Exclude notebooks from syncing

Hello - thanks for this great work!
Is it possible to exclude a Notebook from syncing? As I understand all Notebooks get synced if this Option is used.
Kind regards, Chris

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As far as I know, no, it isn’t possible.

Hi, thanks for your Reply.
I have a Workaround, but still testing.
I’m running two mobile Versions of Joplin in Windows (each in its own dircectory to get separate Profs and data). To get a second Instance I’m running the second Joplin as Adminstrator (I’m logged in in Windows as a normal User).
Because of using the mobile Versions of Joplin I can store them in my encrypted Data-Partition and with that I have no data on my not ecnrypted system-Partition.
But still it would be helpfull to exclude certain Notebooks from syncing to the Cloud, where I don’t want all notebooks stored (even when encrypted).

There’s a sync_disabled property that is supported and used to prevent certain items from syncing, but it’s not exposed in the UI.

Depending on your use case, you can do it yourself though by running SQL on the database.sqlite profile. The query would be something like this:

update sync_items set sync_disabled = 1 where item_id = 'NOTEBOOK_ID' or item_id IN (SELECT id FROM notes WHERE parent_id='NOTEBOOK_ID')

(replacing NOTEBOOK_ID with your notebook ID)

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I am new to this topic. I understand your suggestion to some extent, but at the moment I do not know how to do it. However, there are several notebooks. For now, I stay with my current solution until I have the necessary knowledge. As I see, I would have to create a new column for sync yes/no in the Table folders.

What a relief to work with Joplin. Great! I’m busy transfering notes from my old Notes-program to Joplin.

Based on your suggestion, I will add a “+”-Sign as first character in the title of the notes that should not to be synchronized. It’s a more perfect solution than exclude all notes in a notebook.

Then I can exclude exactly these Notes from the synchronization with a SQL string setting the value “1” in the field “sync_disabled” in the sync-items-Table.

Can I achieve this with SQLiteStudio with a Trigger-Event “before” on the table “sync_items”?

I've been using Shortcuts with different profiles to do this, I have 2 different shortcuts pinned to the taskbar one runs:
Joplin.exe --profile 1

the other runs:
Joplin.exe --profile 2

Then I quick photo edited me an extra icon with a different blue background so I can tell the difference on the taskbar. But you have to make sure to exit Joplin from the system tray before launching the other (just make sure to sync to different places, or you will quickly find both profiles have the same files...)

It would be handy to be able to right click the system tray and select the active profile, but not necessary :slight_smile:

As I understand you use the “Start in” field in the shortcut properties to point to your profiles?

I made a SQL to set the value 1 in the field sync_disabled if the title of the notes starts with “+”.

    update sync_items set sync_disabled = 1 where item_id IN (SELECT id FROM notes WHERE substr(title,1,1)='+')

It works fine and the values are set, but the notes are still synchronized.

(Using Windows Portable Version)

Any plans for exposing this in UI?

I would benefit greatly from this exclude-from-sync feature but I’m not literate in sql.

Anyways, great to know that the feature is there, already.

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@laurent
+1 indeed it would be great to expose this in the UI!
Something as simple as adding a toggle to the contextual (right-click) menu of a notebook / note that triggers the SQL command would be already enough.

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This would be a really convenient feature for my notes. I attach Lecture videos to my notes for my Engineering courses (Yay Pandemic). This means that half of my notes have 2-3 gigs of files attached as resources per note. It is useful to have these files all downloaded for my current courses (fast and offline access), But When I move to the next semester, I want to keep those notes downloaded while archiving the old semesters.

A couple solution have been proposed for this:

  1. Archiving Notes/Notebooks
  2. Excluding Notebooks from Sync (Would be useful if this functioned to only download when note opened, resource opened)
  3. Archived/Old notes being read only
  4. A special "Archive" tag that forces a different sync profile (2 seperate sync settings)
  5. Remove old notes from local device that where Auto synced (after specified time delay of not being used) - [This was suggested somewhere on the forum, but I cant find it now.]

