Syncthing Constantly Reinstating Old Deleted Files

Hi all - I’m currently tearing my hair our trying to stop Syncthing reinstating old deleted files and folders constantly.

Current setup is a ‘master’ Syncthing instance on a Raspberry Pi (Raspbian Linux), with two Windows machines connected to it (but not each other). Every day (I think it is to do with when ONE of my Windows machines turns on and spins up Syncthing) a whole raft of old files and folders reappear. All machines have no file versioning, and ignore permissions turned on, and scan for changes turned off (scan interval is roughly 60s).

To be clear, I’ve taken the nuclear option to try and fix this:

  • Uninstalled Syncthing off all devices, including the config files (in AppData on the Windows machines and in root on Linux).
  • Deleted as many of the reappearing old files as possible.
  • Deleted all the ‘.’ folders associated with Syncthing (.stfolder, .sync, .stversions) from all of my synced folders.
  • Reinstalled Syncthing fresh, re-established synced folders from scratch.

I thought this had worked, but it has happened yet again this morning. I’m on the point of finding an alternative to Syncthing because it’s making work very very difficult! Any help/ideas would be appreciated, because I love the software otherwise.

Something definitely doesn’t sound right. I’d start with the following.

  1. Make sure you’re running the newest version of Syncthing everywhere (especially on the Raspbian which likely ships with a very old release).
  2. Try to narrow down the problem to specific folders/files (e.g. by pausing unrelated folders and devices until you find the culprit).
  3. Make sure that once deleted on the first device the deletions have actually been synced to the other devices.
  4. What kind of files are we talking about specifically? Are you 100% sure there isn’t any other software running in background that simply keeps recreating them?
  5. Screenshots of the Web GUI from all affected devices and possibly logfiles from after the issue has occurred will be welcome.


  • I (think I’m) definitely using the latest version on each. This is the repo I’m installing from on Linux: echo "deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/syncthing-archive-keyring.gpg] syncthing stable" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/syncthing.list.
  • There is one particular sync profile (for a folder) where I think all the problems are isolated.
  • After deleting, I leave all of the machines to sit and sync properly before doing anything else.
  • The files/folders in question are a real mix. Originally I thought it was, which I use for notetaking, which was doing it (these files reappearing are the ones that annoy me most), but it’s also other, entire folders: images, markdown files, Unity projects…
  • Attached are three screenshots: the Web GUI for my Windows machine Farore, the Web GUI for the Linux machine ragendbin, and the Syncthing log for Farore (which is where I notice the files most often being recreated). The recreation happened at around 10.15 this morning, so this is the entire log from then until now. ‘The Pith’ is the only sync profile where these files are (I think) reappearing.
  • Checking now on Farore (the Windows machine), ‘The Pith’ now has an .stversions and a .sync folder which both have the deleted files in them. I think this must be where the files are being recreated from… but I deleted these ‘.’ folders on ALL devices before I reinstalled!

Syncthing does not have any folder named .sync by default. This points toward some other software accessing the folders which might be creating the files again?

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Hmm… Perhaps this is Obsidian, then, which has a service called Sync. I will check - however, some of the files that are reappearing are ONLY found in the .stversion folder (including some of the Obisidian ones)

EDIT: Gah, the .sync file belongs to Resilio Sync, and which I uninstalled many moons ago (before swapping to Syncthing). However, I can’t see why it would be the culprit, as Resilio sync isn’t on any of the machines anymore? It makes sense that the .sync files would remain (this is what the Res Sync documentation says) but I can’t see how Resilio itself, uninstalled, could be caused the files to reappear. And my point stands above that actually a lot of the reappearing files are not in the .sync folder, but are in the .stversion folder (which is Syncthing-related)…

You mentioned there was no File Versioning enabled, but the .stversions folder is normally present only with it turned on. Can you verify that versioning is indeed switched off?

Definitely no file versioning on any of the sync profiles on any of the three machines.

Does the fact that the .stversions folder keeps reappearing, then, point to something else reinstating it?

Would Syncthing reinstate files from an .stversions folder even if File Versioning is turned off?

So, I may have found the issue, but it may take me a day or two to be 100% sure.

I use Syncback to make scheduled backups of a lot of my drives and folders on my Windows machine. Usually this is strictly one-way (from the ‘live’ folder to a backed-up version on another disk), but for some reason ‘The Pith’ was set to sync between the ‘live’ version and the backup. This sync was schedule to run every two days, so I think what was happening was that when I turning on Farore (the Windows machine), Syncback was running automatically, and reinstating the files deleted from the ‘live’ version from the backed-up version.

I’ll have to wait and see if it happens again (I’ve now changed it to a one-way backup) but hopefully this explains this curious behaviour. Thanks for your help!

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