- Can I contact you directly?
- I bought the upgrade but it’s not recognized anymore
- Sticky notification “Watching data, network, battery,…”
- Manual sync works but autosync doesn’t
- Write access to external SD card on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and Later
- I can’t sync folders on external SD card on Android 4.4 (KitKat)
- Instant upload sometimes does not work
- Upload/download does not preserve file timestamps
- “Folder does not exist” error message
- How secure are your sync apps?
- How to sync Google Drive computer backup folders
- “Google Docs are not real files and cannot be downloaded” error
- DriveSync fails with “multiple files with the same path” error
- Can I sync contacts and calendar events?
- My device is rooted and I want to sync files in /data folder
- Your app does not speak language… / I found wrong text in language…
- Can I get early access to the new features?
Can I contact you directly?
Sure! Feel free to email me
|Other Android firstname.lastname@example.org|
If you have sync issues, it would be very good to find a reliable way to reproduce the problem. Everything is much easier if I can see it on my device myself. I’d also like to get the app log file which contains detailed information about the sync operation. Please go to Settings / Support, enable logging, reproduce the problem, then go back to Settings / Support and select Send Log File. Choose GMail or whatever you use as email client in the list of choices. When you send the log file, tell me what you did, step-by-step and the names of problematic files/folders so that I can look for them in the log file.
The log file does not contain your login credentials to cloud storage services.
I bought the upgrade but it’s not recognized anymore
Please see this article: In-app upgrade troubleshooting
Sticky notification “Watching data, network, battery,…”
This is Android 8+ style notification shown when autosync is enabled. You can customize its display via app Settings > Notifications.
Google requires that apps running in the background must display an ongoing notification so that users know something is running behind the scene. You can hide that ongoing notification in the app Settings > Notifications. But then Android system will display its own notification. The exact wording depends on device model. Usually it’s something like “App is running in the background”, or “App is draining battery” which sounds scary but in our case that only means app is running in the background to monitor network connection, time and detect file changes to sync automatically. On Android 8.1 and 9.0 you can hide that system notification. Long press on it will reveal the hide/show option. On devices running 8.0 you’d need a 3rd party app. Search the web for “app is running in the background notification oreo” will show you plenty of articles about this topic.
This is not a bug in the app. This change is required by Google Play since November 2018. We could choose to release an update and show an ongoing notification, or never release any app update again and force users to live with the last app version from October 2018.
Manual sync works but autosync doesn’t
For autosync (including instant upload) to work apps must run in the background. There are several reasons why they might not
- Some devices do not allow apps to autostart when the user turns on their device. You need to go to device system settings and grant the autostart permission to the app.
- When the app is updated from Google Play to a newer version, it should be automatically re-started. Sometimes on some devices it doesn’t happen. This is a bug in those devices. You must manually open the app at least once after it has been updated.
- In Android 6.0 (and later) there is a new feature called “Doze mode” which prevents certain tasks from running if your phone has been sitting idle for a while. The idea here is to save battery life. Furthermore apps which users do not open for some days are considered unused and are suspended (the so called app standby mode). This is certainly not good for background sync apps. You need to turn off doze mode. There is a section in the system settings called “Battery optimization”. Find our apps there and change their battery optimization setting to “Don’t optimize”.
- Some devices have very aggressive Battery management mode. In this mode they do not allow apps to run in the background. Not at all. Samsung, Huawei devices are definitely doing this. You need to turn that “feature” off in the system settings for those apps which you want to run in the background, including our sync apps.
- More details for Huawei devices
- More details for Xiaomi devices
- More details for OnePlus devices
Write access to external SD card on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) and Later
Android 5.0 and later allows apps to write to the SD card, but users must enable the write access themselves. There is also a known system crash bug which happens on some devices if the SD card doesn’t have a disk name. Please read SD Card on Android 5.0 and Later. You also find info how to workaround the crash bug there.
I can’t sync folders on external SD card on Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Please see this article: MicroSD card on Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Instant upload sometimes does not work
There is a bug in Android 6/7/8 which breaks file change monitoring (technically speaking
FileObserver class). Instant
upload relies on this system function to work. It’s not that file change monitoring stops working completely. Sometimes
it works, sometimes it does not. Changes on SD card definitely cannot be detected. We implemented a limited workaround which
works quite well for photos but not for other file types.
This is a system level bug apps cannot do anything about. It must be fixed by Android team.
Even when instant upload does not work, the new or changed file will still be synced later during the normal full sync cycle. Instant upload is a best-effort feature. If a new file is created when the phone is not connected to the internet, or when autosync is not allowed because of low battery level / phone not connected to WiFi etc, upload has to be delayed to some later time anyway.
