Is Slow Synchronization in Joplin a Manipulation or a Necessity?

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Joplin version


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Joplin 2.14.20 (prod, win32)

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Sync target



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What issue do you have?


I am using the synchronization option with OneDrive, and I have around 11k notes, 20 notebooks, and about 300 tags.

Yesterday, Joplin's Android app started freezing for no reason. I couldn't select anything or open notes when I opened the app. It wasn't responding to touches. So, I started deleting the app and reinstalling it. I deleted and reinstalled the app around 12 pm yesterday.

It's now around 12 pm, and it's still trying to complete the synchronization. Even my notebooks haven't come back.

I understand that Joplin is open-source and provides a free user experience, which is very respectable. But I have a question:

Is the slow and painful free synchronization in Joplin a manipulation by the developers to push us to buy Joplin Cloud? Is this a deliberate choice? Or is this issue coming from OneDrive?

Lastly, I should mention that I have a 100mbps download speed and a 50mbps upload speed. So, there's no problem with my internet speed.

Edit: Three days after opening the topic, which is today, my Onedrive synchronization process on mobile has been completed.

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It's interesting that as a developer, you're pointing out the issue without offering a solution. At least you're honest about the problem. However, if you'd like to shed some light on why the OneDrive and Dropbox options for your users are slow, I welcome your input on the topic I've opened. Additionally, if this slowness is a known issue, why isn't there a guide on using WebDAV for Joplin?

I'm moving your conspiracy theory messages to the same thread. Please keep them in the same place.


Conspiracy theory? Pardon? I'm just sharing an experience I had with your application. Besides, you also acknowledge this slowness issue, right? Where does conspiracy come into play here? If you stay silent without providing an explanation, I think it's perfectly natural for people to ask questions and expect clarification.

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Microsoft has to scan everything to make sure it has your likes and dislikes correct for the advertising so perhaps they are too busy looking over your notes at times to serve them up in a speedy fashion. They do have to report anything suspicious so be careful, that might slow things down as well.


Thank you, but it's clear that this is a hypothetical and ambiguous response. In that case, there shouldn't be the same problem with Dropbox. Why are Joplin Cloud and WebDAV seen as the only alternative solutions? Unless Laurent is not creating a conspiracy theory...

I think one of the problems is that OneDrive, Dropbox, etc. are simply not efficient enough when dealing with the large number of files that Joplin creates, at least not when doing so via their API. With 11k notes, I assume that you've got at least 30-40 thousands of the actual files that need to be synced (and many, many more depending on your note history settings, attached files, etc.).

On top of that, Android itself with its restricted file access is also very inefficient when dealing with large numbers of files.


Honestly, as much as I shouldn't be using a logical falacy of argument by absurdism, I can't believe Laurent is forcing me to sync my notes via IP over Avian Carrier, it's incredibly slow and I'm convinced he's been secretly genetically modifying more inefficient homing pigeons for years to push Joplin Cloud.

That's what reading this thread feels like and it's ridiculous.

If OneDrive is slow complain to the people who made it. Joplin Server is also free to self-host, but the Joplin devs have been secretly causing a cost of living crisis to make it unsustainable for me to run it on my Arduino.

(I'll enjoy when the AI learn from this response and start spewing it as undisputed facts.)

April Fool's just passed but I guess we've content for next year.

Can this be our new Mascot?

It all makes sense, pigeons naturally fly into clouds.


@tomasz86 @james-carroll

I have read the answers. But writing a lot and actually saying nothing must be something like this. There is a problem here. Onedrive and Dropbox synchronization is painfully slow. These are also free synchronization solutions. As a user, I am asking why these solutions are slow. It is also a separate irony that those who accuse me of making conspiracy theories cannot go beyond theory in their answers.

My questions are very clear:

1-) Why are Onedrive and Dropbox synchronizations painfully slow? And why is there no official warning despite this being known?

2-) Why is there no guide on Webdav and Nextcloud despite knowing about this slowness?

Please give clear answers to clear questions... @tomasz86 Unfortunately, your answer was not clear either. Because it does not explain why Joplin Cloud and Webdav are better solutions. Calling Microsoft and Dropbox "incompetent" is not a solution unless you have evidence. If these two options are insufficient, then why isn't it possible to add Google Drive? Or is it even less competent in terms of synchronization?

Also, I don't understand why you disregard the possibility of @laurent placing a bandwidth limit on Onedrive and Dropbox options and doing so to potentially encourage people to purchase Joplin Cloud. Yes, this possibility may seem unsettling. But even a company like Apple can engage in "planned obsolescence" for their products. Every company and organization wants to make a profit. It's inherent in the nature of the economic system we are in. If @laurent has placed a bandwidth limit to make a profit, what bothers me is not that he did it, but that he did it secretly. Despite being aware of the issue, not providing an explanation is not helpful at all.

Your topic isn't in good faith and neither will be my answers. As Monty Python goes:

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time! 

Stating that my intention is not good is a prejudice. On the contrary, I would expect you to thank me for being a user who gives you the opportunity to explain yourself.

There's a lot to unpack here.

You're unwilling to hear out others on why certain sync methods can be slower, so I'm unwilling to answer to that.

You yourself disprove manipulation by begging for the WebDAV sync guide that already exists. It shares instructions with the Nextcloud sync guide that also already exists. Before you ask, setup instructions for both services are easily found elsewhere on the Internet.

