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Configure and use SugarSync in Windows

By . Last modified: 2014-08-14.

How to use SugarSync for backing up, synchronizing and restoring your most important files in Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8 and 8.1

Sadly, SugarSync will transition to Paid-Only Service beginning on February 8, 2014. We wish them good luck and hint on other free online backup services, such as Bitcasa or Tresorit.

After SugarSync installation, SugarSync Drive appears in Windows/File Explorer. You can use it to download or edit files that have not been synchronized to the current device.

To start backing up or syncing files and folders, double-click SugarSync icon on Desktop or click its icon in Notification Area of Taskbar (aka System Tray) and select Open SugarSync.
SugarSync, Notification Area icon menu

Now either drag a folder onto the lowermost area of SugarSync window or click Select Folders.
SugarSync main window. Click Select Folders to add items.

A list of common folders appears. To select other folders, expand More places, then expand a drive and locate the folders you want to archive/synchronize. Use check boxes or green icons with plus signs to add items to SugarSync.

Please remember you are using the free account with 5 gigabyte limit -  the storage space used and free is displayed on the bottom left. These numbers change each time you select or deselect a folder.
Click Add after you're done selecting.
SugarSync - Select Folders to Add. Make your selection and click Add.

By now, file upload has started. During synchronizations, SugarSync Taskbar icon has round arrows. If it has normal logo (the green bird), everything is in sync already. In case the icon is gray, there is no connection to SugarSync servers.
Synced folders also have a small green bubble on them in Windows/File Explorer. While a folder is being synced, the bubble is yellow.
SugarSync icon in Taskbar Notification area. If the icon has round arrows, files are being synchronized. SugarSync icon in Taskbar Notification area. If the icon has just a logo, everything is in sync.

You can upload other folders later just by right-clicking these in Windows Explorer, expanding SugarSync and clicking Add Folder to SugarSync.

Synchronizing folders between computers with SugarSync

To keep same folder in sync on two or more PC-s, you must first install and log in to SugarSync on all the computers and upload the folder contents from the first device.

Then click SugarSync icon in Taskbar Notification Area and click Open SugarSync. Click the folder you want to keep in sync and then click the Sync slider in Folder Info.
SugarSync main window, Folder Info. To synchronize a folder between two or more devices, click the Sync slider.

In the Sync Folder to Computer window, click Merge (right under path field).
SugarSync, Sync Folder to Computer. Click Merge.

Click Choose to select an existing folder to merge with.
SugarSync, Sync Folder to Computer, Merge with an existing Folder. Click Choose.

Locate the folder you want to keep in sync. Please note that you cannot select a Library (available in Windows 7, 8 and 8.1) - to choose a folder inside it, expand the Library name first and then select a subfolder. SugarSync will pop up a warning if you select a Library.
SugarSync, You've selected a library, Please choose a folder instead.

After selecting a folder, click Merge. SugarSync might rename the selected folder if you sync files between Windows XP and newer Windows versions, but all items in the folder will remain intact.
SugarSync, Merge with an existing Folder. Click Merge.

Repeat the process for all folders you want to keep in sync.

Excluding subfolders in SugarSync

If you need to synchronize or back up a folder, but exclude one or more of its sub-folders, click the folder in SugarSync main window. Then expand Advanced and click Manage.
SugarSync, Folder Info. To exclude subfolders, expand Advanced and click Manage.

In the Manage Excluded Subfolders window, deselect the subfolders you do not need to keep in sync or backed up. Finish the process by clicking OK.
SugarSync, Manage Excluded Subfolders. Clear check boxes of the sub-folders you do not want to synchronize. Then click OK.

Using labels to differentiate between same folders on different devices

While you can use SugarSync to synchronize folders on several devices, you can also upload folders with same names without merging. For example, you can archive/back up My Pictures folders from your work and personal PC-s separately.

To tell the folders apart in SugarSync main window or SugarSync Drive more easily, use labels. Click a folder in main program window and then click Edit in the Add or edit folder label section.
SugarSync, Folder Info. To add folder labels, click Edit.

