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Synchronize and backup Swift To-Do List in cloud with Dropbox or SkyDrive

We are working hard on finishing our own sync feature – it is our #1 priority.

In the meantime, you can use other solutions to safely and completely synchronize your Swift To-Do List database across multiple computers, for free. With the latest update of Swift To-Do List, this is easier than ever.

Services such as Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive create a special folder on your computer, which is kept synchronized via Internet across all your computers. If you put your Swift To-Do List database file into such folder, you can access it from all your computers.

Another big benefit is that you will have a backup of your database file in the cloud, so if anything happens to your computer, you can easily recover your Swift To-Do List data. Better yet, these services usually keep file history as well, so in the unlikely case your database file becomes damaged, you can recover a previous version of it.

There are only two downsides: You can’t work on the same database with other people, and you should shutdown your computer (or exit Swift To-Do List) before going to another computer.

Dropbox is free and comes with 2 GB storage, which is more than enough even for multiple Swift To-Do List databases, which usually have no more than 30 MB.

Microsoft SkyDrive is also free and comes with 7 GB storage.

Both work well, so which one you choose is up to you.

(Alternatively, you can also run Swift To-Do List from a USB thumb-drive, if you don’t have Internet on one of the computers.)

How to synchronize and backup Swift To-Do List with Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive

Because Swift To-Do List stores the whole database in a single file, it can be synced via a cloud-drive service easily.

You can use Dropbox or Microsoft SkyDrive (or other service) to synchronize Swift To-Do List between all your computers (home, work, laptop…).

Here are the steps:

  1. Download and install Dropbox or SkyDrive
  2. Start Swift To-Do List, and use File – Relocate Database, and save your database into the new Dropbox or SkyDrive folder. It’s usually under your personal user folder, e.g. C:\Users\YOUR USERNAME\Dropbox.
  3. In Swift To-Do List, Use menu File – Options, and uncheck “Lock database file for exclusive access” in the Options window. That way, Dropbox/SkyDrive can read your database file even when Swift To-Do List is running.
  4. (From now on, your database will be automatically synchronized by Dropbox/SkyDrive on the background)
  5. Install Dropbox or SkyDrive on all your other computers
  6. Start Swift To-Do List on your other computers, and use File – Open Database, and open the database from the Dropbox/SkyDrive folder. (When asked if you want to make the database default, click Yes).
  7. On your other computers, also go to Options in Swift To-Do List and uncheck “Lock database file for exclusive access“.

That’s it! Your database is now automatically synchronized via cloud for free.

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7 Responses to “Synchronize and backup Swift To-Do List in cloud with Dropbox or SkyDrive”

  1. Randy Martin says:

    I want to sync. When I do my laptop, will I be able to include all different files into the new cloud-based ONE system?

    • JiriNovotny says:

      Hi Randy,
      If you sync using Dropbox or SkyDrive, you can have the exact same database file on all your computers.

      Merging databases is possible only with our own sync feature, that we are currently working on.

  2. Joel1245 says:

    Just found this post re: Dropbox and did as described and syncing perfectly. I’m currently having to travel between cities right now so this synced perfectly with Dropbox on both PCs. Thanks for the post Jiri. Great stuff!

  3. Steve Herrmann says:

    To read the updated file, I have found that you have to re-open the database file from each of the devices to get the updated info? It won’t auto sync the devices with the updated info. Is this correct?


    • JiriNovotny says:

      Hi Steve,
      Yes, if you changed the database on one device, you need to re-start Swift To-Do List (or re-open the database) on other devices.

      In the typical use case – changing something at home, then going to work and turning on the work computer, it works automatically. But if you leave your computers always on, you need to re-start Swift To-Do list or reopen the databases manually.

      Our own sync feature that we are working on will be real-time and fully automatic.

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