How to make backup only on the cloud, without constantly synching

Nextcloud version (eg, 20.0.5): 3.1.3
Operating system and version (eg, Ubuntu 20.04): Windows 10 Home version 20H2
Apache or nginx version (eg, Apache 2.4.25): N/A …I don’t use this
PHP version (eg, 7.4): N/A …I don’t use this

The issue you are facing:

  1. Nextcloud is deleting files/folders off my local drives. How to make it stop?
    I want to backup files on the cloud. That’s it.
    I will manage file/folder admin of my cloud storage and backups. I don’t need the constant syncing.
    I do not want anyone deleting anything off my local drives, ever. Please make it stop.
    When I delete a file/folder off the cloud storage or discontinue backing it up, I am managing my cloud data only, this should have absolutely no impact to data on my local drives.
    I want to backup files/folders to the cloud, that’s all, without any syncing.

  2. After I select ‘Pause All Sync’ Nextcloud is still syncing on startup. How to really actually “Pause All Sync” ? Really!
    When I pause the syncing, that means I want the syncing to stop until I resume syncing.

Is this the first time you’ve seen this error? (Y/N): It always does it.

Hi @fonxtcld

Let me put your rant into perspective here… :wink:

Why are you using a Sync-Client if you don’t want it to sync?

The purpose of the Sync Client is to make the contents of your Nextcloud available on your local devices and not the other way around. If you want do do backups of your local devices you should use a backup tool and not a Sync-Client. There are plenty of backup tools out there, which support WebDAV as a storage target. But there are also better and more efficient ways to do backups, than using Nextcloud via WebDAV as a backend.

Because it is designed to do exactley that.


Hi @bb77,
Thank you, that explains a lot of my frustration.

I searched for days and read hours of reviews before choosing Nextcloud. I thought it was the best cloud storage solution for my application. Obviously not.

Can you suggest a simple, efficient solution for backing up local data to encrypted cloud storage?

Thank you,

That depends on your infrastructure, your workflow and the amount of data you wanna backup.

  • Do you want just do backups from one computer? Do you already have some kind of file storage server like a NAS?
  • Is it data you work with every day, like documents or is it data mainly at rest like photo and video archives?
  • How much data is it? Are we talking megabytes, gigabytes or even terrabytes?

A few additional notes:

Nextcloud is primarily a replacement for services like Microsoft 365 or Google Workspaces. It is mainly intended for working with files and collaborating in a team. The main storage place for these files is then normaly the Nextcloud server, which of course should be backed up too.

Of course you can also use a Nextcloud server as a simple backup target for files from one or more computers. If you want to automate this, you can do it with any backup software that supports WebDAV as a storage target. But there are services that are better suited for this like Backblaze B2 or Amazon S3 and and with such a service you usually also get more storage per $.

If you only have a few 100MBs to backup, you can basically use any service you want, also free services. Just make sure you encrypt your data before it gets uploaded. Backup tools like Duplicati or most consumer NAS devices have integrated clients that can do automated and encrypted backups to any WebDAV server like Nextcloud and all the common cloud storage providers.

  • I’m only backing up one computer.
  • Most of the data is at rest (approx. 2GB now, less than 10 GB in the foreseeable future)
  • Some of the data is everyday use (approx. .5 GB now, less than 2 GB future)

Thank you.

First, a clarification: backups should always be in a consistent state and therfore only be used to either restore individual files or the entire backup. No sync clients should touch them and you should not work with the backed up files directly.

Now to the practical things: :slight_smile:

10GB of data, of which most is at rest, is not a big deal nowadays. That means the performance of the backend doesn’t play a big role and you could basically use any cloud storage provider you want, as long the backup software you use, supports it. So you could use the Nextcloud you already have without any problems.

The key points are:

  • use a backup software for doing backups instead of a sync client
  • the data should be automatically encrypted before uploading for privacy and security reasons.
  • the data on the cloud storage should not be touched by anything else except the backup software

With that in mind, you could theoretically even use the rest of the Nextcloud with sync and all other functions normally, as long as the backup data stays in it’s own seperate folder and doesn’t get touched by the sync client.

About the software:

I don’t have that much experience with backup software that runs directly on Windows clients or generally on endpoints, because all my files are on my home NAS / Server and I do the backups from there. But I would recommend to have a look at Duplicati. It runs on Windows, Mac and Linux. It has a WebGUI to manage the backups and supports all possible and impossible storage backends and cloud providers, including WebDAV.

If you are looking for a more classic all-in-one endpoint backup solution, this might be worth a look at…

…but I don’t know if it encrypts the data before uploading it, if you use their software, which I think you have to with this solution.
If you don’t want to use their client software, you could also use the B2 Storage offer from Backblaze in combination with Duplicati. Backblaze B2 is actualy what I use for my cloud backups.

In addition to the cloud backup, I would also consider doing local backups if you don’t already do so. This can be as simple as using a USB disk or a small NAS server… Then you would have a full 3-2-1 backup solution :slight_smile:

The 3-2-1 rule can aid in the backup process. It states that there should be at least 3 copies of the data, stored on 2 different types of storage media, and one copy should be kept offsite, in a remote location

I hope this helps you for now… If you have more questions feel free to ask

Thank you @bb77. This is very helpful info. I’m going to check into both of the options you mentioned. One of them surely will be a good solution for me.

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