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Backup and sync Mac Documents Catalina

Backup and sync Mac Documents Catalina

Helpful | Level 5

Greetings. I just upgraded from Mojave to Catalina (late to the party, I know) and the trick for sync'ing Documents that worked so well in Mojave fell over dead. The trick is to put the Documents folder inside the Dropbox folder and created a symlink from my home directory to Documents. Dropbox is happy with this, but Catalina is more fastidious about built-in folders, like Documents, and deletes my symlink on reboot. Grumph. 

 

I next turned to the new Dropbox Backup feature, and while I haven't experimented too much, it appears to backup each computer in a separate folder. Great solution for Backup but defeats the purpose of sync.

 

Anyone know how to make this work? If Backup won't do it, my next step is to see if I can convince Catalina to leave my symlinks alone.  Happy for suggestions on either scheme.

 

Thanks and best wishes for safe new year,

Nat

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Backup and sync Mac Documents Catalina

Super User

Hello, first of all you backup the contents of your desktop just in case something goes wrong.

cp -r ~/Desktop ~/Desktop.bak

Then could you try the following steps in your terminal (change the folder names/location as appropriate:disappointed face: 

  1. Create a Desktop folder in your Dropbox if you do not have already: 
    mkdir ~/Dropbox/Desktop
  2. Move the contents of local Desktop folder inside your Dropbox: 
    mv ~/Desktop/* ~/Dropbox/Desktop/
  3. Delete your current Desktop: 
    sudo rm -rf ~/Desktop
  4. Create a symlink to your Desktop folder that is inside Dropbox in your local Desktop: 
    ln -s ~/Dropbox/Desktop ~/Desktop
  5. Change the following flag to prevent Catalina from touching the symlink during restart: 
    sudo chflags -h schg ~/Desktop

View solution in original post

2 Replies 2

Re: Backup and sync Mac Documents Catalina

Super User

Hello, first of all you backup the contents of your desktop just in case something goes wrong.

cp -r ~/Desktop ~/Desktop.bak

Then could you try the following steps in your terminal (change the folder names/location as appropriate:disappointed face: 

  1. Create a Desktop folder in your Dropbox if you do not have already: 
    mkdir ~/Dropbox/Desktop
  2. Move the contents of local Desktop folder inside your Dropbox: 
    mv ~/Desktop/* ~/Dropbox/Desktop/
  3. Delete your current Desktop: 
    sudo rm -rf ~/Desktop
  4. Create a symlink to your Desktop folder that is inside Dropbox in your local Desktop: 
    ln -s ~/Dropbox/Desktop ~/Desktop
  5. Change the following flag to prevent Catalina from touching the symlink during restart: 
    sudo chflags -h schg ~/Desktop

View solution in original post

Re: Backup and sync Mac Documents Catalina

Helpful | Level 5

Bless you! The chflags command was the key for me, although others will surely appreciate the complete recipe. You saved me a lot of time and aggravation!! I appreciate it.

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