My Experience with Dropbox (Syncing) and Monterey 12.3.1

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dtd

11 Apr, 2022 11:55 PM

It appears Apple was about to force me to upgrade from 12.2.1 to 12.3.1 due to the security upgrades in 12.3.1

I had been concerned about Dropbox changes (moving the files to a different directory, etc.) but I decided to upgrade today vs. having Apple do it for me.

This is MY experience, if yours is different, post here.

I use Dropbox Folder, so the dropbox location is hardcoded ( /users/[user]/Dropbox )

I was prepared to change to Shared Folder, and enter what I've read is the new location ( ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox )

Obviously I had all hidden folders showing as I would probably have to look around for files.

So, I upgraded. And I guess waiting was good, because everything "just worked" (yes, online only files didn't, but that doesn't relate to this discussion).

Either neither Dropbox/OpenDrive moved the files, or they did fantastic symlinks, as I couldn't even locate the Library/CloudStorage area.

So, they may have already fixed what Moneydance users would be concerned with, or they'll break it later, or maybe I'm "grandfathered in" to the old method. I honestly don't know, as the internet has seemed very quiet on this subject since end of January.

So - so far, so good.

Your experiences?

Showing page 2 out of 2. View the first page

  1. 31 Posted by boreham on 20 Apr, 2022 11:03 AM

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    I changed over both computers to the new CloudStorage location at the same time, so the .moneydancesync folder was in ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox/ on both.

    So I did exactly the same on the Secondary Mac (M1 MBA running Monterey) as on the Primary. Selected Shared Folder option and then selected the .moneydancesync folder.

    As I said I was surprised to be able to do this because in the past, the Sync options have been greyed out on the Secondary computer. Perhaps because the selected Sync method was Shared Folder on Primary Mac, this didn't apply.

  2. 32 Posted by peter3 on 20 Apr, 2022 11:10 AM

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    Thanks for getting back so quickly.

    Maybe I'm overthinking this BUT my secondary computer is Intel and doesn't have the Library/Cloud Storage folder.

  3. 33 Posted by boreham on 20 Apr, 2022 11:31 AM

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    My understanding is that the change to the CloudStorage folder is driven by macOS 12.3 and later, not just Apple Silicon, and will apply to all Macs running 12.3 or later in due course.

    If you are keeping your Intel Mac on Catalina it should not be forced to CloudStorage location, although it might happen anyway, don't know.

    My guess is that it would be possible to set up hybrid (one Mac on old, one on new location) syncing using the appropriate syncing method on each. As Maddy said the "Dropbox Folder" method is. just a special preset case of "Shared Folder".

  4. 34 Posted by peter3 on 20 Apr, 2022 11:34 AM

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    Thanks for your views.

    I've got a couple of hours to spare so I might play around with it and see what happens!!

  5. 35 Posted by peter3 on 20 Apr, 2022 11:50 AM

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    Ah well, full of good intentions, but I had forgotten that I had other apps synched with DropBox folder and I am loathe to have to reset, and maybe break, them as well as,potentially, MD.

    MD is working perfectly at the moment using the DropBox folder system so I'll leave well alone.

    Thanks, once again.

  6. 36 Posted by boreham on 20 Apr, 2022 12:01 PM

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    Yes there isn't a rush. A lot of things will become clearer as it rolls out. I am a bit of a glutton for punishment by forcing it early.
    I have two other apps that use Dropbox, DEVONthink and Reunion. Changing the path for these was straightforward.

  7. 37 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 20 Apr, 2022 06:27 PM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    For anyone watching, @v3hanson’s issues are resolved. Had to basically set up all his syncing again….

  8. 38 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 10:00 AM

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    Hi boreham

    Just thougfht I'd let you know that in the end I did try reinstalling DropBox.

    I installed the (very) latest beta version after completely uninstalling the existing stable version and........it was installed in the old location!!

    I did wonder, as you used the Shared Folder system, could that system be used to sync MD with iCloud Drive?

    Edit - I just looked and realised that iDrive Cloud is listed anyway for synching. Seems like an ideal opportunity to try that and dump Dropbox.

  9. 39 Posted by dwg on 21 Apr, 2022 10:06 AM

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    You can sync Mac desktops using iCloud, but at this time not the mobile app,

  10. 40 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 10:08 AM

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    Thanks for that. I don't use the mobile app at the moment but will bare it in mind for the future.

