New user struggling with Dropbox sync

What I’m trying to do

I have an Android phone (Pixel 7), an Android tablet (Boox Tab Ultra), and two Windows machines (laptop, desktop).

DropSync handles sync on my Android devices.

Dropbox handles sync on my Windows devices.

I keep getting conflict errors from Dropbox, and I do not know why. Example: I create a brand new folder and folder note. I edit the folder note for a while (an hour, let’s say). I will soon have Dropbox conflicts on this new note, even though it has only been edited on one device (while other devices are intermittently auto-syncing).

Things I have tried

I have read and re-read this article many times: Meta Post - Syncing between Devices

Other than that, random flailing, mostly. Lots of merging, deleting, more deleting, more merging. Lots of reading articles, most of which involve more steps and technical fiddling than I am able to cope with (for example: Mobile Sync for Obsidian | Some Thoughts ).

I have investigated:

  • Obsidian Sync – If Obsidian Sync were $50/year, I’d pay for it, but I can’t rationalize paying more than I do for Google just to sync one app. I currently pay for Google One (3 TB) and Dropbox Plus (2 TB).
  • Remote Save – not updated in a year, so I did not even try it.
  • Obsidian Git – the developer’s warnings about mobile bugs kept me from even trying it.

What I would like to do is just disable Dropbox’s conflict errors and have it just keep the most recent file. I do not understand why it is not doing that.

Suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

I am currently disabling Dropbox sync and setting up Google Drive sync. Maybe that will have fewer sync errors.

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I was originally using Google Drive sync between two laptops and an Android phone, and it worked very well. I was using Autosync on the phone I believe.

Assuming the situation has been going on for some time, I doubt the issue is Dropbox (unless you use emojis in file names); I also assume all devices are setup for Dropbox to keep the files local rather than delivering them from the cloud. The question is where the conflicts come from. My experience is that sync is fast enough to virtually always be up to date - though this does depend on all devices having immediate internet access.

This created as many conflict files as Dropbox did.

Is it possible you have two sync solutions active at once? That’s the only thing I’ve ever done which caused conflicts in the way you describe.

Currently, on Android I am using Drivesync; on Windows I am using Google Drive assigned to drive letter G:, and the Obsidian folder is set to “available offline”.

I am feeling pretty discouraged. Nothing I have tried has worked. I have tried Google Keep, Google Docs, Ema Personal Web Server, DokuWiki, Joplin, and who knows what else. I just want a wiki I can edit from anywhere. Obsidian is by far the best option I have found, but the sync errors are bumming me out.

My next thing to try is Notesnook.

Update: The price is right, but I like Obsidian better.

Did you try this GitHub - vrtmrz/obsidian-livesync

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Both Dropbox and Google Drive should work with Windows and Android devices. That suggests that there is something about your particular setup that is producing the clashes. I’d suggest you start simplifying the problem by limiting yourself to two devices, one Android and one Windows. All devices need the files to be local. You haven’t mentioned the precise settings you are using for Dropsync/Drivesync or how you have the folders set up.

And, if we look at the other programs you have tried, you’ve not said precisely why they have failed. A cloud system is usually less likely to produce sync clashes. Although everything still depends on constant internet access.

The smartest way to handle conflict resolution is with the LiveSync plugin, but unfortunately I don’t think someone who can’t resolve Dropbox conflicts like the questioner can set up CouchDB. …

I had that problem using ? First check if the conflicting files in the sync use symbols like ? : / * of the titles of your notes. In that case try removing those symbols from the titles. I use Syncthing without problems to sync my vault with one Android, two Macs and one NAS.

The only symbols in my document names are (sometimes) apostrophes or dashes.

Regarding Dropsync and Drivesync, I have tried setting auto-sync to five minutes, 30 minutes, and an hour. Less frequent synchronization results in less frequent creation of sync errors, but other than that, sync = conflicts.

I don’t get sync errors with Google Keep and Google Drive, but of course there is no linking between documents (which is what I meant by “fail”, in those cases).

My next thing to try is to remove Obsidian from everything other than my tablet, and see if that gives me sync errors (I’ll likely go back to Dropbox/Dropsync for syncing). And if that works for a few days without errors, then see if I can get sync to a second device without errors.

Upnote uses wikilinks. Free for up to 50 notes, $0.99/month or $29.99 Lifetime for unlimited notes. “Always in Sync. Available Offline”. Worth looking at if you can’t get Obsidian syncing without errors.

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Apostrophes should be avoided in filenames

I checked, and I do not currently have any apostrophes in my Obsidian document titles. But I will be certain not to use them in the future.

I am investigating Upnote (which I had not heard of before; thank you). I would truly prefer the local files of Obsidian, but if I have to choose between that and seamless synchronization, I must choose the latter.

As an aside, I read this in an Upnote review, and it struck me funny, so I am sharing it:

“UpNote has a smaller dev team and code maturity. Evernote is mature, but the only thing it has matured in, is being persistently bad.” Ouch! :grinning:

I’ve decided to just use Obsidian on my tablet for now, and sync it to Dropbox just to have a backup. If I don’t get sync errors, I will try it on a Windows computer eventually. For now, I guess, this is as good as I am going to get.

Thank you all for your suggestions and support.