I’m probably using FocusWriter contrary to intended design but I’ve had real trouble with FW retaining my settings across multiple computers through a portableapps install synced across multiple devices with Google Backup and sync. I use portableapps + google drive to get around overly restrictive software security settings at my university and I often prefer to use FW to draft before pumping into a CMS or word processing software.
I’ve noticed this issue occurring across multiple updates but given the context above, I'm noting highly specific circumstances in which FW fails to retain data.
Operating system Windows 10 Education 64bit (device 1) and Windows 7 home 64bit (device 2)
- Portableapps 16.0.3
- FocusWriter 1.73
- Google Backup and Sync Version 3.45.5545.5747
What you were doing
Order of steps:
- Updated when prompted on device 1 to Portableapps 16.0.3
- Portableapps 16.0.3 prompted me to update to FocusWriter 1.73
- Google Backup and Sync (hosting Portableapps files including focus writer) synchronised install data.
- Relaunched Portableapps and FocusWriter.
- FocusWriter personal settings no longer appear in program (i.e. no ‘sessions’ record, no personal dictionary, no language settings, no toolbar shortcuts)
Note: this has occurred for a few updates since I’ve started using FocusWriter. It has happened when I failed to close down FocusWriter and portableapps on device 1 before launching it on device 2 causing synchronisation conflicts with Google backup and sync. Effectively, FW locks the application files on Device 1 preventing sync on device 2. If I forget to close one of them, there's no way to restore the data until device 1 closes session.
What I expected / attempts to fix myself
My thought was that FocusWriter installs/active sessions would not overwrite/impact personal preference data. Perhaps this means that my old personal settings are held somewhere still within the FW directory hosted on Google Backup and Sync – I have investigated this by scouring the 'data' directory and restoring older files (that contain old settings), renaming post-update settings files to 'old' and then relaunching. However, there was no change upon relaunching FW. I can provide more detail on this attempted fix if relevant.
Any advice on how to mitigate this issue would be appreciated (i.e. what files need to be restored in Data) and or, perhaps this will be useful to inform future updates to the portable version of FW.
Suggestions for future updates:
If the issue is update related changes to the 'Data' folder it seems like there should be an option to save your personal settings external to the portable apps directory itself. That way, if a loss of settings occurs, one can restore from a location specified outside of the portable apps directory location. I have no real sense of how many people use Portable apps + a cloud syncing service versus loading onto an external memory device, but I'm sure this will become more common in the future...
Thanks in advance porto-peeps.
You must close one instance of an app before running another. This applies to all apps we post across all possible ways to run multiple instances (multiple Windows users using the same directory, multiple PCs using the same network drive, multiple PCs using a cloud synced folder). This has always been the case and is unlikely to change due to the way the apps themselves use and interact with their own files.
Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!