Dropbox Syncing

Jonathan Challis's Avatar

Jonathan Challis

11 Mar, 2020 11:47 PM

My laptop has been stolen so I have purchased a new one and am attempting to reload my data via dropbox sync. Unfortunately, I no longer have the dropbox encryption word like to my Moneydance data file. And obviously, have had my old laptop stolen, I can't look it up via the software. What can I do ?


  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ethan on 12 Mar, 2020 02:08 AM

    Ethan's Avatar


    By "dropbox encryption word," do you mean your syncing password? If so, I'm afraid there's nothing we can do. We haven't built any backdoors into our encryption to override the security, so if you no longer have your password, there's no way to get that data back. Were you making any other kinds of backups of your data?

    Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Jonathan Challi... on 12 Mar, 2020 07:33 AM

    Jonathan Challis's Avatar

    The data still exists on my iPhone and iPad. I think I may also have an old physical backup on a backup drive … this I guess may contain that syncing password. If I load it, and enter the password, will it then update itself with the more up to date data on my iPhone and iPad ?


  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 Mar, 2020 09:12 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    The first thing I would do is find your “.moneydancesync” folder in Dropbox and make a copy of this folder to be safe.

    What type of backup do you have? Was it an EXPORT BACKUP or an AUTOMATIC BACKUP created by Moneydance or was it a backup of the Moneydance data set?

    If you restore a non-Moneydance backup the sync method has not been set to DON’T SYNC. In this instance this probably want have a detrimental effect. In any event a copy of your “.moneydancesync” folder is an insurance enabling you to recover from problems. In other circumstances, say the need to restore a backup due to sync corruption then the result of opening Moneydance with this type of backup could be disastrous. Hopefully opening Moneydance using a backup of a Moneydance data set will result in syncing being resumed.

    If it’s a Moneydance created backup then using RESTORE BACKUP will be safe as the name of the backup is changed and the sync method is set to DON’T SYNC. Your laptop will not sync to your mobile devices. You can look up your sync passphrase. This restored data set will not be used to sync.

    On your new computer if Moneydance opens in the Welcome to Moneydance window click CREATE A NEW ACCOUNT SET or if Moneydance is open in a data set click FILE – NEW.
    Then click OPEN SYNCED FILE. Use the dropdown to set the same sync method as you were using. Click NEXT and highlight your data set from the list. Click NEXT and enter the same encryption password (passphrase) for syncing as before and click FINISH. If your data set is synced back into your computer it will be as a second computer data set, you can’t change the sync method and need converting into a primary computer data set as below. Also, you may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.

    I assume you are using Moneydance 2019? If you are running 2017 some of the following details are different.

    Procedure for converting a secondary data set into a primary data set.
    Do a FILE – EXPORT BACKUP in case something goes wrong.
    To convert a secondary data set to a primary data set you need to run the attached script md2017_convert_secondary_to_master.py in Moneydance 2019. Don’t worry it states 2017.
    With your data set open click WINDOW - SHOW MONEYBOT CONSOLE use OPEN SCRIPT to select the script and click OPEN then RUN. Wait until the script has run, this may take some time. Close and reopen Moneydance. You should now be able to change the syncing method, leave it at the current syncing method.

    You should now find all your devices are syncing again with your primary data set recovered.

    Hope this helps.

  4. 4 Posted by Jonathan Challi... on 12 Mar, 2020 09:32 AM

    Jonathan Challis's Avatar

    Thank you Derek, I really appreciate the time you've taken to write this reply. Yes I am using Moneydance 2019 and yes I have found the sync folder in Dropbox and yes it was one created by Moneydance. However when I copy it to store safely elsewhere, I'm told it's invisible ! I have now found the missing dropbox encryption password on an 18 month old backup which fired up the programme but which I then removed to sync from dropbox. Should I maybe have left the old data and tried to sync that with what's more up to date on my iPhone and iPad / Dropbox ?

    The issue now is that the initial sync seems to be taking ages with not even the progress bar showing any shading for 20 - 30 minutes. There's no indication of whether it's doing anything and when the cancel or finish buttons don't do anything - I had to Force Quit it on my Mac.

    Thanks again Derek.

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 Mar, 2020 10:13 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    I am concerned you haven’t made a copy of your “.moneydancesync” folder before moving on.

    Hopefully it’s not too late and it has not already been altered. Does the data still look correct on your mobile devices?

    I am a windows user, Mac can make life difficult when working with hidden files, files starting with “.”

    Navigate to your Dropbox account on the web, rather than a folder on your computer. You should then be able to create a new folder to copy your “.moneydancesync” folder to. If you can’t see how this is done, I can try and post some instructions.

    From your post I am unclear which type of backup you found. A Moneydance created backup or a backup of your moneydance data set?

    Your statement ending “which fired up the programme but which I then removed to sync from dropbox. Should I maybe have left the old data and tried to sync that with what's more up to date on my iPhone and iPad / Dropbox ?” can you clarify?

  6. 6 Posted by Jonathan Challi... on 12 Mar, 2020 10:44 AM

    Jonathan Challis's Avatar

    Thanks again Derek !

    I've now created a backup of the Sync Folder in Dropbox so worry not ! The data on my iPhone and iPad has also not changed and is up to date.

    Re the backup I found, it was a copy of the basic Moneydance data file which I saved to a separate hard drive. I was able to open this with the Moneydance software to obtain the Dropbox Sync Encryption Password. But afterwards, I removed this file because it's over a year old and I thought it best to restore from the Dropbox Sync Folder.

    This I started doing but as I said before the initial sync seemed to be taking ages with no sign of anything happening.

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 Mar, 2020 11:49 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    OK, understood.

    2. After you click NEXT, following a short delay, you should see your latest data set listed? If so, highlight it and click NEXT.
    3. Enter your passphrase and if it is correct FINISH should no longer be grayed out.
    4. Click FINISH.
    5. You should see the message "PERFORMING INITIAL SYNC ..........."
    6. After what may be a long delay your data should be synced to your computer, No progress bar etc.

    If the above steps don’t complete post at which step the process fails and what you see.
    If it works go back to my post to convert the recovered data set from a secondary to a primary data set.

    Hope this helps.

  8. 8 Posted by Jonathan Challi... on 12 Mar, 2020 12:09 PM

    Jonathan Challis's Avatar

    Thanks Derek,

    I shall try that now and report back.

  9. 9 Posted by Jonathan Challi... on 12 Mar, 2020 01:18 PM

    Jonathan Challis's Avatar

    It’s worked ! Many thanks Derek, very much appreciated !

  10. 10 Posted by derekkent23 on 12 Mar, 2020 01:34 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    Really glad I was able to help.

    Have Fun.

  11. System closed this discussion on 11 Jun, 2020 01:40 PM.

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