  11. 41 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 10:14 AM

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    Hello Peter,

    As well as completely uninstalling, did you also sign out of Dropbox?

    This is the thread with the detailed discussion about this issue and the process. I am Michael B.10 in the thread:

    https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Dropbox-desktop-client-builds/Beta-...

    Note in the thread I didn't actually use 147.3.4765 though pretty sure it would work.

  12. 42 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 10:21 AM

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    Hi boreham

    'As well as completely uninstalling, did you also sign out of Dropbox?'

    Yes, after looking on the Dropbox forum a lot of members are still waiting for the beta versions to correctly locate in Library so I'm not alone.

    I've just completed my MD sync with iCloud Drive so I'll give that a bash for a while and see how it goes.

    Thanks for you help and advice.

  13. 43 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 10:23 AM

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    My last edit was only a split second before your reply, so you may not have seen the link I added there?

  14. 44 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 10:27 AM

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    Hi boreham

    I thought that was you.

    I actually used 148.2.1667 but it failed to locate correctly.

  15. 45 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 10:33 AM

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    "I actually used 148.2.1667 but it failed to locate correctly"

    That is odd. I did the whole completely uninstall and sign-out process on both my Macs and the Dropbox relocation happened on both.

    Stupid suggestion...just checking you realise that the old Dropbox folder will still appear in its old location...it doesn't actually get moved. After the CloudStorage change Dropbox has to download a new set of data to the new location. You might just be looking at the old location and seeing it still there, think nothing had happened.

    To see if it happened you need to look in ~/Library/CloudStorage/ and there should also be a new Dropbox item in the Finder sidebar under "Locations" which is a short cut to the CloudStorage folder.

  16. 46 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 10:38 AM

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    Hi

    I did check both locations and it never turned up where it should have done.

    iCloud Drive seems to working ok so I'll run with that for the time being and look in on the DropBox forum from time to time to see what's happening.

    Thanks again

  17. 47 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 11:18 AM

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    I use Moneydance on iPad and iPhone, otherwise I would have moved to iCloud Syncing of MD by now.

  18. 48 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 12:10 PM

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    Hi boreham

    Me again!

    Just had a hairy half hour - all sorts of problems with iCloud Drive. Tried setting it up several times and the secondary computer (intel mac) always had different data, missing large sums of money and reminders messed up. The primary computer (silicon mac) was okay.

    I trashed iCloud drive and also signed out of, and completely uninstalled, DropBox on both devices. Installed the latest DropBox beta versions on both devices and then set up MD on the primary device to shared folders and selected the correct library folder and it worked ok. On the secondary device I opened MD and selected Shared Folders and, of course, it asked which shared folder? However the library structure is different on the Intel to the Silicon and has no Cloud Storage folder. So I had no folder to select and chose Dropbox in Finder and Uh oh! When MD opened it was empty!!

    Just about had enough of this for now and have reverted back to DropBox Folder.

    When a 'New' file is opened all of the old accounts, which were removed from the side bar, return and I can't find a way to remove them again other than one by one. Is there a way to block remove them?

  19. 49 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 12:46 PM

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    So let me check I have this correct:

    Your Primary Computer now has .moneydancesync folder in ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox/....(as well as in the old ~/Dropbox, unless you have already deleted it....see below) ?

    Your Secondary Computer does not have the CloudStorage folder at all so the .moneydancesync folder is still in the old location ~/Dropbox/ ?

    So my understanding is that on Primary you need "Shared Folder" pointing to the CloudStorage location, and on Secondary computer you can still use "Dropbox Folder" which will point to the ~/Dropbox location.

    As I said earlier, the CloudStorage change is not a Silicon Mac issue but a Monterey 12.3 issue, but I don't know how Dropbox will treat a Catalina Mac, since the Dropbox kernel extension will still work in Catalina, so no need to switch to CloudStorage. From what you have found it will not switch it over to CloudStorage.

    I don't see any reason why a hybrid situation like yours shouldn't work as long as the Syncing method in Moneydance is pointing to the correct .moneydancesync folder on each device, which the above settings should achieve.

    The trap I see is that after the switch to CloudStorage the old .moneydancesync folder will still exist in the old location but will no longer be sync'd by Dropbox...hence my advice to delete it as it will just cause confusion. (check all data has arrived in new location first!)

  20. 50 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 12:57 PM

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    Peter, PS to the above.