Upload/download does not preserve file timestamps
When files are uploaded from your device to a remote cloud storage, the file timestamps are supplied as parts of the upload requests. The original file timestamps are preserved, except for very rare occasions when they are not supported by the cloud storage service.
The situation is worse for the download direction. When a new file is downloaded and saved in a device folder, Android is requested to set the timestamp of this new file to the same timestamp from the cloud storage. But this request only works on recent versions of Android and only for files in device internal storage, not for files on SD card. If the request to set a custom timestamp fails, the download time becomes the new file timestamp. The original timestamp is lost.
Timestamp preservation would be very useful and is usually expected in data sync/backup by computer users. Unfortunately it’s not possible without proper support from cloud storage service and Android.
“Folder does not exist” error message
Assume you configured a folder
MyDocuments in your device to be synced with a folder in cloud storage using two-way sync
method. Deletion of a subfolder of
MyDocuments would lead to deletion of the same subfolder in cloud storage. However
deletion of the top level
MyDocuments itself would cause sync to fail. In the Synced Folders tab and folder pair
configuration screen you would see an error message “Folder does not exist”. To correct the error you need to manually
MyDocuments folder or modify the folder pair to use a different and existing folder in the device.
The reason why we chose to make sync work this way is that if the user swaps the SD card or reset the device storage many
MyDocuments, would disappear. That does not mean the user intentionally deleted those folders and all
their files. It could be a severe mistake if sync apps go ahead and delete potentially very many files on cloud storage side.
How secure are your sync apps?
All communications between our apps and cloud storage servers happen over encrypted channel (https/ssl). It’s safe to use the apps over public WiFi. Apps do not know your cloud storage service login. They use OAuth mechanism. The user logs into cloud storage service, then asks it to grant an access token to the app. The token is specific to the app and the user. It’s stored in app private space on the device and stays there. Other apps on the same device cannot see the token.
MEGA (mega.nz) cloud storage is an exception. It does not use OAuth. Files are encrypted by the sync app in device before being uploaded to MEGA servers. Encrypted files are downloaded from MEGA servers then decrypted in device. The encryption keys are protected by the user password. MEGA servers do not know the password and cannot read your files. But the sync app must know the password to be able to carry out file encryption and decryption. During the login process a session key is generated from the password and stored in your device. The password as such is not stored. The session key is used to do the actual data encryption/decryption. It can be revoked by the user on MEGA website.
Files downloaded from cloud storage server are stored in the device internal storage or SD card. Other apps can read or write these files. We see this as a feature, not as a security problem. The internal storage and SD card are shared by all apps in Android. After all there is no point to use our sync apps to download files to your device, yet do not allow other apps to use them.
How to sync Google Drive computer backup folders
The “Backup and Sync” desktop client from Google can backup any folders in the user’s computer to Google Drive. The backups are stored in the “Computers” Google Drive folder. It does not show up inside “My Drive”. But there is a trick to let DriveSync access those backups. For details see this article: Sync Google Drive computer backup folders
“Google Docs are not real files and cannot be downloaded” error
Google Drive is a cloud storage service where you can store regular files. It is also a cloud-only office application suite, formerly known as “Google Docs”. You can use Google cloud-only applications to create, edit, view documents, spreadsheets, presentations, drawings, etc… These Google docs show up in your Google Drive account, but they are not real files. They do not take any space in your Google Drive. They cannot be downloaded in their native format to your computer or phone. The only way to access them is through Google applications.
If DriveSync sees a Google app document it prints this error message in the sync history window and moves to the next file.
DriveSync fails with “multiple files with the same path” error
Please see this separate article: Google Drive: Multiple Files with the Same Path
Can I sync contacts and calendar events?
This is a file sync app. It only syncs files and folders in the device internal storage or SD card. Contacts and calendar events are not stored in regular files. They are stored in private databases. If you want to sync them, you need to use a different app, for example Gmail which works pretty well for many users.
My device is rooted and I want to sync files in /data folder
Only regular files and folders stored in user accessible device storage and SD card can be synced. If the device is rooted, the app could acquire root permission to access private files and folders, for example those under /data. But there is another problem. Files stored in /data are owned and manipulated by their apps. It’s quite common that those apps keep the files open and write to them. If we want to upload those files or download them (overwrite the existing copies in the device) we would need to force stop their apps first. This would be very annoying to the users. Imagine you are playing a game. That game updates its data. Now autosync runs to upload the modified files but first it kills the game. Not good.
Your app does not speak language… / I found wrong text in language…
Translation is a volunteer community effort. If you want the app to speak your language or want to improve the current translation please join us. For details please see How to translate our apps to your language.
Can I get early access to the new features?
Please see Beta Testing.