Can’t use this folder on Pixel 7a

I’m trying to sync my Pixel 7a’s Download folder to my PC. However, the mobile comes up with the message: “Can’t use this folder. To protect your privacy, choose another folder”, and then offers to “Create new folder”.

Moving the contents is no hardship but then after syncing it’s a pain having to move all new future downloads to this new folder before it syncs to my PC.

Any ideas on how I can overcome this, please?

It’s a restriction coming from the OS. I don’t think you can override this in any way. Maybe by running Syncthing as root and inputting the full path using the Web GUI?

Thanks, Tomasz86, but that’s way above my skillset. :slightly_smiling_face:

Is the goal to sync all contents of the default Downloads folder from any app that places files there, or just from one particular app?

If it’s just one particular app, a simpler solution is to set up a folder in Syncthing, then change the default downloads folder in the particular app to the one being used by Syncthing.

Thanks for your reply, gadget. No, that folder is a catch-all for so many downloads using various apps such as Gmail, banking, the internet, etc. Up to now I’ve been sending them on to my PC using Gmail, WhatsApp or Send Anywhere but Syncthing is so much easier once set up.

Just to be sure, you can try to add the folder using the Web GUI (available from the left slide-out menu). The path which you want to input when adding the folder is /sdcard/Downloads.

I just tried adding the downloads folder to syncthing on my Samsung Galaxy S21 and it worked fine without any complaints. Perhaps it is a Google pixel restriction.

Can confirm that ~/Download works via Web GUI.

It’s also restricted on LineageOS 20 (Android 13).

Thanks for this, Tomasz86. I did try that and it did work after all. Thanks, once again. :blush:

Thanks for this, Wank. Maybe it was something to do with the possible extra security of Pixels. However, I followed Tomasz86’s advice about using the Web GUI and it worked out just fine. :blush:

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I’m here using an S22 Ultra running Android 14, and I can’t get it to work, I tried the web UI and now i’m getting send only on the download folder

UPDATE (sorry to be late): when I used the web UI it worked in the background (the download folder is synced between my pc and phone) only in the app it’s showing send only, but it actually works

To fix the the syncing problem in Google pixel 7a’s download folder to my PC, try creating new folder on your phone just for syncing. Move everything from download folder to new folder. Then select this new folder to sync with your PC.

The problem with this solution is there’s no way to tell your phone to download files automatically to that new folder. Everything you download is going to go into the downloads folder that syncthing can’t see. You’ll have to manually copy everything you download into the new folder before it can be seen by the synchronization software.

What is the server type that the phone needs to sync the data to?

If it is an SFTP server or Cloud Server there are alternative methods and applications for synchronizing just that one download folder to a different computer. You can solve the problem by removing the download folder from syncthing and having another app sync that one folder to your other computer.

Take a look at an app in the Google Play app store called foldersync. You can have it synchronize your downloads folder only to your PC.

That will solve the problem.

There is another program called Smbsync2. You can program that software to synchronize download folder to anything that has Microsoft file sharing services.

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On your phone open syncthing GUI and set your Download folder to ‘send only’. Maybe that could help.

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