The Sync desktop application is available for Windows and Mac operating systems. When you install Sync on your computer the app will create a special Sync folder.
In this article:
The 32 bit Sync desktop app is available for Microsoft Windows XP and macOS 10.6 to 10.8. You’ll need admin privileges on your computer to install Sync. If you are running a modern version of Windows or macOS we recommend installing the 64 bit Sync desktop app.
To install the Sync desktop app:
If you don’t yet have a Sync account, create a free account from the Sync homepage before proceeding.
Once Sync is installed on your computer, you can access the Sync app from the Windows system tray or Mac menu bar.
Installing Sync on multiple computers:
You can install Sync on up to five of your own computers or devices and the contents of the Sync folder will automatically synchronize to each computer. Simply follow the same steps outlined above to install on additional computers.
If you’re installing Sync on computers used by other people (for example team members, employees or family members), you should create a separate Sync account for each person. This will ensure you have control over which folders remain private in your account, and which folders are shared.
Once Sync is installed on your computer, you can access the Sync app by clicking the Sync icon on Windows system tray or Mac menu bar.
Windows system tray:
The Windows system tray is located at the bottom right corner of your screen. If you don’t see the Sync icon in the system tray after installation you may need to click the white up arrow in the system tray first.
Mac menu bar:
The Mac menu bar is located at the top right corner of your screen.
Finding the Sync folder on your computer:
This opens the Sync folder in a new window on your computer. The Sync folder works just like any other folder on your computer.
Once you have installed the Sync desktop app you can drag and drop files or folders directly into the Sync folder on your computer. Additionally, you can use the Save As… file menu option in most applications, to save files to your Sync folder.
Files in your Sync folder are automatically backed up to the cloud.
Adding files and folders to Sync, from your computer:
Working directly out of the Sync folder ensures that you are always backed up.
Adding files to Sync, using the Save As… file menu option from any application:
Because the Sync folder works just like any other folder on your computer, you can save your files directly to Sync from virtually any desktop application you use. For example, to save to Sync from Microsoft Word you would:
Adding files and folders to Sync, using the Sync.com web panel:
You can also use your web browser to upload files and folders from your computer to Sync. See the Uploading files and folders to Sync, using the web panel article for instructions.
The Sync desktop application automatically keeps your files and folder synchronized. The app will display overlay icons on your files and folders, to let you the status of syncing.
Overlay icons are displayed on all file and folders in your Sync folder.
In sync – a green circle with a check mark means the file or folder has finished syncing (backed up to the cloud) and is up-to-date.
Shared – a green circle with a share icon means the file or folder has been shared as a team shared folder or a link, and is up-to-date.
Sync in progress – a blue circle with rotating arrows means the file or folder is in the process of syncing.
A file or folder isn’t syncing – a grey circle with a minus sign means the file or folder is not syncing. This can can occur if you have configured selective sync, or if the file name contains invalid characters. The Progress tab may provide more detail.
Error – a red circle with an x means that Sync is unable to sync the file or folder. This can occur when your storage quota is full (can’t upload), or your hard drive is full (can’t download), or there is a technical issue preventing syncing. Contact support if you see this.
The app will display a status icon in the Windows system tray or Mac menu bar that shows overall syncing status.
The Sync status icon is located in the Windows system tray or the Mac menu bar.
In sync – a check mark means all files in your Sync folder have finished syncing (backed up to the cloud) and are up-to-date.
Indexing – a spinning icon means that the Sync app is indexing or transferring your files. Indexing means that the app is verifying that your files are in sync. When files are transferring you can view the transfer status by clicking the spinning Sync icon.
Paused – a circle with minus sign means that the Sync app is paused (not running). Click the icon and select Resume. If the Sync app keeps pausing contact support.
Error – an alert symbol means that Sync is unable to synchronize your files and folders. This can occur if you temporarily lose your network connection, or if you go over quota. If the Sync app is stuck in this state contact support.
Desktop app settings are specific to the computer you have installed Sync on. Account-wide settings are managed exclusively from the Sync.com web panel. Once Sync is installed on your computer, you can access the Sync desktop app preferences as follows:
Run When Computer is Started – Sync automatically starts when you sign into your computer. With this option disabled you would have to manually start Sync. Enabled by default.
