How can I create a backup of SyncTime itself?

If you want to create a copy of the sync items and their settings, you can export them from the File menu or the main window context menu (which you can open with a right-click). This is the preferred way of saving the sync settings when you are planning to use SyncTime on a new Mac, knowing that the syncs from the old Mac are up to date and the internal snapshots used by SyncTime to track the state (if any) can be automatically recreated with the first sync on the new Mac.

If instead you want to do a full backup of the sync settings, base snapshots and logs, please continue reading.

What to backup

Sync settings

The sync settings are saved in a file with the JSON format at

~/Library/Group Containers/ Support/sync items.synctime

where ~ is your user directory.


For some sync settings, SyncTime saves snapshots of the sync bases which allow to determine reliably what has changed between syncs. Snapshots are created for sync items of type two-way, if the option to track moved files is enabled, or if a Create Alias file modifier is enabled. Sync items that don’t include any of these options, such as one-way syncs that don’t track moved files, can always operate on the current state of the synced files alone.

Snapshots are saved along with the activity logs in

~/Library/Group Containers/ Support

Hint: you can show the snapshots in the Finder by opening the File menu or main window context menu and, while pressing the Option key, selecting Show Snapshot in Finder.

App preferences

The app preferences are saved at (according to macOS standards)


User scripts

If you created any custom user scripts differing from the ones available by default in SyncTime, you may want to back them up as well. They are required by macOS to be located in a dedicated directory:

~/Library/Application Scripts/org.desairem.uSync

Creating a backup

To back up the files listed above, create a sync item with ~/Library as the source.

To exclude everything except the important files, add the source itself as an explicitly excluded file and the other files as included. Please refer to Filters for more information about this technique.

Restoring a backup

Copy the directories and files mentioned above from the backup location back to your Mac, replacing any existing files. After replacing the app preferences file, you need to restart your Mac or run the following Terminal command:

defaults read org.desairem.uSync

Note: manually replacing the snapshot files but importing previously exported sync items by using the Import command in SyncTime (as opposed to replacing the app preferences file) won’t work, as the IDs of the imported sync items will not be the same as the ones referenced in the snapshots.