The best way to add a new device when files are big or many

When adding a new device (esp an Android device), there are two ways to handle the initial file syncing:

  1. First copy the files manually to the new device then start up Syncthing to do its first sync.

  2. Let Syncthing do the copy as part of its initial sync.

When you have some big (500mb - 1gb) files or you have many files, what is the best method?

From the manual, section 2.9, I would have assumed it was best to copy the files first because then all that needs to be done is computing hashes.

BUT I ask because in the past, my initial sync has taken me 1-2 days, and has been slow and seemed to often lockup, esp on an initial android sync when using method 1, ie pre-copying files.

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Apart from transferring the file over the network or not the amount of work to be done is roughly the same. There shouldn’t be a dramatic difference either way.

I run into this when migrating to new phones. I don’t know if ST is killed by the OS due to resource overusage but I find I have to restart the sync roughly every 8 minutes because ST has frozen/been killed. This is only an issue on large shares but can be compounded by adding multiple shares at once.

I don’t pre-populate the share so I don’t think that is influencing the situation greatly.

FYI, all of the Android devices I have ST on are stock nexus or pixel devices.

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