    I don't know what effect your adventures with iCloud syncing will have had on your situation. The experts dwg and Stuart would need to comment on that.

    It is possible that it might be necessary to completely reset your sync environment if the iCloud adventure has compromised it.

  21. 51 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 01:09 PM

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    Hi boreham

    I was trying to work out how best to reply to your 1.46 post when you latest arrived.

    In summary iCloud Drive didn't work as it should so I ditched it and everything associated with it. As far as the 'new' settings for Dropbox go I think I achieved them with the primary mac but failed with the intel secondary mac as I had difficulty finding a shared folder to sync with. You might be right in that I maybe shouldn't have used Shared on the secondary but used Dropbox Folder instead and have a hybrid set up.

    Anyway, Dropbox has been removed from ....library/Cloud Storage and both devices are now set they way they were before I broke them. Both now sync perfectly using Dropbox Folder as they did earlier today!

    Thanks for your interest.

  22. 52 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 01:15 PM

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    OK glad you are sorted.

    I am interested in what you did to revert Primary Mac back to using ~/Dropbox instead of ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox

  23. 53 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 01:26 PM

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    To get the Folder into ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox I had to first set up Shared Sync, which then created the folder in that location. It wasn't named moneydancesync but something like 49a2b004-f5d8-…07-25a9edcf4526.

    When I 'threw the towel in' I deleted Dropbox from ~/Library/CloudStorage and the corresponding folder, 49a2b004-f5d8-…07-25a9edcf4526, from within Dropbox, then set up sync again using Dropbox Folder.

  24. 54 Posted by boreham on 21 Apr, 2022 01:42 PM

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    Thanks. I am afraid I don't fully understand.

    The key thing I don't understand is that you reached a position where your Primary computer was set up with the Dropbox cloud syncing with the Dropbox local folder in ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox, but you have reverted it to sync with ~/Dropbox. Perhaps you reverted to a stable version of Dropbox.

    Maybe there are things I don't understand about the Dropbox switch, highly likely!

    Anyway the main thing is that you are sorted and we have probably reached the limit of what can be explained in a forum, so don't feel obliged to try!

    There are some things you said about the Moneydance side that surprised me a bit but I will leave Stuart and dwg to comment if necessary. I have been hoping they have been overseeing this discussion and would interrupt if they saw something that looked wrong.

    PS I have four devices syncing Moneydance (2 Macs, iPhone and iPad) and after any big hiatus like this I make test transactions on each and check they all appear on all devices.

  25. 55 Posted by peter3 on 21 Apr, 2022 02:17 PM

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    Hi boreham

    ‘The key thing I don't understand is that you reached a position where your Primary computer was set up with the Dropbox cloud syncing with the Dropbox local folder in ~/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox, but you have reverted it to sync with ~/Dropbox’.

    Yep! I just checked again and, apart from Onedrive, the Library/Cloud Storage folder is now, definitely, empty and my Silicon mac is synced via Dropbox Folder to my Intel mac.

    I started off with my first Finance Manager on a Commodore Amiga and then moved to MS Money on a PC before venturing on to Quicken and others. Much later I checked out several of the newer Finance Managers and narrowed it down to two, Moneydance and Moneyspire. I bought full versions of each to run side by side and have done so for quite a few years. I still can’t make my mind up which to keep. Both have their good and bad points, but Moneyspire is definitely much easier to sync with!

    Like you, I find that there are a lot of things I don’t understand about Dropbox but I have no problem with either OneDrive or iCloud.

    Still, it’s kept me away from the gardening for a few hours today and that can’t be bad!

    Peter

     

     

    From: boreham <[email blocked]>
    Reply to: <[email blocked]>

  26. 56 Posted by dwg on 22 Apr, 2022 03:07 AM

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    Sorry I have not been following and have only caught the last couple of posts where I saw my nickname mentioned.

    Perhaps I can provide some background even if I cannot answer what games Apple and Dropbox are playing on the Mac.

    Dropbox is a simple concept, you have an account on a server of theirs, you install a client which sets up a local folder, the application runs in background and any new files on one side are replicated to the other, any changed files are also replicated, the application only understand files not their contents. The client uses an API to communicate with the server this same API is made available to developers so they can incorporate the capability directly into their software - this is Dropbox Connection.

