Network folder sync creates multiple entries

Community Member
edited November 2015 in Mac


I was wondering if you guys could recommend a "best practice" for network folder syncing. I know, this is not the "preferred" method by AgileBits, but this is a preferred method for me :-)

I sync between my MacBook and Mac mini. Since I don't want to carry around a USB flash drive just for syncing purposes, for me the best way to sync the two machines is via network folder sync. (I don't use cloud services for sensitive data of any kind, regardless how secure they "supposed to" be. One day someone will figure out how to heck into the cloud services, and then good luck to you!)

My usual workflow is, that I do a local folder sync on my desktop since that machine stays put. I usually take my laptop to work daily. There are times I change a setting on the laptop or add a new entry, maybe delete an entry, and I might even do similar editing on the desktop. But usually I don't make a lot of modifications/changes to 1PW so I usually sync once a week or once bi-weekly, etc.

So the desktop is syncing to a local folder, which is good. This folder is designated as a shared folder. When I want to sync, I turn on file sharing on the desktop, then I connect to this shared folder with my laptop over local network and do a sync. Once the syncing is completely, I turn off folder sharing on the laptop (so it won't keep bugging me that the network is unavailable) and turn off file sharing. Done.

I wasn't really paying attention to the details so far, and about 2 days ago I noticed after a sync that I ended up with seven (7!!!) website entries for various logins. Some of my deleted items came back on the machine that I deleted them. Tags I deleted also came back, etc. Since I don't double check the result of the sync because I just blindly trusted it so far, I am not sure when this actually started happening. I'm sure this wasn't the result of a single sync occasion.

It seems the issue is, that when I change an entry on one of the machine, the other obviously doesn't "catch up". Eg, I change the protocol from http to https of a login entry on the laptop, but the desktop still has http for the same entry (since I have not synced). Now, when I actually go ahead and sync, the app for some reason copies the https entry from the laptop to the desktop and copies the http entry from the desktop to the laptop (hence the MERGE - as indicated during the process). But as I was changing the entry at various times in the past, these changes seemed to accumulate, and 2 days ago I noticed now I have 7 entries for the website address!!!

Also, when I delete an entry on the laptop during the week, and do a sync on the weekend, the app just does a merge, and since the entry still exists on the desktop, the app simply merges it back to the laptop where I have deleted it on the first place. Which obviously not good.

I am aware that you guys have a warning in the helpfile, that this is not really a recommended method since networks can go offline (which exactly the case when I disconnect), but Wi-Fi sync is obviously not an option between Macs, and I'm not doing cloud syncing (for the reason I mentioned above).

Can you guys recommend a "better" workflow with network/folder sharing so that I don't keep ending up with multiple entry items (like websites, tags, etc) and the deleted items don't keep migrating back over to the machine from the other computer (where the items still exist)?


1Password Version: 5.4.1
Extension Version: N/A
OS Version: OS X 10.11.1 and 10.10.5
Sync Type: network folder


  • AGAlumB
    1Password Alumni

    @pentool: It sounds like what's happening is that one computer has a lock on the file, which prevents the other from accessing it normally, so you end up with a duplicate copy instead of one being updated. It's best to use a local drive with Folder Sync, as a network share (or its files) will often become unavailable. That way each computer has it's own local copy, which you can synchronize with rsync. I hope this helps! :)

  • pentool
    Community Member

    Thanks brenty! I shall check out rsync...

  • @pentool On behalf of brenty, you're welcome! Let us know if you have any other questions. :)

This discussion has been closed.