Unchecked folders will be REMOVED from your file system

In the settings window where the files I am syncing are displayed, there is text at the bottom of the window that says, “Unchecked folders will be REMOVED from your file system.” This CANNOT means what it is actually saying. I had to test it to make sure it did NOT do what the message was saying, because this is going to freak out my boss, who I am trying to convince to use this solution.

I know what it really means is unchecked folders will be removed from the cloud file system. Someone should probably reword that.


Which client version do you use?

In the current client version, it seems the message is now

with direct reference to local file system, so it should be clear that it only deletes the folder on the client and keeps the server folder.

I couldn’t say. I am using a Nextcloud Box, so whatever that offered me at the time I first logged in.

BTW if you are calling the NextCloud box the Client and my computer the Server, that would be fine. Otherwise it would be an unmitigated disaster, because that would mean that doing a folder sync then unchecking a folder would actually DELETE THE FILES FROM MY LAPTOP, and that cannot be what that means.

Nextcloud Box is your server (potentially providing files for several clients). And the server is the master, you can’t have files in the sync folder of the client that are not on the server.

Hmmm… very odd. After I am completely synched, my windows is showing the new message.
tflidd I take you to mean, “you can’t have files in the sync folder of the client that are not on the server” to mean, “you can’t have files or folders in the sync folder that are not listed on the server” so now I understand that the sync folder acts like an FTP root folder inside which I can choose to sync or not sync folders and files. That makes a LOT more sense to me.

Exactly. If you got this, it’s easy to work with the client. There are different concept how the client could work, but it’s not that easy to implement that it is easy to use. There were some discussions on the client repo about that but nobody came up with a great idea that satisfies all use cases.

Turns out unchecking a folder WILL delete files on the local system. I can send a screen shot of what the app displays when a folder is unchecked. I just had a user lose files on his local file system when I unchecked his folder in the app. I was able to download them from the Nextcloud box as a zip and restore them, but this should never happen and I am hoping this is just a bug.

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If I understand this post, you are saying that once I create a sync folder connection, the Nextcloud Box takes over as the master and the client becomes a slave of the master? If that is the case, how would you sync a folder while excluding certain folders inside that one folder? Let’s say I have a folder in my main data share with a lot of DVD ISO images. I don’t want to fill up my Nextcloud Box storage with all that data, since I could if I needed to recreate those ISO’s at will.

Again I want to stress, this CANNOT be the way this works, or users will be losing files constantly and won’t know why. NO WAY any solution should remove local files. The LOCAL files should ALWAYS be the master.

I think you don’t understand the concept of syncing. If you disable syncing for a folder, the local data is removed, but the data is still available on the server.
If you want to sync all data, don’t uncheck folders.

There’s no master and no slave in two way replication. The most recent data will be synced. If there’s a conflict (you change the same file locally and on the server), you will have to resolve it.

Very well then. Why if I do the same thing on my Mac OS X client it does NOT delete the local files? And I stress again, NO SOLUTION should delete local files simply because a checkbox is unchecked. Try that with Carbonite. Same mechanism, only they do NOT delete the local files, they simply do not sync them to the server anymore. IMHO that is how this should work. If there is no way to get it to work this way, I have to scrap the whole project. Too bad because it looked so promising.

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Then there’s bug in your MacOSX client. My OSX client deletes the files I don’t want to sync. If I don’t want to sync files, I don’t need nor want them locally.

As far as I know there is an exclude dir option, that allows you do just ignore certain directories in the sync process, which will not remove them locally, but I think that has to be done in the config files.
The developers can help you out there.

e.g. let’s say you have 200GB on your nextcloud server (under your account). with your concept, every client (laptop, work computer, …) would have to sync 200GB of data, even if only a minimal part is actually needed. what do you do, if you don’t have 200GB space on your local hard disk?

Either you like it or not, it’s just like the client behaves currently and we can’t change it here. There is however a longer discussion in the client bugtracker:

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Oh great so it is being considered. I put my two cents in there. Of note tessus, the people in that github post are calling the server the master and the local machine the client, so the idea IS that one is a master, and the debate is which side should be. It really isn’t a two way sync at present, it’s a one way sync and it’s in a direction most people do not expect.

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It depends a bit on the use case. If you have a large desktop computer with all your data, you might think so. But if you have several devices, smartphones, tablets, mobile computer, … you want to sync all device but you don’t have all data on all devices. Then it’s clear to have everything on your Nextcloud server and only partially sync files.

And the “server wins” strategy is probably easier to implement since there is only one server. There can be several clients which can be temporarily disconnected to your personal cloud. But you can change files while you are disconnected. Now you work in a shared folder, two users make offline changes, the first being back syncs his changes, what should happen when the second one comes back online? Write over the changes of the first users? Currently, the first user has submitted his changes, the client of the second user will see that the files has changed in the meantime, it will sync the new changes to the client and keep the own modifications as a conflict file.

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Conflict Resolution is the hardest part about all this, but I think that whichever device originally owned the file at least should be able to keep it. If a file needs to be deleted and not resynched on a specific device, that device should be able to uncheck a folder or file, then the user can delete the data himself using that device’s file system and everybody wins. What I think most people are saying who encounter this, is that the cloud backup should NEVER delete files on the host. ANY host. It may have been much easier to implement the way it is being done, but it’s a product killer if the plan is to license this to other providers.


Nextcloud is no backup solution: https://owncloud.org/faq/#backup

Being a sync solution and no backup solution might be part of the answer why the client does not work like you want it to. Nextcloud is a open source project, contributions to the code ideas etc. are welcome. But please read also the reasoning why the developers designed it the way it is currently. Sure it isn’t perfect, and there is also some discussion about it. And not everybody MUST like and MUST prefer it the way you do!

If you need more support and service, official Nextcloud support could be a suitable option for you. With the money you provide they speed up the implementeation of your preferred features.

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Hi all. I thought I had tested this and found out it only deleted server files, but I just deleted a user’s ENTIRE DATA FILE on the server, simply by unchecking the folder in the Nextcloud app. It even says that is what it is going to do, but I thought it was just a misworded thing. Turns out it REALLY WILL DELETE THE ORIGINAL FILES!

If this is just a bug, fine, it can be fixed. If this is the INTENDED BEHAVIOR then I must now remove this device from my network and NEVER EVER use it again. There is NO WAY a sync application should be DELETING LOCAL FILES!!!

Any help is appreciated.


Hi slylabs, when you say Nextcloud App, are you talking a desktop sync client? If so, which operating system is it for? If I’m understanding you right, you go to a desktop client, uncheck a box so it doesn’t sync that folder and the files are being deleted from the server and the client? If so, I can’t reproduce this on my Linux sync client