    When you use the dropbox client and have the local dropbox folder Moneydance is comparing the contents of the local data in the Moneydance folders with the Moneydance data that is in the Dropbox folder tree and copying missing and updated files back and forwards much like the dropbox client but it is being done locally. It is doing this through the Operating systems disk I/O sub system. This effectively means that any device that looks like a disk to the O/S and you interact with it that way can be used, it really means that under the hood Dropbox folder and shared folder are the same thing, it also means any service that is presented this way can also work which means iCloud. OpenDrive and other similar solutions will work, it also means that devices like NAS and your traditional file servers like CIFS and NFS servers will also work with the desktop platform.

    The issue with the folder options is how is the pointer stored in Moneydance how does it interact with the OS.

    With shared folder I expect to see an explicit pointer to the shard location stored within the data set.

    What I do not know is how the location is recorded in Moneydance with Dropbox folder, is it a explicit pointer, is it some sort of relative pointer, or is there a system level variable that Moneydance is able to refer to. This could impact how an OS upgrade impacts Moneydance syncing

    Equally have Apple taken some action to allow backward compatibility - their past record would suggest this is unlikely, or is Dropbox perhaps setting up something like a sym link so that the folder could appear to reside in the old location as well as the new.

    So there are question marks over upgrading the OS with Moneydance syncing in place and with new install how does Moneydance identify and record where the Dropbox folder is. Using shared folder is a know method that will work as we know at the underlying level this and Dropbox folder works the same, bit with shared folder you are pointing to exactly where the Dropbox folder is in the file system.

    It is not unusual on windows for Users to install the dropbox folder to something like a D drive i.e they place all their user data on a different disk. We know the Dropbox folder setup in Moneydance fails under this scenario, but that using shared folder works.

  27. 57 Posted by Stuart Beesley ... on 22 Apr, 2022 06:38 AM

    Stuart Beesley (Mr Toolbox)'s Avatar

    In MD a shared folder has its party stored within the dataset. But the Dropbox folder path is hard coded in the code. Easy for the developer to change in future tho’

  28. 58 Posted by boreham on 22 Apr, 2022 07:04 AM

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    Thanks dwg and Stuart.

    It doesn't sound as though you have seen anything in what I have written to set alarm bells ringing, and it all seems to work OK.

    The two Moneydance related issues I am puzzled about are:

    1. After selecting and setting up "Shared Folder" on the Primary computer, when I went to the Secondary, I was able to change it and set up Shared Folder with no problem. In the past, using "Dropbox Folder" on the Primary, the Sync method has been greyed out and unchangeable on the Secondary. Is this expected? Perhaps because of the hardwiring you mention?

    2. Peter said he didn't have a .moneydancesync folder, only a long alphanumeric name. Is that because he maybe only has one set of accounts and I have three sets, each with their own alphanumeric name?

    I note you say it easy for the Developer to change the Dropbox hardwired location, which obviously will need to happen. The issue I see is managing the transition, where some users are on old Dropbox location and some on new CloudStorage location. And maybe some who stay on pre Monterey 12.3 OS will stay on old location indefinitely, as Peter's Catalina experience possibly implies.

    I can see some confusion ahead as the Dropbox change rolls out to the main Mac user base! Some of the apparent slowness of Dropbox to implement is considering how to tell their Mac user base they need to change the settings in all the apps which use Dropbox ( I had four apps needing changing)....or maybe they are trying to make the change automagically invisible to users.

  29. 59 Posted by peter3 on 22 Apr, 2022 07:23 AM

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    Hi Guys

     

    Just to add to my confusion, the Silicon mac has always been the primary device and the intel mac the secondary. However, at some point yesterday during my attempts to change to iCloud Drive syncing, then to change to the ‘new’ Dropbox Shared syncing or, lastly, when I changed back to the ‘old’ Dropbox Folder syncing my Silicon mac changed from primary to secondary and my Intel became the primary!!

     

    Peter

     

    From: boreham <[email blocked]>
    Reply to: <[email blocked]>

  30. 60 Posted by peter3 on 22 Apr, 2022 02:06 PM

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    Eureka!

    I have managed to fix syncing with iCloud Drive. The only way I could get it to work properly was by using 'Shared Folder' and pointing each device at iCloud Drive.

    Not wishing to be beaten by Dropbox, I have Signed Out, Quit and completely removed it from both devices.

    I will now wait for the next update to Monterey and AFTER installing it I will try a new installation of Dropbox and see what happens.

    Thanks to all of you for your advice and guidance.

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