Syncing Your Alfred Settings Between Macs
If you have more than one Mac, you may want to sync your settings so that both Macs have access to the same workflows, snippets, themes, etc that you've taken the time to set up.
This guide will take you through the steps required to set up syncing on two Macs using Dropbox.
To follow this workflow, you'll need to have the following:
- Your Alfred Powerpack activated on both Macs
- The Dropbox application installed and running on both Macs
We recommend Dropbox, due to its reliability.
Apple's iCloud and Google Drive have been unreliable options for many users, resulting in lost preferences or file conflicts, so we do not recommend them for syncing preferences.
If you're not sure whether your preferred service is suitable, take a backup of your preferences first before setting up syncing.
Setting up syncing on your primary Mac
Start the setup process on the Mac that contains the settings you want to copy to the second Mac.
The settings on the first Mac will overwrite anything you have on the second Mac, so make sure you've set it up just how you want it.
You're now ready to set your sync folder on your first Mac:
- Launch Alfred's preferences to the Advanced tab.
- In the bottom right, you will see the Syncing settings. Click on "Set sync folder…"
- Choose a location within Dropbox where you want to sync your settings (e.g. ~/Dropbox/Alfred/) and click "Set folder and restart Alfred"
- Alfred will relaunch, using the settings location you've just set on Dropbox
- You'll see the Dropbox spinning arrows as it syncs your settings to your online account. Allow Dropbox to sync fully before starting setup on your second Mac.
Setting up syncing on your second Mac
Before you start, you've let all your syncing complete on the first Mac, right? :)
- Check that Dropbox has synced your newly added settings file from your online account (you should see an Alfred.alfredpreferences file in the Dropbox folder you picked)
- Launch Alfred's preferences to the Advanced tab and click on the "Set sync folder…"
- Find the Dropbox folder in which your first Mac's Alfred.alfredpreferences file is located and click "Set folder and restart Alfred"
- Once Alfred has restarted, you'll be using your synced settings.
You can now complete the setup on your second Mac, as a few key settings are individual to each Macs (e.g. your primary Alfred hotkey)
Which settings aren't synced?
Most of your Alfred settings are synchronised between your Macs, but certain settings are deliberately not synced to allow you to customise each one (e.g. your home and work Mac) to use context-relevant settings, like a different colour theme or home folder.
The excluded settings are:
- Alfred's main hotkey and default scope
- Currently selected theme (allows different theme per Mac)
- Dictionary language for spell and define keywords
- Clipboard History enabled and history data
- Custom home folder for File System Navigation
- 1Password enabled and keychain location
Can I use a sync service other than Dropbox?
You can use any service that syncs files locally in the same way Dropbox does.
We do not recommend using Apple's iCloud service to sync your preferences, as it's significantly slower and less reliable than Dropbox, which can lead to file conflicts.
Google Drive is also unsuitable as files are not available immediately on startup. As a result, Alfred may create a new set of preferences if your existing preferences are unavailable.
Why can't I use the Apps folder in Dropbox?
Here's why we currently disallow use of the /Dropbox/Apps/ folder.