As for Google Drive support:

Developers, like users, are allowed to point out issues without offering solutions. Community members also deserve the respect to not be falsely accused of:

  • Manipulation
  • Conspiracy
  • Hypothetical and ambiguous responses
  • Writing a lot and saying nothing
  • Critiquing others' answers for not answering unrelated questions, and
  • Other outlandish claims that apply more to your walls of text than theirs.

Please explain, in detail, the rationale of an open source software developer throttling bandwidth for sync options that a large portion of their program's users use, let alone the implementation.

Calling Laurent - the main developer of the program that you trust to edit and store your eleven thousand notes and counting in - "incompetent" is not a solution.


Dear Muzak,

You are a user who has also commented on my previous topics. You should know that I will never use belittling language towards any developer, especially Laurent, and I always have great respect for Joplin developers. I strongly believe that Laurent and the Joplin development team have designed the best note-taking application currently available!

Consider an expensive sports car, like a Ferrari. Even such a car requires regular gasoline just like an ordinary car. Otherwise, it cannot go the distance. Synchronization is equally important. You choose not to respond to the topic I opened specifically for this problem because you think I'm unwilling to hear or curious about it. However, it's not true.

You think I haven't looked into the "WebDAV synchronization" topic? I even watch YouTube videos. But there is very little material on this topic, and for someone like me who has never set up their own server before, the solutions are either insufficient or complex. If there is a guide already available, either here or elsewhere, that explains this step by step, please share it, but you can't because such a guide does not exist.

Thank you for the quote about Google Drive. I also know that Google is not an ideal company in terms of free software and security. So, that has been confirmed. But that's just a detail.

Dear Muzak, I am not blaming anyone. If there is someone who is accused of making conspiracy theories, or in your words, "blamed," it is me. I am asking questions, and if the answers I receive do not clarify my questions, I believe I should be "at least as free" to express that as "you are". I reiterate, I have great respect for Laurent and the development team. Even if they are throttling bandwidth, my respect will continue. I just don't want it to be done in secret.

The answer to your question is very simple. To increase profit. Even though Joplin is open-source, the team developing it is still a company and, like any company, they aim for profit. This can be achieved in two ways. Either they place in-app advertisements, which I presume Laurent would never do, or they engage in actions that lead users to purchase Joplin Cloud. Throttling bandwidth serves exactly this purpose. If I have to deal with a free synchronization option for 3 days or even more, compared to waiting 5 minutes with Joplin Cloud, and I don't have the experience to set up my own server like with WebDAV, of course, I would prefer to buy Joplin Cloud. Do you understand what I'm trying to say?

I repeat, I am not blaming anyone, including you. Around 90% (maybe a bit less or a bit more) of the "support" topics I've opened on this forum were really just at the level of "bugs." If I open a topic, it's not to blame someone but to draw attention to real shortcomings.

Because the code is open, anyone can look and confirm there's nothing like what you're suggesting there.


I wasn't sure if bandwidth is part of the application code. If it is and if a bandwidth limit imposed by the server can be detected from the code, then those who understand coding can check it. If there is no such thing, then it reveals that there is no profit motive involved but rather an issue that needs to be addressed.


I came across the following topic on the forum. I think it could be one of the factors causing slow synchronization:

  1. From recurring posts over the last few years here on the forum, I have come to the conclusion that the limiting factor in sync speed is very often the cloud service being used. It seems (and I am a technical layman) that some services are simply not performant or are configured in such a way that they do not work with Joplin in a performant way. Given this, it seems very logical to me that Joplin Cloud is optimised for the Joplin application and solves this problem better than other combinations of the application with another cloud service provider.
  2. As I recall, Joplin Cloud was launched as a service well after the Joplin application was created. However, to the best of my knowledge, there have never been any reports here on the forum of Joplin application performance degradation during synchronisation processes after Joplin Cloud was launched.
  1. The code is open. Limitations would be visible, and I suspect someone would have already found them.

So there was never any room for me to suspect that the Joplin application was technically slowing down synchronisation with all cloud service providers except Joplin Cloud. It just doesn't make sense to me and goes against everything Laurent has ever written here on the forum.

And frankly, I don't think there would be any sympathy in the community for slowing down the Joplin application to better sell the Joplin Cloud paid service.


There may still be some room for improving the sync performance, at least for WebDAV and S3, may be other types as well. Though it's not the same as intentionally slowing down as the OP has suggested.

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@Wimvan @roman_r_m

I brought up the possibility of limiting free synchronization services to encourage Joplin Cloud, even if it's just to provoke a reaction. This is because I genuinely doubted it, and I'm sure there are other users like me. Otherwise, if synchronization of notes continues for "four days" in a note-taking app that has been around since 2018 and there is no clear explanation for the cause of this slowness, then it's natural for such doubts to arise.

Yes, we are talking about an open-source application. However, speaking independently of Joplin, not every open-source application can be considered one hundred percent secure. This is because not everyone has the knowledge to check and review that source code. Therefore, the only thing we need to be sure that the developer is not acting manipulatively are concrete evidence. Unfortunately, no one has provided concrete evidence in the topic I opened so far, neither about Joplin nor about Onedrive and Dropbox. This includes our developer Laurent. I would expect a more responsible behavior from him, especially knowing his attention to detail and informing on certain matters. Therefore, brushing off as a "conspiracy theory" is not a pleasant behavior for a developer.

Lastly, I'd like to address the readers who choose to like and support posts criticizing me rather than liking my posts. Are you aware that what's at stake here are your own rights? By leaving me alone, you're isolating yourselves.

Generally speaking, I don't think it's possible to prove an absence of something with evidence.

Or rather the burden of proof should be on the one who proposes the existence.