Can't create directory

I have searched and found many instances of this problem but most solutions offered don’t seem to have worked.

On my windows machine I get a message that I can’t create a directory.

Failed to create folder root directory

I tried to use various locations for the folder but I always get the same message.

I tried the suggestions of turning off Windows Defender, assuring that the permissions of the folder are turned on, etc.

Can anyone help. This seems to be a nearly universal problem so there must be a solution by now.

It’s an issue on Windows and the complexities of managing permissions.

There currently isn’t enough detail about your current setup to properly diagnose and offer a solution.

Are you using the official Syncthing package for Windows or a community bundle? (A direct link to the download would be most helpful.)

As a guess, I think you might have set up Syncthing to launches as a Windows Service so that it auto-starts when Windows boots up. If so, it’s a more complicated approach compared to the alternatives.

Thank you for your quick reply. This morning I uninstalled Syncthing and reinstalled it. I got the new version from:

I chose this for no particular reason other than I saw warnings about ways installation could go wrong and this claimed to be a “Windows installer method” and I thought it might prevent me from choosing the wrong software version, etc.

After reinstalling I have the same problem as before. The irony of this whole thing is that I’m using a folder that already exists. One would not expect that Syncthing would have to create a folder.

I took the defaults and I don’t remember being offered the option of installing as a service.

As to the complexity of managing permissions … yeah, it is a nightmare. My original plan was to use Dropbox to keep files synchronized, but it turns out that Dropbox, as many other products, are dead set on forcing me to upgrade even though there is no reason for me to do so. Recently they reduced the features of the basic plan so that it won’t sync unless I upgrade. (Think about the concept of a sync service that will not sync!) My wife probably has the right idea: keep all data files on a USB stick and carry that around from one computer to another.

I’m open to uninstalling from another source or installing taking different options. Whatever it takes.

Thanks again

There are multiple ways to install Syncthing, and which one is “best” really depends on the particular use case. I’m not sure there’s a wrong way to do it. It’s more like some ways may be a better fit than others depending on the situation.

IMHO, use the official Syncthing packages if:

  • Ease of installation, auto-updates and/or minimalist install are top priorities.
  • Manually launching Syncthing with a double-click whenever the computer is rebooted is okay/fine.
  • Having a system tray or toolbar indicator isn’t important.

All of the community bundles cater to a variety of user needs. Some users want a status indicator, some want Syncthing to run as a system service, some don’t want auto-updates, etc.

Syncthing creates a “marker folder” to handle situations where a user might be using a network share, external drive, or some other folder that might easily temporarily disappear. Whenever that happens, is it because the user deleted it or did something go wrong? If Syncthing assumes the first scenario, it’d replicate the change to other connected devices. See the Syncthing FAQ for more details.

I recommend uninstalling the Syncthing package, then carefully read the Administrative vs. Non Administrative Installation Mode section before reinstalling again.

Which install method is chosen impacts all follow-up decisions regarding proper permissions.

It’s a difficult conundrum for both users and service providers…

It’s hard to fault Dropbox and other cloud storage providers – as of 2023, only about 2.5% of Dropbox’s users opt for a paid plan (~18 million vs. ~700 million accounts).

So those roughly 680 million accounts on the 2GB basic plan could potentially require up to 1.36×10¹⁸ bytes (1,360,000 TB) of storage capacity, and easily at least 2x that after factoring in backups.

As those of us who maintain our own home servers know, the hardware and operating costs can easily be more expensive than an annual cloud storage subscription when there’s 1 TB or less of data involved.

Depending on the particular needs, it could be the best solution.

You didn’t mention how your Windows PC will be used and what other devices it’ll be syncing too, so the options are pretty diverse.