In the Add or Edit Folder Label window, type a descriptive name and click Save.
SugarSync, Add or Edit Folder Label. Type a description and click Save.

Now the label appears in SugarSync main window and SugarSync Drive.
SugarSync main window, a folder with a label SugarSync Drive, folders have labels between parentheses

Removing folders from SugarSync

To stop syncing or backing up a folder, click SugarSync icon in Taskbar Notification Area and select Open SugarSync. Alternatively, double-click SugarSync icon on Desktop.

In the main window, click the folder you want to remove, expand Advanced and click Remove.
SugarSync, Folder Info, Advanced. To stop backing up or syncing a folder, click Remove.

SugarSync will first confirm the syncing change. Click OK. No files will be removed.
SugarSync, Stop Syncing. Click OK.

If this is the only computer that synced the folder, SugarSync will also confirm folder removal from your cloud storage. This will not delete the files from your computer, but from SugarSync storage.
Click Remove Folder.
SugarSync, Remove Folder. To delete the files from SugarSync (not your PC), click Remove Folder.

Using versioning in SugarSync

For Windows XP users, SugarSync can be a godsend with its versioning feature. If a file changes, up to five previous versions of it are retained online. You can easily recover the stored versions.
In Windows Vista and 7, Previous Versions in System Restore does the same by default. In Windows 8 and 8.1, the feature is called File History.

Versioning is accessible via SugarSync web interface. You can either click SugarSync icon in Taskbar Notification Area and click Launch SugarSync Website to locate the file online, or you can right-click the file you want to restore to an earlier version in Windows Explorer and select Show Versions from SugarSync sub-menu.
If the item is grayed out, this item does not have other versions stored.
Windows Explorer, file right-click menu. Expand SugarSync and click Show Versions to see if previous versions are available for this file.

If you entered SugarSync web interface from Taskbar icon menu, locate and select the required file first. Do not select more than one file at a time!
Then click See Versions on the menu that appears on the top.
SugarSync web interface, a file selected. To check for earlier versions of this file, click See Versions.

Now you will see all available versions of this file, with Date Modified, Size, Modified On and Modifiied By columns.
You can click Download to get the version to your computer, or Save to store it as a new file on SugarSync cloud storage.
SugarSync web interface, Versions. Click Download to get a previous version of the file. Click Save to store it as a new file on SugarSync.

Always remember to log off - open the menu with your first name and select Log Out. This will minimize the chances of malicious people accessing your SugarSync account just by re-opening browser window or closed tab, or by stealing stored cookies.
SugarSync web interface, main menu. Always click Log Out after making changes.

Sharing files and folders with SugarSync

You can easily share items you store on SugarSync with other people. Folders can be shared either publicly (with view only rights) or privately (with view only or add/edit rights). Individual files can be shared publicly and with viewing rights only.
You can share any folder on your computer, but you can share only those individual files that are already being synced to SugarSync.

This way, you can distribute and access files or work on same files with other members of a workgroup. Sharing is also a good replacement for sending large attachments via e-mail.

To start sharing, click a folder in SugarSync main window and then click Share. Alternatively, right-click an item in Windows Explorer and select Share from SugarSync sub-menu.
SugarSync main window, Folder Info. Click Share. Windows Explorer, right-click menu. Expand SugarSync and click Share.

For folders, you can select either Public Link (this means that anyone can view the items using the link) or Private Sharing (you can give others either adding and editing rights, or viewing rights only). For files, only Public Link is possible. You can distribute the link via e-mail, copy the link to clipboard or share it using Facebook or Twitter.
SugarSync, Folder sharing. Choose your Sharing Method, add recepients and click Send Invitation. SugarSync, File sharing. Choose your Sharing Method, add recepients and click the appropriate button.

