Not seeing any MD file in Dropbox Folder

mteplitsky's Avatar


02 Apr, 2018 04:03 AM

Hi - I'm trying to set up sync of MD on my computer (Macbook Air) to my wife's Macbook Pro. We are both running the latest version 2017.7.1.1. I previously had a file backed up via Dropbox Connection but deleted that. Now I choose Dropbox Folder to sync. However, I see now MD file in my local Dropbox folder (I know it can take time, but this is now two hours). So I'm kind of stuck at this stage. Any advice? Thanks

  1. 1 Posted by derekkent23 on 02 Apr, 2018 09:54 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    When you set up syncing on your primary computer FILE – SYNCING you do not create a file in Dropbox. Moneydance creates a hidden folder “.moneydancesync” which contains a sync folder which itself contains other files and folders. Make sure any file finder you use is set to show hidden files/folders.
    On starting syncing with your primary computer wait until Dropbox icon states up to date before syncing with the second computer.
    Start syncing on your second computer by selecting FILE – NEW - OPEN SYNCED FILE
    If you need a more detailed explanation or need to reset syncing post.

    Hope this helps.

  2. 2 Posted by angelatax on 02 Apr, 2018 11:03 AM

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    This comment was split into a new private discussion: Not seeing any MD file in Dropbox Folder

    I'm posting here because my husband and I are having exactly the same problem as mteplitsky following my husband changing his laptop (we are both on Windows). After spending hours and hours following directions from support staff, we are hoping a user may be able to help. We are both using Version 2017.6(1656). We're not sure if it is our lack of knowledge of Dropbox or of Moneydance that is the issue. I have a folder in dropbox called .moneydancesync. This contains a file which is a series of letters, numbers and dashes. This keeps reappearing whether or not I choose a synching method. My husband no longer has the option to choose no synching as his is stuck in 'Dropbox Connection'. Can anyone suggest what our problem is?

  3. Support Staff 3 Posted by Jenny on 02 Apr, 2018 11:35 AM

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    Sorry to hear about the issues you have encountered.
    I had a look over your previous discussions and it seems we didn't hear back after our reply on 5th Jan. Sorry for the confusion.
    I have split your comment from the public thread, so we can troubleshoot to get this working correctly for you again.

    Infinite Kind Support

  4. 4 Posted by angelatax on 02 Apr, 2018 11:52 AM

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    Having spent hours and hours and hours back in November/December/January we just gave up due to work pressures and holidays. Just started trying to resolve again as we really do need to get the synching resolved.


  5. 5 Posted by mteplitsky on 02 Apr, 2018 12:40 PM

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    Derek, thanks so much. Makes sense. Will resume and hope to report
    successful outcome.

  6. 6 Posted by mteplitsky on 03 Apr, 2018 03:05 AM

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    Hi Jenny (and others following this) - still no luck. Succeeded (I think) in syncing via Dropbox folder. Confirmed the (hidden) folder was in Dropbox. Followed instructions for The 2nd computer: New -> Open Synced file - but it doesn't locate any file. We also tried several times to reset (following other discussion posts). I've been trying for hours and hours, since January.....this is really perplexing. Appreciate any further advice or walk-through.

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Apr, 2018 07:51 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    To recap, on your computer you can see in your Dropbox a folder called “.moneydancesync”. In this folder is another folder with an alphanumeric name. This folder contains other files and folders. If you look on your second computers Dropbox folder can you see the same folders and files? If not, can you confirm you are using the same, not different Dropbox accounts on both computers and the Dropbox folder is in the default location on the C drive?

    If all looks as it should be try resetting again.
    1. If you have mobile devices use there setting menu to disconnect.

    1. Set primary computer “Sync Method” to “Don’t Sync” under FILE – SYNCING, then click OK.

    2. On your primary computer use FILE – EXPORT BACKUP to save a backup in case something goes wrong.

    3. On your second computer click on HELP – SHOW DOCUMENT FOLDER to open a file explorer, close Moneydance and delete your data sets “yourdatasetname.moneydance”.

    4. Using your primary computer in the Dropbox folder delete the folder “.moneydancesync”. Watch the Dropbox icon and wait till it states “Up to Date”. This can talk some time.

    5. In your second computer check that in the Dropbox folder that the folder “.moneydancesync” has been automatically deleted. You need to give Dropbox a short time to complete this deletion.

    6. On your primary computer under FILE - SYNCING, set your “Encryption Passphrase”, set “Sync Method” to “Dropbox Folder”, click OK.

