Syncing over a shared Dropbox folder

kennethrburke13's Avatar


05 Feb, 2022 10:30 PM

I am trying to use Dropbox to sync Moneydance on my Mac with Moneydance on a second Mac and with Moneydance on my iPhone. I have done this without difficulty for years. The problem is now that the second Mac is connected to a different Dropbox account set up under a shared Dropbox Family plan. I tried sharing the .moneydancesync folder in the primary Dropbox account with the second Dropbox account. That resulted in the second Mac creating another folder named ".moneydancesync (1)", which prevented the second Mac from getting synced data from the first Mac. I can solve the sync problem between the 2 Macs by setting up a separate shared Dropbox folder, but that prevents my iPhone from syncing with Moneydance. Is there any way to allow the 2 Macs and the iPhone all to sync using shared Dropbox folders without tying both Macs to the same Dropbox account?

  1. 1 Posted by dtd on 06 Feb, 2022 01:28 AM

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    just a user - yes it can be done, so I'm just providing a bit of hope, since someone else will provide more detailed instructions.

    (i do this myself, but had to get the instructions from here as well)

    You also seem to have it figured out, as basically that's how I do it. I think your problem is indeed the .moneydancesync (1) bit....

  2. Support Staff 2 Posted by Ethan on 06 Feb, 2022 05:11 PM

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    It sounds like you're following the correct process. I wonder why the folder was created as ".moneydancesync (1)", as the name should be exactly the same on all systems. The only thing I can think of is perhaps you had already tried to set up Moneydance syncing at some point on this second Dropbox account, and it already has a .moneydancesync folder within it, so it renamed the folder upon creation, which I think is generally the naming convention for Macs when a duplicate is created. If that's the case, I think you'd have to remove the existing .moneydancesync folder from this second account first.

    Note that depending on your operating system configuration, files and folders that start with a period may be hidden. The best way to make sure there isn't an existing folder there would be to log into that Dropbox account via the web, which I believe always displays all files and folders through that interface.

    Infinite Kind Support

  3. 3 Posted by kennethrburke13 on 07 Feb, 2022 02:11 AM

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    I think I got it figured out. The trick was to:

    1) Remove both the .moneydancesync and the .moneydancesync (1) folders from
    the second Mac
    2) With Moneydance NOT running on either Mac, share the .moneydancesync
    folder in Dropbox from the first Mac’s Dropbox account to the second Mac’s
    Dropbox account, making sure the shared folder has been added by the second
    Dropbox account.
    3) Copy the Moneydance data files from the first Mac to the second Mac,
    putting them in the default file location in the Mac Library.

    I think what I should have done is set up the shared Dropbox folder on the
    second Mac before installing Moneydance on the second Mac. I should also
    note that I think the Moneydance data files need to be copied to the second
    Mac as well. When I tried to get Moneydance on the second Mac to pull in
    the data files over the Dropbox link I got accounts with wrong balances and
    reminders from several years ago. I don’t know how that happened.

    I hope this is of some help to others.
    Ken Burke

  4. 4 Posted by dwg on 07 Feb, 2022 05:39 AM

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    I'm a fellow user.

    There should be no manual copying of data files at all when you set up syncing.

    On the first system you set up syncing, selecting the method etc.

    On the second machine you use the Moneydance command Open Synced File to attach to the shared location and it then copies the data down to the second machine.

    See the Knowledge Base article:

  5. 5 Posted by derekkent23 on 07 Feb, 2022 08:49 AM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    I agree with dwg you should not copy an actual data set from the primary to the secondary computer. I have tested setting up Moneydance syncing via different Dropbox account all be it using Windows computers. See the note I made on the subject.
    The following shows how too Moneydance sync between two Window computers where the computers use different Dropbox Accounts.

    Tested on Moneydance 2022 using sync method Dropbox Folder, one Windows 11 Primary and Windows 10 secondary computer. Ensure both computers are running the same version and build of Moneydance and Dropbox client is installed on both computers.

    First take a look at the YouTube Tutorial video I put together on the process. Paste address into your browser

    Set up Dropbox Folder syncing as follows:
    1. Select your primary computer and set up syncing FILE enter passphrase and select Dropbox Folder – OK. Note: On new Moneydance builds order for these settings has changed.
    2. On your primary computer use File Explorer to navigate to the “.moneydancesync” folder in Dropbox Folder. Note on Mac “.moneydancesync” may be hidden, try in your Finder window, typing CMD-Shift-G and then pasting ~/Dropbox/.moneydancesync/ into the box to unhide.
    3. Right click on this folder and select SHARE to the right of the Dropbox symbol.
    4. In the window that opens send an email to the person with whom you wish to share.
    5. The recipient of the emails should click on the Dropbox icon to open its window not
    on the “Go to Folder” button in the email. You should see in the Dropbox icon window a note to the effort that “.moneydancesync” is waiting to be shared. Click “Add to Dropbox”.
    6. On the secondary computer wait until the “.moneydancesync” folder appears (on Mac you may need to unhide“.moneydancesync”) and the Dropbox icon registers it is up to date.
    7. On the secondary computer start syncing, FILE ( MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE – DROPBOX FOLDER – NEXT and highlight the Data Set to be synced – NEXT.
    8. Enter your password (passphrase) - FINISH.
    9. Data set should now sync.

    It’s that simple.

    Have Fun, Stay safe.

  6. 6 Posted by kennethrburke13 on 07 Feb, 2022 11:09 AM

    kennethrburke13's Avatar

    Thanks to all for your help and encouragement. I wish I had known of
    Derek's YouTube video before I started this process. It would have saved me
    considerable time and frustration.

    I can see why copying of Moneydance data files should not be needed when
    setting up the second computer. However, when I tried following the
    recommended procedure as in the video I got a file with a bunch of
    incorrect balances and with reminders appearing from several years ago. I
    copied the data files only as a last resort. I don't know where the errors
    came from. I'm hoping my awkward roundabout way of getting things set up
    continues to work going forward from here.

    Best regards,

  7. 7 Posted by derekkent23 on 07 Feb, 2022 03:40 PM

    derekkent23's Avatar

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

    After you copied your data set to your secondary computer and opened it and then proceeded to set up syncing in the normal way for a secondary computer FILE (MONEYDANCE on Mac) – NEW – OPEN SYNCED FILE, syncing having already been set up on the primary computer, I would have expected Moneydance to create a completely new Data Set on the secondary computer ignoring the Data Set you copied to it. Assuming you haven’t changed the name of the original Data Set from the one you copied I would expect the sync created Data Set name on the secondary computer to have a 2 added. Moneydance should have added the 2 so as to leave the copied Data Set intact, but ignored it as part of the syncing. The name of the synced Data Set on the primary computer would be without the 2.

    As for your original problem of an apparently corrupted secondary computer data set is possible you set up secondary computer syncing before all the Data Set was synced across your two Drobox accounts into the Dropbox folder on the secondary computer. Had you closed Moneydance on the secondary computer and waited for initial sync to complete then opened Moneydance again thing may have sorted themselves out, not certain on this one.

    Have Fun, Stay Safe.

  8. System closed this discussion on 09 May, 2022 03:40 PM.

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