Auto upload only works when Android App starts

Hi all, I’m new around here so let me apology if I overlooked some documentation. I also searched around (especially here), but everything I found was not really clarifying for me.

So my question is the following:

I have set up the Android client, and configured a couple of folders for auto-upload. The functionality works fine, but only when the App starts. If the App is already running and something changes/is added to that folders, then no sync is done. If I close/reopen the App it synchronizes.

Is this expected?

I would also like to get a clarification about why a file that changes on the server is not immediately downloaded on the Android client (like the client for a Desktop OS does), and if there is some option to enable such “auto-download”.

Thanks in advance.

This is even more puzzling as I just noticed that if a file is deleted on server this is automatically deleted on the Android device, so it is just not updating automatically files that have changed/been modified.

I’ll add here more notes, in an effort to put together a comprehensive list. Not saying that any of the below here is a bug, just trying to get some confirmations.

Scenario: Desktop client and Android client. A folder with a few files is synchronized between the two clients, with the files having being downloaded on the mobile device.

On the Desktop:

  1. A file is deleted on desktop > the file is automatically deleted on the mobile device, no question asked.

  2. A file is modified on desktop > the file is not automatically downloaded on the mobile device. On the mobile client this file get a “X” symbol (white cross on red background) to warn that on server there is a newer version. Note: I’m pretty sure that a couple of times I have seen the modified file to be downloaded on the mobile client if I waited a certain amount of time (like 20 minutes). But of course now I’m trying to replicate and it does not happen anymore, so as usual the user must select “sync” on the file or the folder that contains it.


  • I think that in this case a “auto download” configuration would be very useful (unless it already exist and I missed it), this would make the app behavior consistent with the case when a file is deleted on the Desktop. This would also help when a file is added on the Desktop, there are certainly cases where users would take advantage of having the new file synced to the mobile client with no manual intervention.

  • the folder that contains the modified file should also get that “x” symbol, otherwise a user could not realize that in there there is something that is not in sync with the server. The client shows how long has passed since something in the folder has changed (i.e. “2 minutes ago”) yet I think that also applying the “x” symbol to the folder icon would be better

On the Mobile device:

  1. The logic of how it works when a file is deleted in the mobile client (“delete”/“Local only”) is clear

  2. Also clear is the logic how it works when a file is added from within the mobile client (“upload files”/“upload content from other apps”/“upload from camera”) with one major observation:

when uploading a file that already exist on server the notification “File upload conflict” pop up, and the user is asked to choose which version to keep between “new file” and “already existing file”. In my opinion is really not clear which one is the local one and which is the remote. It would be much better to call them… local and remote.

Another observation is that “cancel” in the “File upload conflict” do not really cancel the operation, but it seems only to delay, meaning that the dialog will pop up again shortly after.

  1. Things for me gets a little bit more confused when a file (being under control of the client) is modified on the mobile device. I understand that probably it is not the most common scenario, but still seems important to me.

In this case the mobile client do not show in any way that the local file has changed compared to what it on the server. There is no “x” symbol associated to the icon of the file and also the indication of of “when” the file was last changed is about the file on the server, not the local one on the mobile client. So the user is potentially left with no indication about what file needs to be synced back to the server by manually choosing “sync”, because the client do not sync automatically it.

  • “Auto upload” to the rescue?

It seems that the “Auto upload” setting can be used to mitigate what described at point 5) with a caveat: it only works when opening the client app, if it is already open the functionality won’t auto upload anything.

Last but not least: I also agree that the mobile clients would need a “exclude list” functionality as the Desktop client (seems to be this feature request Filter Uploads to exclude files · Issue #3418 · nextcloud/android · GitHub).

Not sure if any of the above make sense, what I got wrong and right, what could be a feature request and what a bug.