Synchronise in background

Starting from version 1.1, you can enable the option „Once synced, keep synced in background“ in the Advanced tab of a sync item’s settings. After the sync has been run as usual, files will be automatically transferred as soon as they are created or modified on the source (or removed, if the option „Remove files not on source“ is enabled). For a two-way sync, this also applies for the destination.

A background sync will run indefinitely and cannot be restarted until canceling it from the context menu. Canceling a background sync will stop it from monitoring future changes.

Please note that after restarting the app, a sync will compare the whole source and destination again before monitoring for changes in background. While the changes for this first sync have to be confirmed by default, background changes are always applied without confirmation.

Please note that changes on a volume can only be detected when they are performed from the local Mac. This functionality is based on a macOS feature that works best when performing file operations inside the Finder and document-based apps and works for Terminal command such as touch, copy and move as well. If you find a use case that does not trigger background syncing, please visit the Contact page.

Remove files that are excluded or not on source

The option „Remove files not on source“, which you can find you can find in the Destination tab in the sync item’s settings, behaves differently depending on the sync type.

  • One-way sync: all files/directories that are not on the source (anymore) and are not excluded will be removed. You can choose to remove excluded files, too, by checking the option „Remove excluded files“.
  • Two-way sync: a file that exists on either the source or the destination will be removed only if its modification date is older than the last sync and it is not excluded (please read more about how single files are compared in two-way syncs). If a sync is run for the first time, no file will be removed. The option „Remove excluded files“ will remove excluded files from both the source and the destination.
  • One-way move: because all successfully copied files will be removed from the source, no file will be removed from the destination. Only the option „Remove excluded files“ will be considered.

The option „Remove excluded files“, which you can find in the Advanced tab in the sync item’s settings, deletes all files that are excluded by any of the filters in the Exclude tab of a sync item’s settings. As an example, this option can be useful to delete hidden files left over by a previous copy performed in the Finder. In this case it is recommended to enable this option only at the beginning, run the sync once, and then keep it disabled, so that it will leave hidden files such as .DS_STORE files (which store Finder metadata) and the .Spotlight-V100 directory (which contains the Spotlight index) alone.

Exclude files

You can set each sync item to exclude specific files. Excluded files are simply ignored: they are neither copied, nor overwritten, nor removed (unless the option „Remove excluded files“ is enabled). However, excluded files inside directories to be removed are only preserved if they are explicitly included (i.e. they appear in the „Following files“ section described afterwards).

In the Exclude tab of a sync item’s settings you will find the following options.

Exclude hidden files

Files or directories which start with a dot are hidden in the Finder. Most of the times these files are used to cache data and can be recreated by macOS if necessary. For example, .DS_STORE files are created by the Finder when opening a directory and are used for example to store information about the position of icons. The .Spotlight-V100 directory is created whenever a volume is indexed by Spotlight, the search engine on the Mac, and can also be safely excluded.

Filename filters

After enabling the check box „Filenames containing any of the following words“, you can enter a list of tokens which are checked against each filename in order to determine if it should be excluded or not. After typing an expression, you have to press Return in order to tokenise it. Starting from version 2.2, you can then turn a token into a regular expression by clicking on the small triangle on its right. Starting from version 2.6, you can turn a token from exclusive to inclusive. Tokens at the start of the text field have higher priority, meaning that if a file is matched by an inclusive token but also by a following exclusive token, it will be included.

Be careful when using inclusive tokens in combination with explicitly excluded directories: since inclusive tokens always cause excluded directories to be scanned, this could lead to higher than normal scanning time.

Exclude a specific file

Add a file to the list under the „Following files“ check box by clicking on the „+“ button. Starting from version 2.2, files inside excluded directories will be included, and vice versa; you can alternate as many excluded and included files as you want. Excluded and included files apply for both source and destination. Files contained in included directories can still be excluded and files contained in excluded directories can still be included by the above filters.

You may want to exclude the source directory itself and include some of the contained directories as a means of grouping together many sync items with a common parent directory and the same settings.