iCloud Sync Question

htlausch's Avatar


06 Jan, 2022 01:34 PM

This is a question regarding iCloud sync (although it could apply to Dropbox as well) and I must admit that the possible issue was self inflicted. I'm currently on Moneydance 2022.2 and was cleaning up some entry items going back a couple of years. One thing led to another and things got pretty messed up, so I did a "restore from backup" (I run Moneydance on a MacBook Pro M1, Big Sur, and an iMac, 2017 Catalina) and thought I was fine. Finished cleaning up the entries I was working on and shut the iMac down. Booted up the MacBook Pro just to see that everything had synced icorrectly n Moneydance. Nothing had synced. Back to the iMac and I looked at the sync setting and it was set to off. Set it to iCloud and again shut down the iMac and booted the MacBook Pro. Still no sync!

It was only then that I started really paying attention (I've been on Moneydance since at least 2007 and never had an issue) to all the information on the screen. The file that the iMac was running was some version of my finance file but had something along the lines of "Data.2022-1.2" attached to the name. That gave me a clue, so I closed that file and opened my original file. Ended up fixing the mess I had made of entry corrections and as of this morning I'm back up and running.

So two questions. First, the "restore from backup" doesn't seem to be a restore at all, it just replaces the file you're running with an older file. Not a "restore" as I would understand it. So, if you get to a point where the only solution is to revert to a backup, would it be better to just replace the original file with one from a backup made by either a backup program (ChronoSync/Carbon Copy Cloner) or Time Machine rather than the "restore from backup" function? And second, seeing how I turned on iCloud sync on the restored file, are there now two iCloud sync files being stored in iCloud, and if so, any way to clean things up?

  1. 1 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 02:31 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    File/Restore basically unzips the backup (*.moneydancearchive) file and then opens this as your dataset. So you are correct that your original dataset is untouched and you now have a second/new dataset with a new name. This process ZAPs your Sync relationship. Thus when you then setup Sync again, you will end up with a new set of Sync data on iCloud, Dropbox etc.

    To delete the iCloud sync data, load toolbox extension, top right, open MD folder, Open Sync Folder... You should see your two Sync folders (with looooong numbers).

    I think MD File/Restore Backups are a fine solution as long as you know what to do with Sync later.

    PS - Toolbox will allow you to restore AND RETAIN Sync settings too...

  2. 2 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 02:58 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Thanks Stuart. But of course, an answer leads to another question. I had to install the Toolbox Extension by the way, as I've never had a need to use it. Wow is there a LOT of stuff to mess with there.

    In any event, your instructions were perfect and I did find the iCloud sync folders (I used Dropbox prior to Moneydance version 2022), but there are three of them. Is it safe to assume that the ones to be deleted are the two that have not been updated as of today? Screenshot attached.

  3. 3 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 03:32 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Also, just switched over to using the MacBook Pro M1 on Big Sur, installed the Toolbox Extension, and unlike on the iMac Intel 2017 running Catalina, you can't view the Moneydance iCloud sync folders on Big Sur. This could be an issue for the developers.

  4. 4 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 03:39 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    You should be able to delete the other folder names..... Best to rename them first, wait a day, then delete..

    As for not being able to view the iCloud Sync folders on Big Sur... Odd issue.. Do you actually have Sync enabled on that Dataset? If not, then the option will not be there... Also look in Help/Console and let me know if Toolbox is generating an error?

    Mr Toolbox...

  5. 5 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 03:50 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Stuart, here's a screen grab of the sync folders shown on Big Sur, just a never ending string of folders. I'll check on the Toolbox errors next.

  6. 6 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 04:19 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    No Toolbox errors.

  7. 7 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 04:49 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    Sounds like a finder/OS problem, not Toolbox..

    Your console will tell you the path... e.g.:

    ICloudContainer.isContainerAvailable(): nativeGetICloudPath:
    /Users/xxx/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~com~infinitekind~moneydancesync

    Go terminal and then sudo open this path

  8. 8 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 06:12 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Entering the command in terminal results in the following:

    Last login: Thu Jan 6 13:07:31 on ttys000
    homer@Homers-MacBook-Pro ~ % sudo ICloudContainer.isContainerAvailable(): nativeGetICloudPath:
    /Users/xxx/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~com~infinitekind~moneydancesync
    zsh: no such file or directory: /Users/xxx/Library/Mobile
    homer@Homers-MacBook-Pro ~ %

  9. 9 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 06:23 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    wrap the path with quotes

    sudo open "/Users/xxx/Library/Mobile Documents/iCloud~com~infinitekind~moneydancesync"

    and of course stick your user name in instead of xxx

  10. 10 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 08:17 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Stuart, this may actually be one for the developers, as the "Open MD Folder" and then selecting "Sync Folder" results in a completely different result when running Catalina versus Big Sur. Could have something to do with the fact that Apple keeps locking down the MacOS more with each new release.

    I ran the command again and the result is the same as the original screen grab of the sync folder that I posted above. I've attached three screen grabs. The good news is that although any "housekeeping" will need to be done on the iMac running Catalina (and that I expect to minimal at best) syncing is functioning perfectly. All changes in Moneydance on either machine are reflected correctly on the other machine.

  11. 11 Posted by dwg on 06 Jan, 2022 08:41 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    There were changes in default locations between Catalina and Big Sur, see:


  12. 12 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 08:50 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    Can you put finder in list view. It doesn’t make sense what you are seeing.

  13. 13 Posted by htlausch on 06 Jan, 2022 09:57 PM

    htlausch's Avatar

    Dwg, those locations are only for your actual data files, which I don't use anyway. On both machines my actual Moneydance data file (what gets opened when I launch Moneydance) resides inside a "sparse bundle disk image" which is encrypted. I have to mount the image before launching Moneydance. Just an additional layer of protection that dates back prior to when Apple allowed complete drive encryption.

    Stuart, you hit the nail on the head with the "list" view request. For some, probably never to be known reason, when in columns view you end up with an endless list of sync folders (with no "drop down" arrow. As soon as you change it to "list" view, the arrow appears and the iCloud folder is identical to the one I can see in Catalina on the iMac. Thank you! I will sleep tonight (engineer by both education and profession and unresolved problems lead to sleepless nights).

  14. 14 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 06 Jan, 2022 10:01 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    👍 Mr Toolbox…

  15. 15 Posted by dwg on 06 Jan, 2022 10:04 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    Yes they are the data file locations but Moneydance uses a tree structure so going back up the tree you can do down another branch to other files that comprise all of the data. So for example on Windows and Linux you go up the level to you get to .moneydance, at that level you see things like the error log and the config file. Go down one path and you find your extensions, go down another path and you find your backups.

  16. htlausch closed this discussion on 07 Jan, 2022 02:58 AM.

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