It is always a good idea to stop sharing items after the intended audience has received or stopped modifying these.
To stop sharing a folder, click its name in SugarSync main window, click the Permission button and select Stop Sharing Privately or Disable Link (if you shared this publicly).
As you can see, you can also change the rights to the privately shared folder by selecting Change to Add & Edit or Change to View Only.
SugarSync, Folder Info. To cancel sharing the folder, click Permissions and select Stop Sharing Privately.

To stop sharing a file, right-click it in Windows Explorer, expand SugarSync menu and select Share. Then open the Copy the link tab and click Disable Link.
You can also re-copy or distribute the public link for the file again here instead.
SugarSync, File Sharing, Copy the link tab. Click Disable Link to stop sharing the file.

SugarSync will confirm the action. Click Disable Link.
SugarSync, Disable Link. Click Disable Link to stop sharing the file or folder.

Restoring files with SugarSync

If you need to recover deleted files or folders you previously backed up using SugarSync, click SugarSync's Taskbar icon and select Launch SugarSync Website. Alternatively, you can access your account from https://www.sugarsync.com/login.

Now open the menu with your first name (on top right) and click Deleted Items.
SugarSync web interface, main menu on the top right. Click Deleted Items to see recoverable files.

Locate the file you want to recover and click Restore. Alternatively, you can download the file without storing it on your SugarSync account.
Please note that deleted items you shared with others are located under Privately Shared Items tab.
SugarSync web interface, Deleted Items. Locate the file you want to recover and click Restore.

After restoring, remember to log off - open the menu with your first name and select Log Out. This will minimize the chances of malicious people accessing your SugarSync account just by re-opening browser window or closed tab, or by stealing stored cookies.
SugarSync web interface, main menu. Always click Log Out after making changes.

Managing SugarSync preferences

SugarSync has only a few configuration options. To access these, open main window, then open Tools menu and click Preferences.
SugarSync main window. To configure options, open Tools menu and click Preferences.

Open SugarSync Drive tab. The Mount SugarSync Drive when starting SugarSync option allows disabling or enabling the SugarSync Drive. The check box is ticked by default.
The Restrict Cache Size slider allows controlling the maximum size of remote files that can be stored on your local device. Cache speeds up browsing and reduces file load times. The default is fine here, and you can always remove the cached files just by clicking the Clear button.

Another usable option is Upload Speed under Advanced tab - drag the slider to Low if your data plan has limited upload capacity. This will allow better internet browsing speed while SugarSync in synchronizing items. Default setting here is Medium.
Connection tab has proxy server configuration options only.
Click OK after making changes.
SugarSync Preferences, SugarSync Drive tab. You can disable mounting the SugarSync Drive and manage cache size here. SugarSync Preferences, Advanced. Set Upload Speed to Low if your connection speed is limited.

Renaming your computer in SugarSync

To set a different name for your current computer, open SugarSync main window and select Edit Computer Name from Tools menu.
SugarSync main window. To specify a different name for the PC, open Tools menu and click Edit Computer Name.

In the Edit name of this computer dialog, type a new name and click Rename.
SugarSync, Edit name of this computer. Type a new name and click Rename.

Removing devices from SugarSync

There may be times you want to remove a computer or device from SugarSync - for example, the computer broke down or will be sold.

To delete a device, open SugarSync main window, expand Tools menu and click Unlink Device from SugarSync.
SugarSync main window. To remove a device, open Tools menu and click Unlink Device from SugarSync.

This will open your default web browser, log you in to your SugarSync account and open Remove a Device from SugarSync page. Click Remove button to the right of the device you wish to delete/unlink.
SugarSync, Remove a Device web page. Click Remove to unlink a device and stop syncing it.

A confirmation dialog appears. Click OK to remove the device from SugarSync.
SugarSync, Are you sure you want to remove the computer? Click OK to delete the device from SugarSync.

A notification appears on the web page after the computer has been removed. Click Log Out in the top right menu (with your first name) to exit SugarSync web interface safely - otherwise your login credentials might be accessible to others.
SugarSync, The computer has been removed successfully. Click Logout to exit SugarSync web page.

 

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