How to not make duplicate folders?

No matter what I do, my file path makes duplicate folders like this, e.g.,

This PC > (F:) > Syncthing > Camera > Camera

So I’m clicking a Camera folder twice.

What am I doing wrong? How can I correct this?


You need to watch out when adding the folder, and possibly correct the suggested path in the folder adding dialog. To fix it in retrospect, remove the folder and point it to the new path when the invitation from another device pops up again. Ideally move all pre-existing files to the new location before accepting, so it will not re-sync them again.

Also if your shared folder contains the “Camera” folder, then of course it will be created on the other device as well, no matter what you called the parent folder when accepting in Syncthing. E.g. for a typical Android device, you have DCIM/Camera and the DCIM folder is set up for sharing by default. To share only the Camera sub-folder, remove it from Syncthing on Android and re-add it but for the Camera directory, not for DCIM. Then only the contents of Camera will be synced to the PC, wherever you choose to accept the folder invitation.

Not sure I follow you? I’ve tried many different ways of populating file folders on my PC drive to the point of now I have garbage files that cannot be deleted. Very frustrating. Can you point me to any tutorials or instructions on how to make proper file folders on your PC that are coherent and make since? I’ve got a lot planned for Syncthing. It’s a great program don’t get me wrong. Just not the most intuitive to use for novice level folks.

It’s really hard to say with so little information. Sorry I can’t tell you how to structure your files, especially not without any knowledge of what you require or envision. I’ll try to help, but you need to ask targeted questions and give enough background info so we are able to help.

I’d probably have to take a lot of pictures and screen shots of what I’m seeing. Perhaps when I have time I will try. Like I said, there is a lot I’d like to do with Syncthing. Understanding how file paths are populated would be really helpful. The trial and error way of doing it is really frustrating.

Well, it’s very basic. You point Syncthing on device A to a random folder of your liking. For example C:\Users\GemStarter\Documents\stuff\. That is entered when pressing the Add Folder button in the Web GUI. Then you check the mark beside another device name in the Sharing tab.

On the other device, a notification pops up in the Web GUI of that Syncthing instance. You press the contained Add Folder button and get the same dialog as on the first device, but with the ID already set and the first device already checked under Sharing. In this dialog, you enter a path for that device, e.g. /storage/emulated/0/My important stuff/ for an Android device.

Everything below these paths will be kept synchronized by Syncthing. Including any sub-folder structure and files. But the “roots” (what you enter in Syncthing’s configuration) are pretty much arbitrary, as long as the operating system allows access to them.

If you want your folders structured differently, you can simply add multiple folder “roots” in Syncthing, choosing the respective path on each device. Just make sure not to share a path within an already shared folder, as that might lead to problems. The GUI will warn about it.

Okay, to be more specific, here is what I’m seeing on my Android and Windows PC…

Android device Folder:

Folder Name: Camera1

Android File: /storage/emulated/0/DCIM

Windows GUI:

Folder Name: Camera1

Folder ID: pixel_8_35tx-photos

Folder path: F:/Camera1

Actual folder path on Windows PC: F:/ → Camera1 → Camera

So the question is: Why did the additional “Camera” get added to the end whereas “Camera” appears nowhere in my folder path. Why do I have to click on one additional file folder, “Camera” to get to my photos?

What I want, what I don’t understand is why can’t I have a file folder path that looks like this F:/ → Camera1… and it stop there without one additional click on file folder, “Camera”???

Why does “Camera” get populated? Where did it come from?

It comes from your phone.

If you start a file browser on your phone, you will find that “/storage/emulated/0/DCIM” contains a directory named “Camera”, which is being synced to your computer.


Exactly that. I have the same structure on my Android phone. If you want to sync only the Camera sub-folder, just remove the old one (default folder DCIM) from Syncthing an add a new folder pointing directly to DCIM/Camera.

Thanks and please clarify…

Are you saying if I leave the folder name blank in my Android Synthing app folder, in my case “Camera1”; then the folder will default to the DCIM folder name of “Camera”?

So the other issue that complicates things is that I am syncing my wife’s Android phone as well. So I have two different phones that want to default to “camera” folder. And I’d like to keep them separate. One sync folder with two camera sub-folders in it. Each phone folder with it’s own name without the redundancy of an additional “camera” folder to click on. This is really the crux of the matter.

The folder name (label) is really not important. The Android app simply creates a default folder configuration for the DCIM folder during first start, because that is a common use case on the platform. But if you’d like the Camera sub-folder synced instead, just remove that default / example folder config and add a new one.

Do you want to cross-sync yours and your wife’s pictures between the phones, or just have both phones sending content to a common third device, like a laptop?

Either way, which folders sync with each other is decided based on the folder ID, not the path or label. So add a folder with a random ID on the first phone and with a different random ID on the other. Then share them with whatever device should have the data. Either the common laptop, where you enter paths under a common parent folder where both synced folders should live. Or the mutually other phone device where you then specify a different path underneath DCIM/ to receive the other phone’s pictures.

I think your difficulty stems from trying to do it all with one common shared folder, but you most probably need to configure two, and point them at the right location.