No warning when file conflicts arise - DANGER!


Insync is dangerous to use across machines.
When a file conflict arises, it does not alert the user.
It just uploads the local copy to Drive, which overrides a conflicting version.
If the user does not notice this and manually resolve the conflict, information will be lost.

This is unacceptable, and much worse than the official Google Drive clients, Dropbox clients.
When a conflict arises, these clients save the file with a new suffix, eg. myfile (2)
Although this is not ideal as it can be overlooked, it is at least one alert.

This issue is very high priority; it is not safe to use insync until you notify the user of conflicts in some way.

I suggest you both save the file with a new suffix like other Drive clients do, but also add other notifications in the Insync client, e.g. a ‘file conflicts’ tab, a popup message option, and also optional email notification.

It would also be helpful if you provided tools for resolving conflicts for common file types, e.g. a diff and merge tool for text files - or at least support to launch third party tools with the right arguments.
Look at how the file synchronizer ‘Unison’ does it. Unison: merging conflicts


Hey @clearstar10,

Thanks for reaching out. :slight_smile: Have you tried checking your version history? We don’t overwrite conflicts but save them as a new version. Hope this helps!


Thanks, I am aware of version history, but that is not the issue raised.

Insync needs to notify the user that a conflict has occurred.
How will the user know to check the version history?
If you do not notice it manually and quickly, the version history is limited in time, so the edits will be lost.
Also, even if you notice it before it is gone from history, it gets increasingly difficult to resolve a conflict.

Pretty much all competing sync clients have some mechanism of notifying the user, so there is a clear need. I urge you do address it quickly before even more of users information is lost.


Noted on this, @clearstar10! We do need to do a better job with conflicts. I’ll take this as feedback and inform our team about it. :slight_smile: If you have any more suggestions / feedback, be sure to let me know!


Just wanted to add my vote for this, this is a broken functionality for a sync utility like insync.


Hey @Assaf, our team knows about this and will work on it. :slight_smile:


Thank you - this issue is a super high priority!

I am wondering what to do in the time until you resolve it:
could you make a small utility tool that can be run manually to report conflicts?
I have lost data, and I am nervous about losing more.


I have the same problem, really annoying and a potential source of data corruption. I’m dealing with it daily, together with undetected changes that do not propagate (but that’s another story). Unfortunately, the official gdrive client is no better.

I use find to catch conflicts:

find . -regex '.*([1-9][1-9]*)\(\(\..*\)\{0,1\}\)'

(with gnu find the regex would be simpler, but OSX doesn’t have it)

and unison to check that my main machines are in sync. I know that that defeats the purpose of automatic syncing, but I’ve been burned too many times, and not only by Insync software.

The thing that is still unclear to me is how to resolve a conflict, renaming the file by dropping the (.) often ends up with a conflict in the other machine and I get into a never ending back and forth.

There must be a way of telling Insync client to solve the conflict


Half a year has passed - when can we download a version of Insync that does not overwrite files when conflicts arise?

I just tried the latest insync today: I can confirm it destroys data just as before :frowning_face: