Start MD from Phones sync'd (Dropbox) file

~Dan N's Avatar

~Dan N

03 Oct, 2019 12:24 AM

My PC crashed yesterday and I'm going through a reinstall of the OS (Windows 10 Pro). My Moneydance backups appear to be months old and very out of date but my phone is showing the up-to-date entries as late as today. Is there a way to get the sync file from my phone?

I've looked on Dropbox and the files there don't seem to match the date from the file on my phone. I've been adding expenses since yesterday on my phone but the file that opens with the new MD install has files that are months old.

Thanks for your help in getting this going again for me.

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Oct, 2019 07:50 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

    I am not support staff, just a user.

    If your loss your data set on your primary computer and also your backups, but have been syncing to another device it should be possible to recover the data set.

    Open Moneydance on your primary 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 (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – 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.

    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 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.

  2. 2 Posted by ~Dan N on 03 Oct, 2019 12:09 PM

    ~Dan N's Avatar

    Hi Derek,


    Thanks so much for these good instructions. It matches what I thought I would need to do but didn’t have the details for. When I open the Dropbox Connection there are three files that Moneydance finds as possible options. None of these show a recent date. If I go to my Dropbox online folder I find a dozen or more folder options. Is there a way to tell which of these are the current folder? Can I delete the other ones to avoid confusion in the future? And lastly, is there a way to tell from the phone app what folder is being used to sync in Dropbox? I’ve tried looking at the last modified date and that didn’t seem to reflect a recent sync with the phone.


    Appreciate your insight,


  3. 3 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Oct, 2019 01:42 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    The date you see when you try to start syncing on your phone does not necessarily reflect the last date/time a transaction was entered into your phone.
    In Dropbox a folder is created “.moneydancesync” in which is placed your syncing folders. Each time you sync a new data set, a new data set sync folder with an alphanumeric name is created. In this folder are other folders and files. In a folder called v3 are small transaction files “.mdtxn”. Looking at the date for these files gives a better indication when transactions were created.
    You can determine which alphanumeric folder relates to which data set by opening a file in the alphanumeric folder, mdsyncinfo.txt in a text editor. Once you are sure which is your up to date alphanumeric folder you can delete the other alphanumeric folder. Perhaps copy the folder to another location first, just in case you find you have deleted the wrong folder.
    As far as I know there is no way to tell the name of the currently synced data set on your phone.
    You could simply sync each file listed on your phone in turn till you find the one that is up to date.

    Hope this helps.

  4. 4 Posted by ~Dan N on 04 Oct, 2019 12:09 AM

    ~Dan N's Avatar

    Thanks Derek,

    Good information. I’m looking forward to trying to figure this out in the next day or two. Your insights are a great help!



  5. System closed this discussion on 03 Jan, 2020 12:10 AM.

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