How to prevent Auto Downloading Android


I have a Ubuntu Virtual Machine running NextCloud along with NextCloud Android App in my and families mobile to backup the pictures as a local alternative to Google Photos.

One issue I am facing is with both way sync.

Android Client is downloading pictures from nextcloud to the respective user phone while syncing.

I would like to stop this auto downloading since my main need is to auto upload (backup) the images out from phone to nextcloud.

Is there anyway I can stop NextCloud app to stop automatic download of all images into android phones?


Hi @NaXal

For me nothing gets downloaded automatically from the Nextcloud Android app. The app shows all files and photos that reside on my Nextcloud, but only the files that I explicitly make available for offline usage are getting downloaded. The downloaded files then have a green check mark to it in the app. They also can be deleted at any time on the device, without being deleted on the server.

To automaticaly backup your photos, there is an “instant upload” / “auto upload” function in the app (I don’t know how it’s called exactley in the English version). This “auto upload” function works independently of the the “both way sync” / “make available for offline unsage” function of the app. So no need to enable synchronisation for your Instant Upload folder if you just want to auto-upload new pictures you took with your phone…

Is there actually a way to make it 2-way sync on the android client automatically? That would be brilliant if there was!

Not really. When you “synchroize” or download a file or folder in the Nextcloud app, i.e. the file or folder has the green checkmark, changes are are indeed synced back to the Nextcloud. However, it is not suitable to synchronize existing data and folders that are bound to a certain path on the phone. For this specific use case I would recommend an app like Folder Sync.

But as a client app for Nextcloud it works well in my opinion. Downloading, Sharing, view and edit existing files from my Nextcloud is working and even the for a long time rather unstable “one-way sync feature” for predifined folders, aka Instant Upload / Photo Upload :wink: works reliable for me.


This is strange, in my case, I have done a factory reset or manually delete the photos or videos from my android device, next time when NextCloud goes for a sync, its redownloading the all the (those deleted) images or videos that was previously uploaded from this specific device :face_with_monocle:


Are you sure they are actually re-downloaded to the storage of your phone? The Android Files app and the Nextclod App does show all the folders and files of your Nextcloud, but that doesn’t mean the files and photos it shows are actually on your phone. Only the ones with a green checkmark are.

Also the Instant Upload feature does exactley what the name suggests. It uploads files which are located in certain folders that you have previously defined and activated in the Nextcloud app. Nothing should be downloaded from these folders automatically. But maybe I’m missing something here…


Following are my setup, in case anyone wants to give it a try to check,

  1. Virtual Box → Ubuntu Server 20 → Snap NextCloud installation

  2. Android Device running NextCloud app from PlayStore

  3. Camera Folder (Photos and Videos) is marked for auto backup in Photos Folder of NextCloud.

Everything works right and as it should till I decide to factory reset the device to free up space at a one go and start fresh and clean. Once I download & re login to the NextCloud App and my NextCloud Server, this time around, apart from uploading the camera folder, app is downloading all those previous uploaded images and videos of this devices camera folder :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

And I am sure its downloading since the android notification panel is having separate notification progress bar for those large videos getting downloaded into my device folder


Hmm… I’m not a developer but this sounds like bug to me. I could be wrong but I’m pretty sure that’s not the intended behavior. Maybe you can look for issues on Github, and if it hasn’t been reported yet, open a new one.