Overall, any one of these would solve my situation (and likely most people's). This would be a great feature for the eventual 1.4._ Full Release @laurent.

Thanks for the amazing app laurent! Could never sync 25 gb of notes and attachments with any other app and be able to manage my own data. You're supporting my home server addiction :+1:.

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I'd also appreciate this feature. Some of my notebooks contain business information and due to company guidelines, I'm not allowed to sync them via cloud services. Therefore, I cannot sync Joplin at all. Would be great if I could specify which notebooks will be synchronized.

This would actually be great. I use Joplin for various scenarios: collecting source material off the web via clipper (LOTS of stuff), planning lectures and also taking notes.
I would like to have only some of all this on my mobile client but currently don't use it at all since I don't want to clog my phone with all the clipper content.

An option to exclude this dedicated notebook would GREATLY improve my workflows.

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In your specific case: what's your sync behavior?
You can set your phone to only download attachments when they're needed.
That would mean downloading the clipped HTML text/markdown, but not downloading the hundred tiny icons that are embedded in it until you download the note.

(For the record though, I think letting users disable sync for any subset of notes is a bad idea and shouldn't be implemented.)

I disagree - turning off sync for a subset of notes would be fantastic. I maintain a notebook structure to use this feature should it ever be implemented.

Like @krntsck , I have a lot of old notes (mostly web clips) that I don't really need fast access to. I don't want to delete them, but based on age I don't want to keep them on my phone. As it is, my database is over 15GB. I don't want an ever-increasing need for phone storage, and I don't want to slow things down. Additionally, when I get a new phone or need to restore my Joplin database for any reason, I would prefer this not be a 3 day process, as it is currently.

Downloading attachments on demand also requires I have a network connection, and I often don't.

On the other hand, I can't imagine why allowing selective sync is a bad idea. Why not implement it per-notebook?

If you see that you rarely ever look at some of these notes, maybe you could export them to JEX and delete them from your collection? That's not ideal but if you have 15 GB of notes it might make sense.

While I understand that's a simple solution, I derive great value from using Joplin (and previously Evernote) as a database of all my random stuff. The ability to search without re-importing to find anything and everything and not worry about managing exported notes is completely worth the extra database size. After all, searches on my desktop take almost no time, and 15GB isn't much space.

Things are a little different on a mobile phone, as 15GB is 12% of available space on a 128GB phone. Even more painful is the restore process though. I'd love to be able to carve out a large portion of that data and force a search from desktop if it's offline.

Even more ideal than partial sync, would be partial attachment download. In other words, an option to only download attachments in particular notebooks. I think that would provide tremendous power to manage data for users, while minimizing risk of data loss due to some glitch or user error.

Laurent: It's not about notes being needed or not. In my case I have a lot of information stored that I want and need. Not all of them and not in any case, though, but definitely on my desktop. Use cases:

  • articles on ongoing cases
  • data I pull off the Internet as new papers and articles are being released.

On my mobile device, I wish to only have things that I actively work on. Use cases:

  • To do lists
  • Ideas for articles and other writing snippets by myself

So in essence:
Selective sync would be a really great help. It would absolutely be enough if this is an option per notebook. I don't need it as a per note setting

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@krntsck Would a notebook-specific attachment download also meet your needs? That should reduce data usage dramatically on mobile, while still allowing search for those notes (as they would be synced), and then forcing attachments to download when needed.

I also suspect it would be easier to implement, and considered safer against user error or coding error (no worries that sync would interpret a missing offline note as a deletion, or that a user could initiate a new sync accidentally from mobile and wipe out desktop notes).

So:

  1. Add an attachment download option on mobile or all platforms to enable selective-download of attachments all, or user-selectable set of notebooks.
  2. When opening a note in a notebook that does not have attachments downloaded, user can then download attachments for that note only.
  3. Add an ability to remove attachment downloads per-notebook. This is helpful particularly when the feature is first implemented, so users can remove attachment from the local data store, for the notebooks they intend to streamline.

What does everyone think of that proposal? @laurent ? I think it would add a lot of power and flexibility for Joplin users.