Backed up photos getting deleted by syncthing after deletion by Google Photos

I wanted a means to back up my photos taken on my Android phone at full resolution. While Google Photos backs up my photos and videos to the Google cloud storage, it does so at a reduced resolution. I had a great setup to back them up Syncthing. Essentially, I set up syncthing on my android mobile with the default settings to back up the camera folder. The folder type was “send only”. I also set up syncthing on an NVidia Shield Android TV on my local network, directing it to save the photos from my android phone to an attached USB drive. It worked like this. I would take photos on my Android phone. When connected to wifi, these photos would sync to Google Cloud (at reduced resolution) and to my local network drive at home at original resolution. Once backed up in both places, I would get Google Photos to delete the photos from my phone to reclaim the storage space. This deletion would not propagate to the backed up photos on my local network drive. Until September 2018, this worked fine. FYI, I recall that in the older versions, the syncthing setup on the mobile didn’t have the options “Watch for Changes” and “Pause Folder”. In the newer versions where these options exist, I deactivated them. In October, I noticed that after Google photos deleted the photos from my phone, the photos backed up on my network drive were also deleted. However, photos backed up prior to October still remained on my local backup drive. In the latest iteration, I noticed that syncthing has deleted all my previously backed up photos too. Can anyone help me understand what has changed in syncthing to effect this change of behaviour? What is the correct way to back up photos without having syncthing propagate their deletion?

Let me first make a general point: The correct thing to do is actually back them up - Syncthing does not backup, it mirrors data. I.e. use Syncthing to do that, but then on a suitable device run another dedicated backup program to back the data up.

What you describe is expected: Send-only does not mean that deletes don’t propagate, they also get “sent”. And it should be that way since that functions exists. You can set up Syncthing on your TV to ignore deletions, but be aware that this means these items will show up as out-of-sync then.


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