Manual synchronization

Hi, I’ve read around a bit but I didn’t quite understand if there is a way to really use Syncthing manually. I mean disabling automatic synchronization to only start it manually via a convenient shortcut as it’s possible to do for example in FreeFileSync. I’m not talking about pausing the sync, I want no sync to be started automatically. Never. This is how I need to use synchronization in most cases. Is this possible in Syncthing? Thank you

You can emulate manual synchronisation simply by pausing and unpausing folders or devices, either in the GUI, or by using custom scripts that utilise the Syncthing API.

But can Syncthing start in pause mode or it immediately begin synchronizing until I click pause?

Yes, if you start it with the --paused argument, e.g. syncthing --paused (see This can be done via a shortcut too. Also, if you paused folders and devices before closing the program, then on the next start they will also still be paused.

Why don’t you just use rsync or just, you know, other “one off transfer files” application?

Sounds like you are trying to get syncthing to do what its not made for.

Well, I don’t know, from tomasz86 suggestion it seems that Syncthing is designed to do what I’m asking too. I’ll give it a try, thanks

Its not really? The fact that you have to start it paused from the command line and the manually unpause it and re-pause it sounds like a lot more work? Yes you can glue the functionality it provides to mend it to do what you want, but it’s not what its designed for.

Its meant for continuous sync, you might have conflicts, some random late deletions when you unpause etc.

What sounds to me that you want is transfer from A to B on demand, why wouldn’t you just run rsync for that? It would also be much faster.

It is not and it will be slower than FreeFilesync (which you’re already using), however the advantage is that Syncthing can do this kind of synchronisation over the Internet. Those other tools are generally only for local file transfer.

In other words, if you only want to transfer files on demand between devices on the same network, Syncthing isn’t really necessary for that.

The way I use syncthing is having it off on my devices, then toggling a simple shortcut (the sync quick settings toggle on my phone, and a keyboard shortcut to start syncthing on my computers) to turn it on when I want to synchronize.

The other way is what people suggest, leaving Syncthing running and pausing it when you’re done syncing. Unpause when you want to sync.

If you’re only syncing between two devices, say a phone, you can stop Syncthing running on your phone to save power, and run it when you want to sync. Obviously, nothing can sync unless both devices are online, so your phone is the ‘switch’ for syncing.

No matter how you do it, you will have to turn something off or pause something when done syncing, there’s no one-time toggle.

Because at first glance it seemed to me to be something very far from being as user friendly as Syncthing. Also I saw that it doesn’t have an official android app, and that doesn’t inspire me much confidence since the synchronization I need is actually between Windows and Android over the network. But I will definitely take a look at it.

Anyway I thank everyone for the help. You have explained what I needed to understand. Yes, Syncthing “might” do what I need but in an uncomfortable way and probably causing conflicts.

At the moment it is better for me to use FreeFileSync with rclone, which allows it to access the same cloud I can access from smartphones manually synchronizing via apps like Autosync. Yes definitely a lot of intermediaries :sweat_smile: but at least everything works the way I want it to. Thanks again

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