    7. Wait for Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync” and its contents to be created. Check the Dropbox icon states “Up to Date”. This can take some time.

    8. Wait until the same Dropbox folder appears on your second computer, again watch the Dropbox icon this time on your second computer and wait till it states “Up to Date”.

    9. On your second computer starting Moneydance should open it in the welcome window, click on “Create a new account set”.

    10. Select “Open Synced File” and use dropdown to select “Dropbox Folder” then click NEXT.

    11. You should see a search screen headed “Select a synced document to open”

    12. After a short search delay, it should then list your un-synced data set name used on your primary computer.

    13. Highlight your data set name and click NEXT.

    14. Enter the encryption password, the “Encryption Passphrase” you set on your primary computer under FILE – SYNCING.

    15. Then click on FINISH. Wait for your data to be synced.

    You may find a lot of old, maybe closed accounts or other accounts you have removed from the side bar reappearing in the second computers side bar. Use the “+” sign at bottom of side bar then ADVANCED to tidy up the side bar.

    If in any step you don’t get things how I describe, detail what you are seeing, including screen shots.

    Hope this helps

  8. 8 Posted by angelatax on 03 Apr, 2018 10:28 AM

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    Thanks Derek for your time. Our problem was more about not seeing the correct file in Moneydance but was very similar to the other poster’s issue. Something Jenny told us helped us resolve our problem. Jenny had made this observation to me:

    “If the sync folder is appearing within Dropbox, without reenabling the sync within the Moneydance file - it seems the sync is also enabled elsewhere, or within another file. Removing the file on your husbands PC should resolve this.”

    We had already cleared all Moneydance related programmes, files and folders on my husband’s PC and downloaded and clean installed the programme so it wasn’t his machine that was giving us the problem and had to be mine. I found by going to File/open and looking in each file that appeared in the list in turn that they were each set to ‘don’t synch’ except one. Once I opened the one that was synching and set it to ‘don’t synch’ and worked through the other steps methodically, everything now works fine between mine and my husband’s PCs and we are both using the same data. Such a relief after spending so much time without success.


    Angela Williams

  9. 9 Posted by derekkent23 on 03 Apr, 2018 11:00 AM

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    Hi, really glad you have resolved your issue and are up and working.

  10. 10 Posted by angelatax on 03 Apr, 2018 11:08 AM

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    Hi my husband and I were having related issues. We have finally, after months, managed to resolve our problem. I don’t know if the following will help you or not but at least it may eliminate some potential problem sources. I assume your PC is ‘main’ one.


    1..Ensure you and your wife are running the same version of Moneydance (MD) – open MD, Help/about Moneydance and check version number. If these are different, download up-to-date versions from website. Double check you now have same versions on each PC. Close MD.

    2..Create a back up of your data – File/export back up and save to USB stick, external hard drive or desktop but not Dropbox (DB). For safety, check file has been created and is useable by opening it in Moneydance (MD) – open MD then File/restore from back up. Close MD.

    3..Open MD on your PC and stop synching - File/synch, set to ‘don’t synch’. Close MD. Get your wife to do the same on her machine.

    4..Go to your DB, delete all ‘.moneydancesynch’ folders and all files within them. Get your wife to do the same (if she has any).

    5..MD should still be closed on both machines. Now check DB for both of you. There should be no MD files or folders. If there are, there is a MD file or folder somewhere on one of your machines that is still synching (see below).

    6..Open MD (your data should be there). Close MD. Now look in your DB. If there is a ‘.moneydancesynch’ folder in DB, there must be a file somewhere on one of your machines (probably yours) that is still synching (see below).

    7..Find the file that is synching by opening MD then File/open and opening in turn each of the files listed on the dropdown menu and making sure they are set to ‘don’t synch’ and closing that file. You may find none that are set to ‘synch’ but at least that possible issue is eliminated.

    8..Both go back into DB and delete any MD files that may have appeared. If nothing was set to ‘synch’ I don’t think there should be any.


    We then worked through as follows:

    8…Close MD. Open the file you want to share in MD. Check DB. Should be no MD files.

    9..Set your file to synch (folder or connection option – I believe if you bought MD as an app you will need to use ‘connection’). Look in DB. A ‘.moneydancesynch’ folder should appear. You may need to close MD and reopen to make this happen. Close MD.

    10..Open DB. Right click on the MD synch folder. Click on share. Enter wife’s details and ‘Can edit’ in drop down.

