Activating sync after long time - what exactly will happen?



I paused my syncing about a year ago and I haven’t been using InSync since then (we used to have slow Internet in the office).

Now I would like to start using it again, but I need to make sure that when I switch the syncing on I’ll know exactly what will happen.

So I have two sets of files LOCAL and REMOTE.
LOCAL files (I’m on linux so a directory is just another file) are stored in the same root directory that they used to be before I stopped using InSync back then (~/Documents).

(I have “exported” the LOCAL set by running find ./ -printf "%p %TY-%Tm-%Td %TH:%TM:%TS %Tz %t %s\n" >> ~/Desktop/LOCAL-set.txt. I can’t really do the same thing for the REMOTE set because that would need a lot of work through the google API).

REMOTE is the set of files that exist within my Google Drive.

The intersection of these two sets (LOCAL ∩ REMOTE) will contain most of all my flies but the sets (1) LOCAL \ REMOTE and (2) REMOTE \ LOCAL won’t be empty sets.

  • What will happen to files that fall into sets (1) and (2).
  • How would conflicts get resolved? What if the file exists in LOCAL and REMOTE (is in the intersection), but it has been modified on my LOCAL machine? Will this file overwrite its counterpart in REMOTE? Does this work the same the other way around (file modified in REMOTE overwriting its counterpart in LOCAL).
  • Will all the files that are in the intersection LOCAL ∩ REMOTE stay untouched?
  • Is there anything else that could have an effect on either the LOCAL or the REMOTE set?

Thank you very much for taking the time to go though my question :slight_smile: I can add some Venn diagrams if that would help.


For a file that was synced and still in the intersection:

  • The remote copy will overwrite the local copy if only the remote copy has been modified during this one year, and the local version is never modified.
  • In any other case, including if both copies are modified, the local copy will overwrite the remote copy.

For a file that was synced, but now is deleted in one of LOCAL or REMOTE:

  • It will be deleted on both sides.

For a file that was not synced, but is now in the intersection:

  • The local copy will overwrite the remote copy.

You can easily export all remote files by using some third party utilities such as rclone.

Edit: This is the behaviour of the latest Insync version. If you’re running an older version then I’m not sure what will happen.