Synch to iCloud - distinguishing between syncing with other devices and the backup process

Tom's Avatar


18 Aug, 2022 02:08 PM

I have downloaded ge latest software but need instructions on switching synch to iCloud instead of dropbox.

I also use iPad so what happens there?

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Maddy on 18 Aug, 2022 02:36 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you for contacting Moneydance support.

    In order to switch to iCloud Drive Sync you need to ensure that:

    I recommend creating a backup before proceeding save it to a location of your choice, eg.:your desktop (just in case).
    To create a manual backup, choose File --> Export Backup.

    Then you should navigate to File->Syncing and turn sync off by choosing Don't Sync - if you were using a different sync method previously.
    Restart Moneydance!

    Navigate to File->Syncing and choose iCloud Drive
    - Set or take note of your existing "Passphrase".

    On your iPad you need to install the latest iOS mobile app.

    Launch the mobile app and choose the same file as your computer.
    Enter your Password to match the Passphrase on your computer.

    Finally, enter a "dummy"" transaction on each device and allow a few seconds for them to sync. They should display exactly the same transactions.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions or need more assistance.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  2. 2 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 03:46 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    I followed all the steps. No backup appears in my iCloud account.

    You guys have a giant fail.

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Maddy on 31 Aug, 2022 04:24 PM

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    Sorry you feel this way about it, Tom but please be reassured that most of our customers are reporting success when setting up iCloud drive sync.
    If this was a bug it would be affecting all of our customers.

    In conclusion, if you are open to troubleshoot what might be the causing an issue in your specific case, then please send us your Moneydance error logs and we will take it from there?

    The logs should include information about what might be causing the problem.

    They are saved on your computer as an errlog.txt file.

    You can get to your error logs as follow:

    1) navigate to Help->Console Window to show the console log in a window


    2) in the Finder, press ⌘⇧G and then copy and paste ~/Library/Containers/com.infinitekind.MoneydanceOSX/Data/Library/Application Support into the field and press enter/return.

    At that point the finder will show an internal folder containing the errlog.txt file which includes the log.

    Finally you can paste the full content to your next reply.

    To add an attachment to this thread, please click on the "Browse" button.

    Thank you

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 04:37 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    You left out a critical step. I went to Preferences–>Backups to select the path to iCloud backup. I just figured that out now. Please include this step when assisting others.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 11:24 AM, Maddy <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  5. Support Staff 5 Posted by Maddy on 31 Aug, 2022 04:45 PM

    Maddy's Avatar

    I suspect there has been a misunderstanding/misuse of terms here:

    The Syncing process I was referring to and the Backup process you wanted to achieve are two different processes.

    1) For further information please refer to these articles:

    "Syncing with Other Computers" here

    "Syncing with Mobile App" here

    2) In order to amend the backup file settings, you can choose Moneydance --> Preferences, then select the 'Backups' tab, as outlined in this article of the Knowledge Base.

    From this window, you can amend the backup location, and choose the maximum number of backups to be stored.

    It is possible to amend the backup location, to ensure the automatic backup files are sent elsewhere. For example, one could choose an external drive, or a shared folder location like Dropbox, iCloud etc, as in your case. This will make your data accessible from another system, even if you were to encounter complete computer failure, for instance.

    I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions or need more assistance.

    Maddy, Infinite Kind Support

  6. 6 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 04:53 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    Yeah well it's done.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 11:45 AM, Maddy <[email blocked]> wrote:


  7. 7 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 05:01 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    Frankly, even thought I am quite adept at using computers, iCloud, internet, etc, I am rather baffles about these distinctions and you make its much more difficult than it needs to be. I appreciate prompt replies, but that does not cure the problem with this confusion. Frankly I don’t know clearly how these two parts interact. Where should my data file be? Where should my backup be (I know it should be in a different physical location than the primary data file)? Does my iPad use the data file, or does it use the synch file?

    I suspect that my file organization is really screwed up now.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 11:45 AM, Maddy <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  8. 8 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 05:07 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    My iPad synched with the backup in Dropbox, with the data file stored on my Mac.

