Desktop Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Here you can find some of the most frequently asked questions about the ownCloud Desktop client.


Some Files Are Continuously Uploaded to the Server, Even When They Are Not Modified

It is possible that another program is changing the modification date of the file. If the file has an .eml extension (Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail), the Microsoft Indexer automatically and continually changes the file. To solve this issue, you can:

  • Remove the extension from the indexer (Indexing Options  Advanced  File Types)

  • Uninstall Windows Mail, Windows Live Mail. Note that when reinstalling, the issue reappears again. See Windows indexer changes modification dates of .eml files for more information.

  • Remove at your own risk the corresponding key for .eml files in the registry at \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\PropertySystem\PropertyHandlers

Syncing Stops When Attempting to Sync Deeper Than 100 Sub-Directories

The sync client has been intentionally limited to sync no deeper than 100 sub-directories. The hard limit exists to guard against bugs with cycles like symbolic link loops. When a deeply nested directory is excluded from synchronization it will be listed with other ignored files and directories in the "Not synced" tab of the "Activity" pane.

My Sync Folder Displays a Different Quota Than the Web Interface

When other users share data with you, it’s downloaded to the sync folder and counted as space used by the desktop client, although it doesn’t affect your quota for storage usage. There are more factors taken into account when calculating the quota status. For more information, see the Storage Quotas in the User Manual.

Major Configuration Changes

I Want to Move My Local Sync Folder

The ownCloud desktop client does not provide a way to change the local sync folder directly. However, it can be done in two ways:

  1. Copy the folder and avoid a full re-sync:

    1. Stop the client and edit the localPath= line in the configuration file according your needs.

    2. Copy (or move) all your data from the current to the new location manually and start the client.

  2. Create a new sync connection with a new location:

    1. Remove the existing connection which syncs to the old directory.

      To do so, in the client UI, which you can see below, click the drop-down menu Account  Remove.


      This will display a "Confirm Account Removal" dialog window. If you’re sure, click Remove connection.


    2. Add a new connection which syncs to the desired directory.

      Click the drop-down menu Account  Add new.

      This opens the ownCloud Connection Wizard, which you can see below, but with an extra option. This option provides the ability to either keep the existing data (synced by the previous connection) or to start a clean sync (erasing the existing data).

      Be careful before choosing the "Start a clean sync" option. The old sync folder may contain a considerable amount of data, ranging into the gigabytes or terabytes. If it does, after the client creates the new connection, it will have to download all of that information again.

      Instead, first move or copy the old local sync folder, containing a copy of the existing files, to the new location. Then, when creating the new connection choose "keep existing data" instead. The ownCloud client will check the files in the newly-added sync folder and find that they match what is on the server and not need to download anything.


      Make your choice and click Connect…​ This will then lead you through the Connection Wizard, just like when you set up the previous sync connection, but giving you the opportunity to choose a new sync directory.

I Want to Change My Server URL

Since changing server URLs is a potentially dangerous operation the ownCloud desktop client does not provide a user interface for this change. Typically, server URL changes should be implemented by serving a permanent redirect to the new location on the old URL. The client will then permanently update the server URL the next time it queries the old url.

For situations where arranging for a redirect is impossible, url changes can be done by editing the config file. Before doing so make sure that the new url does indeed point to the same server, with the same users and the same data. Then go through these steps:

  1. Shut down the ownCloud client.

  2. Locate the configuration file

  3. Open it with a text editor.

  4. Find your old server URL and adjust it.

  5. Save the file and start the ownCloud client again.

Error Messages

Warning Message for Unsupported Versions

Keeping software up to date is crucial for file integrity and security – if software is outdated, there can be unfixed bugs. That’s why you should always upgrade your software when there is a new version.

The ownCloud desktop client talks to a server, e.g. the ownCloud server, so you do not only have to upgrade your client when there is a new version for it, also the server has to be kept up-to-date by your sysadmin. Starting with version 2.5.0, the client will show a warning message if you connect to an outdated or unsupported server:


Only ownCloud 10.0.0 or Higher Is Supported

If you encounter such a message, you should ask your administrator to upgrade ownCloud to a secure version because earlier versions are not maintained anymore. An important feature of the ownCloud Client is checksumming – each time you download or upload a file, the client and the server both check if the file was corrupted during the sync. This way you can be sure that you don’t lose any files.

There are servers out there which don’t have checksumming implemented on their side, or which are not tested by ownCloud’s QA team. They can’t ensure file integrity, they have potential security issues, and we can’t guarantee that they are compatible with the ownCloud desktop client.

We Care About Your Data and Want It to Be Safe

That’s why you see this warning message, so you can evaluate your data security. Don’t worry – you can still use the client with an unsupported server, but do so at your own risk.

Multiple Accounts Sharing the Folder


Desktop sync client discovered multiple sync journals (SQLite database files) in the folder. That indicates that multiple clients are using the same folder as a sync root. Under certain conditions it could also mean that there is an old .sync#HASH.db or .sync_#HASH.db in the folder.


Such a file will have an old change date and usually can be removed.

Folder Is Used in a Folder Sync Connection

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Similar to the above case, the desktop sync client discovered one or more .sync_journal.db files in the directory. That means the folder is either already used by a different client for syncing or we again have an old SQLite database file in that folder. This can also happen if a user tries to import an old folder.


Such a file will have an old change date and usually can be removed.

Parent Folder Managed by Another Sync Client


This error can only happen with native Windows VFS. Desktop sync client discovered that the folder is part of a subtree that is managed by another client, for example testpilotcloud. The difference to the next error is that we can’t be sure it’s a different client or an orphaned sync root.

Both errors are windows only. In the future we will try to prevent the situation leading to this.


Pick another sync folder.

Folder Used by Different Client


This error can only happen with native Windows VFS. Desktop sync client discovered that the folder is part of a subtree that is managed by another client, for example OneDrive.


Pick another sync folder.

Warning About Changes in Synchronized Folders Not Being Tracked Reliably

On Linux, when the synchronized folder contains a high number of subfolders, the operating system may not allow for enough inotify watches to monitor the changes in all of them.

In this case the client will not be able to immediately start the synchronization process when a file in one of the unmonitored folders changes. Instead, the client will show the warning and manually scan folders for changes at a regular interval (two hours by default).

This problem can be solved by setting the fs.inotify.max_user_watches sysctl to a higher value like 524288 permanently in the config file /etc/sysctl.conf or temporarily with the following command:

echo 524288 > /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches.