Sync between 2 Mac desktops

Liz's Avatar


30 Jan, 2022 09:33 PM

I just updated my Moneydance to their 2022 version and I see it has iCloud. I have a Mac at home and I will be buying another Mac for an apartment in another state. Will Moneydance automatically sync between the 2 Macs? I don't want to use Dropbox (never used it) and I'm not all that tech savvy. It would be so lovely if I could work with Moneydance in one location and when I get to the other location see everything I've done!

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Ethan on 30 Jan, 2022 09:39 PM

    Ethan's Avatar


    We have detailed instructions for setting up syncing between multiple computers at:

    Note that at the moment, iCloud is only available for syncing between desktop systems. We hope to roll it out for the mobile app at some point, but I'm not sure when that will be. If you want to sync between mobile devices or operating systems other than Macs, Dropbox would be the option to choose.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

    Infinite Kind Support

  2. Ethan closed this discussion on 30 Jan, 2022 09:39 PM.

  3. Liz Fineo re-opened this discussion on 17 Feb, 2022 09:28 PM

  4. 2 Posted by Liz Fineo on 17 Feb, 2022 09:28 PM

    Liz Fineo's Avatar

    Hi Ethan,

    So, I ended up buying a MacBook Air instead of a Mac desktop. I used my external drive to set up my laptop and everything went smoothly including Moneydance. I can work in both computers but obviously they’re not syncing. I looked at the website you provided but I have to say it’s daunting for someone like me who is not very tech savvy. My accounts go all the way back to 2011(!) and I’m petrified of screwing everything up! Is there a number I can call with someone who could walk me through this? A help line of some kind?


  5. Support Staff 3 Posted by Ethan on 19 Feb, 2022 11:25 PM

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    Hi Liz,

    Unfortunately we are a small company, and cannot offer live phone support. I'd be happy to offer you support via this method.

    Note that just turning on syncing should affect your main data file, if that's helpful. As in, if something goes wrong in the syncing setup process that's described in that link, the worst that should happen is that your second computer just won't be set up to sync. Your data will remain the same on the first computer, and we can always try the process again.

    Infinite Kind Support

  6. 4 Posted by liz Fineo on 20 Feb, 2022 03:22 AM

    liz Fineo's Avatar

    I’m thinking you meant “shouldn’t” affect!!
    Do I really need to encrypt everything. I can’t just sync without doing that?

    Sent from my iPhone

  7. 5 Posted by dtd on 20 Feb, 2022 03:57 AM

    dtd's Avatar

    just a user

    You are right,he meant shouldn't.

    Don't worry about encryption, you don't need to do anything - many here are worried about privacy when sending things through dropbox or icloud - the data is encrypted automatically. You need to do nothing.

    Here's how it works - you have a primary computer with your moneydance database. It has all your data. You set up syncing - and your data (encrypted) is sent up to dropbox/icloud. You go to your (secondary) computer and say - hey go grab the data - and boom - your secondary computer has the same information. And both computers can put in new data and each computer can see it. (My spouse and I do this - I just happen to be the primary computer).

    Now - yes - you probably still need to read the instructions - but I hope this helps explain how it all works.

  8. 6 Posted by dtd on 20 Feb, 2022 04:00 AM

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    just as an aside - it seems like you put your MD file on both computers. That's not how it works as far as syncing goes. You set up one computer (primary) with your file, set up syncing, then get the other (secondary) computer to grab the information from the primary. From that point forward, it's a syncing relationship.

  9. 7 Posted by Liz Fineo on 20 Feb, 2022 07:58 PM

    Liz Fineo's Avatar

    Thanks so much! I don’t mean to be a pain but when I click on iCloud Drive the next window asks for an “Encryption Password”. How do I get around that?

  10. 8 Posted by dwg on 20 Feb, 2022 08:25 PM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    The encryption password is used as a key to encrypt the data at one end and decrypt it at the other, it is something that only you should know like any password you may have e.g. for internet banking.

    You make up a password yourself and use it.

  11. 9 Posted by Liz Fineo on 20 Feb, 2022 09:28 PM

    Liz Fineo's Avatar

    OMG! I took a very deep breath and did it and it worked! Thank you SO very much. I feel like I just conquered Everest!

  12. Support Staff 10 Posted by Ethan on 20 Feb, 2022 09:42 PM

    Ethan's Avatar

    That's great to hear!

    Infinite Kind Support

  13. Ethan closed this discussion on 20 Feb, 2022 09:42 PM.

  14. Liz Fineo re-opened this discussion on 04 Mar, 2024 10:01 PM

  15. 11 Posted by Liz Fineo on 04 Mar, 2024 10:01 PM

    Liz Fineo's Avatar

    Hi there. Hope you’ve been well…… New question for you……. I had heard that Moneydance doesn’t work well with the new macOS, Sonoma. Haven’t updated to it because of that. Everything is working so well syncing using the cloud between my 2 computers - don’t want to jinx it. Has there been any change to that problem???


  16. 12 Posted by dwg on 04 Mar, 2024 10:34 PM

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    Apple have made some changes to how iCloud works in Sonoma. The feedback is these changes are not completely compatible with the way Moneydance syncing works hence it results in slower performance.

    The general syncing products that you see are normally geared to work around fairly common file usage, think pictures, documents etc. Moneydance is quite different, past the initial setup, it is working with incremental data, performing a lot of small rapid read and writes of data files. There are various techniques developers can use in providing sch services, I have not done any research of what iCloud does, but for example one technique involves sparse files and I suspect this technique may not work well with Moneydance.

    What has been found is the way Dropbox has been implemented works pretty well with Moneydance and it would seem the iCloud implementation now does not work as well.

    Some have suggested change Moneydance, I doubt if it is feasible to change Moneydance's architecture to suit Apple's iCloud implementation.

  17. 13 Posted by Sasha on 12 Apr, 2024 02:29 AM

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    Just another Mac user here, a MD aficionada from way back. I upgraded one of my laptops to Sonoma (the other is too old) before I knew of the incompatibility, and learned to live with the slow syncing. From laptop to ipad the sync is about a minute, sometimes two. I’ve discovered no other difficulties, and suggest that you, Liz, go ahead and update your Mac, if you can handle that delay.

    Anyone who wants to disagree, please chime in.

  18. 14 Posted by dwg on 12 Apr, 2024 03:21 AM

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    Performance is the usual problem being reported with iCloud

    If it is unacceptable then Dropbox is the alternative.

    My expectation is that not all syncing solutions will be compatible with Moneydance syncing. Standard file service type solutions should be fine, but some of the so called "smart" solutions could be using approaches that do not meet Moneydance's needs.

    Mobile devices will be a limiting factor given Moneydance is using API's to sync the data today, hence only those APIs that are inbuilt can be used, which limits it to Dropbox with Android and Dropbox/iCloud with IOS. We will have to see if this changes as the mobile solution is further developed.

  19. 15 Posted by boreham on 15 Apr, 2024 07:01 AM

    boreham's Avatar

    Latest update to Moneydance, 2024 build 5133 lists faster iCloud cycling as one of the changes.

  20. 16 Posted by dtd on 15 Apr, 2024 07:24 AM

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    Still a preview version, but yes, some changes have been made in 5113. It's still not as fast as dropbox, but you don't get the rainbow twirly box as long.

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