Show Desktop Notifications – When multiple people are collaborating, the Sync app will display pop-up notifications, letting you know if the file has changed. Desktop notifications may also include important account, file and system notifications. Enabled by default.
Use Black and White Menu Icon – This option is available on Mac computers, and changes the menu bar icon to be a more neutral color.
Show Icon Overlays – The Sync app displays status icons over every file and folder in the Sync folder when enabled. Enabled by default.
Install Updates Automatically – Automatic updates ensure you are always running the latest version of Sync, which is recommended for security and performance.
Report Errors to Server – When the Sync app encounters an error, a notification is sent to our QA team for further review. This helps our team identify and solve issues.
Change password – Change a forgotten password directly from the desktop app. This feature can disabled.
Export a listing if all files – Click Generate to download a .CSV document listing all files in your Sync folder and Vault. This is useful for auditing everything you have in Sync.
Uninstall – See the how to uninstall Sync articles for more details.
Bandwidth settings – You can limit app transfer speed, which is useful if you have limited bandwidth available. Automatic is the fastest setting.
Disk Cache – To improve performance, the Sync app temporarily stores file data in a hidden cache folder, located inside the Sync folder. The temporary cache takes up additional space on your computer and is automatically cleared from time to time. You can manually clear the cache or adjust the automatic cleanup schedule.
Configure a Network Proxy – This is an advanced network configuration that can enable Sync to work behind a SOCKS5 VPN service. The default proxy type is Automatic (no proxy).
SSL Certificates – Allow Sync to be used behind corporate firewalls that utilize trusted third-party SSL certificates. Disabled by default.
The progress tab provides file transfer details, and lists any files or folders that are not syncing. If your files are not syncing, this is a good place to start troubleshooting.
The Advanced tab allows you to control which folders get synced to each computer, a feature called selective sync. Selective sync is typically used if Sync is installed on multiple computers, and you want to control which folders (in your Sync folder) get synchronized to each computer.
The Sync desktop app includes an auto-update feature to ensure you’re always running the latest version. Auto-updates are enabled by default.
If you do not have auto-updates enabled, you can manually update Sync as follows:
To update the Sync desktop app from the menu:
If the option is not available, you can update the Sync desktop app from the download page:
Sync is now upgraded to the latest version.
What version of Sync am I currently running?
If you have the Sync desktop app installed on multiple computers, you can control which
folders within your Sync folder get synced to each computer. This is accomplished via selective sync as follows:
Note: the Sync app does not automatically delete unchecked folders.
When a folder is deselected via selective sync it will show a grey circle with a minus sign overlay icon, signifying that it is no longer syncing and safe to delete from your computer (to free up space). If you re-check a folder in the future, Sync will re-download it from the cloud.
Controlling folder access with team shared folders:
If you are trying to use selective sync to control which folders other people can access, we recommend you setup team shared folders instead. Team shared folders give you granular control over folder access. See the how to use team shared folders article for more details.
Freeing up space with Vault:
If you are trying to use selective sync to store files or folders in the cloud only, we recommend you use Vault instead. See the what is Vault article for more details.
Sync provides a number of ways to audit and confirm that the files in your Sync folder have been successfully uploaded to the cloud.
This article covers files in your Sync folder only – see here to verify files uploaded to Vault.
The desktop app status icon and progress tab:
The Sync desktop app automatically verifies all files and folders in your Sync folder for consistency, and the status icon in the Windows system tray or Mac menu bar will display as in sync when verification is confirmed.
To prevent syncing problems across different operating systems and platforms, a subset of incompatible characters are not supported by Sync. Files named with these characters may be skipped (not uploaded), and will be listed under the desktop app progress tab (regardless of syncing status).
You can access the Sync desktop app progress tab as follows:
If you see a file listed under the progress tab as skipped, the easiest solution would be to rename the file without these characters. View the full list of incompatible characters.
Export full file listing:
With the Sync desktop app installed, you can export a full listing of all files stored in your Sync folder and Vault, which makes auditing easier. Here’s how:
A .CSV file will download to your computer, which you can open, to search for specific files and verify your files stored in the cloud.
See the how to uninstall Sync articles for more details.
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