    11. Your wife will get an email and she needs to follow instructions to share the folder. The folder should then appear in her DB with the couple icon over the folder indicating sharing. Yours should look the same. If you both open the folder you should be able to see the same alpha-numeric file name inside the folder on your own DB.

    12. Your wife opens MD, File/new, open synched file, select DB folder or connection (the same as you used). The next screen should then offer the option to select the alphanumeric file name that you both have in DB. Your wife should select this and open the file.

    13.. She can then go to File/synch, synch.

    14..Voila – you should hopefully now be able to synch and share data.


    Best of luck – I hope this worked for you.


  11. 11 Posted by mteplitsky on 05 Apr, 2018 03:38 AM

    mteplitsky's Avatar

    Thanks much Derrick and Angela for taking the time to share so carefully.

    On my end - Still not working. Though I've carefully read all the posts and
    I think I understand them well.

    The problem now is - on both my computer and my wife's, the moneydancesync
    continues to pop up. And I can't figure out why. File sync on all accounts
    is off.
    Should I just wipe out Moneydance on both computers (including the App) and
    try fresh reinstall?

  12. 12 Posted by angelatax on 05 Apr, 2018 07:55 AM

    angelatax's Avatar

    To be honest I don’t think the fresh install will change things. We did that and the synch file still popped up in Dropbox. My view is that there is still, on one or both of your machines, a Moneydance file that is set to synch. The Dropbox file would not appear otherwise. It took us quite a while to find all our Moneydance files on both machines. We found that it’s not easy to identify the Moneydance files because we had created backups previously and also because we’d saved some files in different locations. Have you done a search on the whole of the computer (including desktop etc) for Moneydance files? The one that is causing problems may be an Archive file.

    Good luck


  13. 13 Posted by derekkent23 on 05 Apr, 2018 07:59 AM

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    I am not support staff, just a user.

    Reading your post I take it to mean your are deleting the “.moneydancesync” folder but when you start Moneydance the folder is recreated. If this is not what is happening then please give details of what you are seeing. Remember we can’t see what you are seeing so the more detail you give the better.

    If this is what is happening then either your primary data set has not been set to don’t sync under FILE – SYNCING, thus when you open the data set the “.moneydancesync” folder is being recreated. Or on your second computer you haven’t delete your data set and when you open it, it recreates the “.moneydancesync” folder.

    Please post when you see the “.moneydancesync” folder being recreated.

    Uninstalling and then reinstalling the Moneydance program from both your computers will not help.

    Reread my post
    And answer the questions it asks and perform steps 1 to 15 then post and report back.

    The following is a overview of how syncing works, it may help.

    When syncing with 2017 you have a primary and a secondary computer. 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.
    Your second computer does not have the same data set as the primary computer. Its data set is created from data synced via Dropbox folder “.moneydancsync” created automatically by the primary computer. The folder “.moneydancesync” may be hidden, so if you are looking for it set whatever your file explorer is called to show hidden File/Folders. The data set has the same naming convention as the primary data set and is stored in the default location on the secondary computer’s hard drive, but it’s not a duplicate of the primary data set. They are not interchangeable. In normal operation Moneydance on your devices reads and writes to the Dropbox folder “.moneydancesync”, 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 encrypted using your sync key (“Encryption Passphrase”). All changes are recorded in this folder and if any of the changes cause conflicts then they are resolved by checking timestamps that are internal to the file (i.e. not the file modification date).

    I good practice to use auto backup under FILE – PREFERENCES BACKUP to backup your data set in case you hard drive fails. However, don’t set the primary and secondary backups to the same Dropbox location or as they have the same naming convention they will overwrite each other. Primary and second backups are not interchangeably.

    So, to up.

    Answer the question already asked.
    Perform steps 1 to 15 in my post.
    Report back in detail, including what you see if one of the steps fail.

    Hope this helps.

  14. 14 Posted by dwg on 05 Apr, 2018 08:43 AM

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    I'm a fellow customer.

    Reinstalling Moneydance should not make any difference to syncing, it will not remove syncing nor change the syncing configuration in any way.

    Syncing information is held within the data files so to reset syncing it is necessary to remove the syncing information from the data set. When you set up syncing it is driven from the system you have deemed is going to be the primary computer, so none of the other computers should have any data on them related to this data set hence delete any data on them that relates to previous attempts to sync with these machines.