    Now I think my iPad synchs with the backup stored in iCloud, and data file remains in the same location on my Mac.

    So what the hell? All along my iPad has synched with the backup file. Isn’t that how Moneydance is designed?

    Please tell me where I should store data file and where to store backup. Yes I want to use iCloud for synching. I think.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 11:45 AM, Maddy <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  9. 9 Posted by dtd on 31 Aug, 2022 05:17 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user - the reason Maddy gave you sync instructions for icloud is that is what you asked for.

    A backup is a backup - whether it goes to an icloud drive or on your own computer.
    The two are distinctly separate. Your last message seems to indicate that you think the backup is used by the ipad for syncing.

    I don't think your file organization is screwed up - what you describe is you have a backup of your primary dataset stored on the icloud drive (your ipad will not use that).

    I don't know where you ended up with setting up icloud syncing, but I'd agree with Maddy that this is not a big fail on Moneydance's part, as syncing isn't supposed to put a backup on your icloud drive.

    Hope describing the distinction between the two processes (syncing/backup) helps.

  10. 10 Posted by dtd on 31 Aug, 2022 05:20 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    continuing with the discussion:, given overlapping messages:

    Your ipad did not sync with a backup on dropbox. I think that's the disconnect. You may have made a backup on dropbox (just as you appear to have made a backup on icloud drive) but neither have anything to do with syncing.

    Creating a backup and syncing between different devices are two separate processes, as I mentioned in the last message.

    Again, hope that helps.

  11. 11 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 05:29 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    so what is my iPad synching with? my data file has always been on my mac. My backup has always been in Dropbox, but now it is on iCloud.

    It doesn’t make sense to have data file and backup in the same location (Mac, iCloud, or Dropbox).

    When starting the iPad app, it asks whether to look at Dropbox or to look at iCloud. It doesn’t access the actual active data file at all, because that is stored on my Mac. And even though the iPad is accessing data from iCloud (or Dropbox), apparently from a backup file rather than data file, none the less anything that I do on my iPad shows up on my Mac. How can this be if the iPad is only synching with a backup file?

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 12:17 PM, dtd <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  12. 12 Posted by dtd on 31 Aug, 2022 05:36 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    Your ipad is synching with the transaction data passed to either dropbox or icloud. These are tiny files representing the changes you make on your computer (or on ipad, passing the changes to your computer)

    These small sync files have nothing to do with you making a backup (wherever you make it) - again, it's a distinctly separate process.

    You can do two things here:
    1) make a backup in case of disaster. [not associated with syncing]
    2) set up syncing so that when changes are made on either device - they send a tiny sync file (through dropbox or icloud) to keep each device "in sync".

  13. 13 Posted by dtd on 31 Aug, 2022 05:39 PM

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    In reading your messages again, maybe you think a backup is necessary to "prime the pump" of syncing? If so, that's not correct - syncing sets up everything necessary to get the syncing process going.

    Making a backup is just that - making a backup.

  14. 14 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 05:48 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    I’m fine with that, but did not know about these “tiny files”. I guess I cannot see them.

    I must tell you that the iCloud synch instructions did NOT work until I relocated my backup to iCloud.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 12:36 PM, dtd <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  15. 15 Posted by dtd on 31 Aug, 2022 05:53 PM

    dtd's Avatar

    I do think the sync files are hidden, but am not sure.

    The icloud sync should have worked without relocating the backup, but given this conversation, I can't address how you set everything up or in what order, so I can't comment on your assertion.

    Take care, and good luck moving forward.

  16. 16 Posted by Thomas Eisensta... on 31 Aug, 2022 10:19 PM

    Thomas Eisenstadt's Avatar

    Ok. I promise this is my last message. I think the issue was that I thought there needed to be a visible file in iCloud (or Dropbox) for synching, which, apparently, is not so. My other mistake was not being able to find (until now) the settings menu on the iPad app in order to select my synch location.

    On Aug 31, 2022, at 12:53 PM, dtd <[email blocked]<mailto:[email blocked]>> wrote:

  17. System closed this discussion on 30 Nov, 2022 10:20 PM.

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