machines are backing up to the .moneydance\archive\backups folder. Do I remember reading somewhere that you should not do backups on the secondary machine?

    4. Does Moneydance have a function to archive older transactions within an account that is still active? A couple of my active accounts go back to 1999.

    5. Is it a problem that he is syncing his computer using my Dropbox? Since we are still in test mode, should I just create a new file on my laptop, import the Quicken file with a more appropriate name, and then go through the sync process again but using his Dropbox account on his machine?
    Thank you!

  6. 6 Posted by dwg on 18 Oct, 2020 09:59 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow user.

    I will let Derek guide you through syncing and Dropbox rather than hearing multiple voices. I will try to cover some of your more general questions.

    1. You can rename Carol's Quicken Data Test to whatever you like, you will have to close Moneydance and use a tool like Explorer as Moneydance does not have an option to rename a data set. Upon reopening Moneydance you will have to use open or open other to open the data set since the name has changed. Changing the name does not effect syncing.

    2. No you can and really should backup both machines but you should not back them up to the exact same location if you were say backing them up to something like dropbox, you would have one folder for one machine and another folder for the other machine's backups.

    Having multiple backups provides the best protection of being able to restore data in any eventuality.

    3. Archiving was removed during the life of Moneydance 2015. It has been found that archiving could be quite destructive of data and could destroy the integrity of your data, especially where investment accounts are involved.

    The reasons for having archiving have mostly disappeared - underpowered machines with severely limited storage. To limit the amount of data viewed you can use the filters along the top of the registers and limit reports using the available date ranges,

    Of course having the data facilitates being able to do time period based comparisons which could not be done if the data was archived.

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 18 Oct, 2020 10:31 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.
    Hi Carol

    Glade you made progress.

    My understanding is that you and your husband have different Dropbox accounts and are not using a single account which is more common. If I have got that wrong let me know.

    It sounds like you on your primary computer are using the Moneydance sync method Dropbox Folder whereas your husband on his secondary computer is using Dropbox Connection? Can you confirm?

    If this is the case that OK. You can mix sync methods. Just remember if your husband works with Moneydance off line when he gets on line again, he will have to open Moneydance for the data to sync. As you are using Dropbox Folder any changes you make off line in Moneydance will be synced when you go online without you opening Moneydance.

    Your questions.
    1. Yes, you can delete the empty alphanumeric files.
    2. Yes, you can change the name of a data set. First do a FILE – EXPORT BACKUP to be safe. Then click HELP - SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER and explorer will open. Close Moneydance and rename your data set folder. Open Moneydance and in the welcome window select your new data set name. Warning I think this may break the sync your have set up and you would need to set up syncing again, but not sure without testing, to late today.
    3. Its good practice to set the auto backup under FILES – PREFERENCE – BACKUPS to a folder in Dropbox in case your hard drive fails. Set up different Dropbox backup folders one for your primary computer and one for your secondary computer. Don’t let the two computers user the same backup folder.
    4. No Moneydance does not have an archive function of any sort.
    5. I think I have answered most of this question in 2. Not sure you yet understand how syncing works. My description of how syncing work was based on the fact that most people set up their computers using a single Drobox account, not two separate accounts, When you have two separate Dropbox accounts each computer uses its associated Dropbox account. You then have to setup your Dropbox accounts so that the “.moneydancesync” folder is shared between the two separate accounts. You can set up more secondary computers which are set up with either your Dropbox account or your husband’s Dropbox account.

    Hope this helps.

  8. 8 Posted by Carol Judge on 19 Oct, 2020 03:46 AM

    Carol Judge's Avatar

    Hi Dwg and Derek (I thought you went to bed!)

    Thank you for your patience with all my questions. I think I'm getting closer to understanding but I might not have all the terminology correct yet.

    1. I deleted the empty files. Yay!

    2. I have managed to get a dataset name that won't drive me nuts! Judge MD Data

    3. I will set the automatic backups for both the primary and secondary machines to our individual Dropbox folders. Thank you!

    4. I'm fine with not having an archive. I have never archived in the past for the reasons you mentioned. It's a long story, but that is something my husband wanted me to do. I'm happy to have an excuse not to!
    5. After doing some additional updates in Quicken, I created another QIF file, imported it to my Moneydance, and got it synced with my husband's Dropbox. I apologize - I forgot to have him download the Dropbox client on his machine. I assume that is the reason the only Dropbox sync option he had was Dropbox Connection. If I understand correctly, there is now no way to change his connection method to Dropbox Folder.

    Since we are just getting started on this, let me ask if this would work. My current folder name in .moneydance\Documents is Judge MD Data.moneydance. If I close Moneydance on both computers and rename my folder to Judge MD.moneydance (remove the word data), I assume that won't do anything to Dropbox since it was done while Moneydance was closed. With Moneydance still closed, can I then delete the existing alphanumeric folder out of the .moneydancesync Dropbox accounts on both computers (unless deleting it from the primary machine will also remove it from the secondary), then download the client on his computer, then open Moneydance on my primary machine and sync my new renamed folder to Dropbox? Since I gave him edit access to the .moneydancesync folder on my Dropbox, I assume it would then download to his local Dropbox folders. If so, then when I open his MD program again, wouldn't I be able to click File\New\Open synced file and have the Dropbox Folder option available?

  9. 9 Posted by derekkent23 on 19 Oct, 2020 07:27 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Hi Carol, I think you have got it.

    I was about, to in the UK, dwg is in Australia.

    Yes, if Dropbox client is not installed Dropbox Folder will not appear as a syncing option in Moneydance.

    Once a secondary computer is synced there is no way to change the sync method. You can however set up a new sync on a secondary computer, FILE – NEW.
    Your last paragraph show you have gained an understanding of how Moneydance sync works.

    You only need to delete the alphanumeric folder on the primary computer it will automatically delete in in your husband’s cloud account. Just give it time for Dropbox to sync.

    The rest of the paragraph is correct.

    One additional bit of advice to make things go smoothly on the initial sync. Watch the Dropbox icon in your task bar and wait for it to be up to date. Then on your husband’s computer wait until the initial sync is complete indicated by Dropbox changing to up to date. Then FILE – NEW …….

    Hopefully things will go smoothly this time.

    Remember you can also install the Moneydance App on your phones to allows you to see Bank/credit card balances and enter transactions on the go.

    Let us know how you get on.

    Have Fun Stay Safe.

  10. 10 Posted by Carol Judge on 19 Oct, 2020 10:53 PM

    Carol Judge's Avatar

    I finally got Moneydance set up so that my husband and I are both syncing through Dropbox Folder! Then I tried to connect to my banks and I'm running into all kinds of problems, so I'm starting a new discussion. Thanks for helping me get this far.

  11. 11 Posted by derekkent23 on 20 Oct, 2020 07:53 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Hi Carol

    Glad I was able to help.

    Have Fun, Stay Safe.

  12. Maddy closed this discussion on 20 Oct, 2020 01:33 PM.

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