  15. 15 Posted by mteplitsky on 05 Apr, 2018 12:29 PM

    mteplitsky's Avatar

    Ah, maybe that's it! I didn't search the whole machine, and I had a couple
    of files backed up in Archive. Need to check my wife's machine this

    This has become....I feel like I'm in an episode of NYPD, on the trail of
    the culprit. Mildly exciting even.
    Still, I DO hope MD ultimately can simplify this, this is not exactly

    Thank you Angela.

    ALSO - thank you JENNY (I forgot to acknowledge you last night)

  16. 16 Posted by dwg on 05 Apr, 2018 10:32 PM

    dwg's Avatar

    I'm a fellow customer.

    This style of syncing or replication in the Personal computer space is rather a rarity. You see it more in the server or storage space but even there it tends to be in a single direction not the multi-directional syncing that Moneydance has.

    Conceptually at least the method used in Moneydance is reasonably straightforward, much more so than many solutions. The devil can be in the detail and the need to be fairly rigid in the approach taken to setting it up, there is no room to be "creative".

    As always, with any computer software, when something goes wrong it can be difficult to fix, how many times have you heard a PC user being told to wipe everything and reinstall from scratch .... With a solution like syncing it can be better to take it back to being a single machine installation and set up the syncing from scratch, but to do that effectively it is necessary to remove any sign of the syncing set up.

    My 2 cents worth.

  17. 17 Posted by mteplitsky on 09 Apr, 2018 12:58 AM

    mteplitsky's Avatar

    Thanks - again, you make a lot of sense. I see now, conceptually, this
    process makes sense to me, AND there's no margin for error (i.e. the one
    stray file on the computer)

  18. 18 Posted by dwg on 09 Apr, 2018 01:39 AM

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    Given Moneydance stores the synchronization setup in the data set - and there is no other place for it, although come to think of it it would be nice if it was kept in a separate file within the data set to enable easy and complete cleanup of the information in need, it means that any data set could have information from previous attempts including the linkage to the remote files, the role this system plays etc.

    So cleaning up any previous attempts is important when you are trying to re-setup syncing. Some people have thought it would be a good idea to seed the remote systems by copying the data between the systems manually and while this works well on large storage systems designed to do this, Moneydance is not designed this way and attempting to do this will cause problems.

  19. System closed this discussion on 09 Jul, 2018 01:40 AM.

  20. mteplitsky re-opened this discussion on 10 Jan, 2019 03:23 AM

  21. 19 Posted by mteplitsky on 10 Jan, 2019 03:29 AM

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    Hi Derek and others: Last year you helped me try to figure out why I couldn't sync my MD with my wife. I admit, I just gave up - couldn't figure it out. Now months later (and with tax-season lurking) I'm trying again. And have the same issue. Followed MD and your instructions. The roadblock remains at step 12 of prior instructions: "12. Your wife opens MD, File/new, open synched file, select DB folder or connection (the same as you used)." - Neither my wife or I actually see the synched MD file on our local computers - we DO see them in Dropbox on the web. I understand some DB files or folders can be "hidden' on local machines, but don't understand how to view them, if that's the case. Well, trying one more time...Thank you

  22. 20 Posted by dwg on 10 Jan, 2019 03:54 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    If you are using Dropbox Folder you will have moneydance files withing your dropbox folder on the local machine. However if you use Dropbox Connection the only copy of the moneydance files on your local computer will be in the moneydance data directory

  23. 21 Posted by mteplitsky on 10 Jan, 2019 04:50 AM

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    Thanks so much for the fast and clear reply. Yes, we chose Dropbox
    Connection. Ok, we'll try that (but tomorrow) and I'll report back

  24. 22 Posted by mteplitsky on 11 Jan, 2019 05:02 AM

    mteplitsky's Avatar

    Thanks - tried, and still no luck. This time, we started from scratch,
    tried with Dropbox folder. The 2nd machine seems to recognize or sync the
    file, but nothing (data) appears in her Moneydance. I'm quite good with
    computers and software, but I admit I just can't get my head around this.

  25. 23 Posted by dwg on 11 Jan, 2019 05:30 AM

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    Before setting up the second computer it is a good idea to wait till Dropbox has copied all the data to the dropbox folder on this machine.

  26. 24 Posted by mteplitsky on 11 Jan, 2019 01:22 PM

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    Ok, Thanks - you've inspired me to try yet one more time.

  27. System closed this discussion on 12 Apr, 2019 01:30 PM.

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