What happen if we loose our key ( duplication risks ?) ?

I often time " reinstall my desktop "

  1. If I sync let’s say, 10 folders for around 1 gig

  2. Sync if with a friend or other device

  3. Reinstall my station

  4. Reinstall syncthing.

Questions :

  • If I re-sync the same folders, will I create double ?
  • Can I backup my key and use it again if I reinstall ?
  • Or I better delete my local copy of those folders before getting in sync with my sync partners ?

tks !


As long as you reuse the same keys and database and files, it should be ok. If you miss either database or files with the same id, you will definately have damage.

Tks !

I Suppose if I loose my syncthing folder but have a backup of my device KEY, it has no use ?

It’s the complete syncfolder + key, or I better re-sync with with the new key


Having the key means other devices will still trust you and not have to reconfigure anything.

If you still have the files you should keep the database, and vice versa, as the database describes the state and history of the files. Without the files & database but with the keys you will be able to resync from the cluster.

I took for granted that devices who already trusted (before reinstalling the PC) me will still trust me if I have/import back the same key (BTW we put it back manually in some config file somewhere I suppose ?)

But the device that has just been reinstalled from scratch, but with it’s old key/backup, will still need to do again all of it’s configuration I suppose (I mean without the files and config but just with the key) ?


TKS !!!

The device ID “lives” in the cert.pem / key.pem files. Those are your device identity.

The config lives in config.xml. Without that you need to add folders and devices again - but those devices would already trust you and share the folders with you, assuming you retained the keyfiles above.

The index database holds all the metadata about files.

If in doubt, backup the whole directory and also your actual files.


I just took a lot at those files tks ! Your answer is perfectly clear.

Will test that right now, need to install a new SSD drive in one of my syncthing Home-device :wink: On purpose (as a personal test) i will only use those 2 files and not backup everything ( as test )


Enjoy your “almost” Off the grid vacations

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