Frequently Asked Questions

Getting Started

What is a repository?

A repository is simply a place where you can store and share your files and folders securely, using Ouisync. You can think of it as a root folder, or even a safe, that will contain other folders and files that you want to share with your peers.

Where can I see my repositories?

When you open the Ouisync app, after the onboarding screens you will see the main screen listing all the repositories you have created. Initially this screen will be empty, but as you begin creating repositories, they will be listed here.

Ouisync home page listing your repositories

Create or Import Repositories

How can I create new repositories?

To create a new repository, tap the + button:

Tap the Plus button

Then select 'Create Repository':

Select 'Create repository'

…and give it a name:

Give your repository a nice name.

When creating a repository you have three decisions to make, depending on you wishing (or not) to:

How can I add files and folders to my repository?

That's easy. Tap on the repository name. This will take you to the repository contents screen where you will see a Plus button:

Tap the Plus button

This will open a small window where you can choose whether to create a folder for your files within that repository or add files to it from your device or external storage (such as a USB stick or SD card):

Add folders or files

There you can decide to create a new folder:

Create a new folder

Or you can import files into one of the existing folders.

What does it mean to 'import' a repository?

To import a repository means that you want to recreate on your device a repository that a peer has shared with you. You start with the + button and then select Import:

Select to import a repository

Tapping on the Import repository button will bring you to this screen:

Enter link or scan QR code

Here you have two options - you can scan a QR code generated by your peer or import a link your peer has sent you. The link looks like this:

Shared repository link

After you copy and paste the link you received from your peers into the provided field, or after you scan the QR code, you will see this dialog box.

Import repository dialog box

Here you can make the same selections as when creating a repository. Tapping on the Import button will complete the process of importing a repository.

The imported repository will appear on your screen and after a short while all its content will be imported into your device.  In other words, the Ouisync repositories on your devices will sync their data with the Ouisync repositories on your peer’s device. This will happen automatically, without any further action performed by you.

Once the syncing is complete, you will see the green check icon next to the repository name. This means that you now have on your device the exact copy of the repository that your peer has shared with you.

Syncing of your repository is complete

Peer who shares repository decides what access mode (or permissions) to give to the peers who import it. To learn more, see section Sharing. Access mode is visible just above the repository name on the Import Repository dialog box.

Access mode granted: write
Can I delete my Ouisync repositories?

Yes. You can do that by going to repository settings screen and tapping on the Delete button.

Tap on Delete button.

When you delete a repository on your device, this deletion is not propagated to your peer’s devices – they will still have all their repositories.

If you delete a repository that you have not shared with any other device or peer, then your Ouisync data is deleted.

But if you delete a repository that you have shared with another device or peer, you can re-import it from them back into your primary device.

Example Usecase

A teacher creates a Ouisync repository, uploads the study material into it and shares it with their students in read only mode.

Then a small accident happens and the the teacher's repository gets deleted. The teacher now cannot share new study material with their students.

Students are able to share links with their teacher, but… only with read access. The teacher can import the repository and the data will sync with their students' repositories. The teacher, having received the read access token from their student, also has only read access. In this situation, nobody has a write access to the repository – everybody can read it, but nobody can edit it.

However, If that teacher generates a write token prior to deleting the repository, and stores it somewhere safely, then they are able to re-import the same repository using that token, even after they deleted it on their device. The data from their students' repositories will sync with the teacher’s new repository. That way the teacher’s repository will contain all the data from students’ repositories and they will also have the write access.

Secure Data Storage

Can I use my Ouisync repository for Secure Data Storage?

Yes. To do that, please follow these steps:

Step 1: Create a repository in a normal way, and add data that you want to store to it.

Step 2: Go to repository settings, and tap of the Share button. Select Write and copy the link. (For more details see section Sharing)

Step 3: Paste the link (also called token) and keep it somewhere safe. You will need it to retrieve the data from this repository later on. Note: if you lose it, there is no way to retrieve the data. We do not keep your passwords or links anywhere on our systems.

Step 4: Go back to repository settings, tap on the Share button and now select Blind, and either copy the link, share it or generate the QR code.

Step 5: Using the device where you want to securely store your data, import this repository with access mode Blind

That's it. You data is now securely stored.

What this means is that in your spare device (or your friend’s spare device) you have created an exact replica of the original repository that resides on your primary device, but nobody can access it, because it is blind, ie it doesn’t have either read or write access.

Why is it called Secure Data Storage and not simply Data Backup?

Typically, if you want to back up your data, the backups would be created by some utility program, and they would be timestamped. Thus, if you needed to, you would be able to go back to the previous backed up version.

This is currently not the case with Ouisync Blind repositories. If your Blind repository is online at the same time as your original repositories, it will receive any updates that you make to your data. If you rename, move or delete files in your original repository, they are going to be automatically renamed, moved or deleted in your Blind repository as well.

Currently, Ouisync app doesn’t create timestamped backups that contain previous versions of data, so you cannot go back to the version of repository you had two weeks ago.

This feature is on our roadmap.

What are my Blind repositories useful for?

They may be useful when…

Your primary device is damaged, lost or stolen

In this case, using your Write token link (which you generated and saved in steps 2 and 3 above), you can get a new device, install the Ouisync app, and Import the repository in a normal way using that token link. Your Blind repository and your newly imported repository will sync, and you will have the exact replica of the data from that repository in your new device.

Ouisync repositories in your primary device are accidentally (or deliberately) deleted

You may have a need to temporarily remove the Ouisync repositories from your primary device. By following the steps above, you can securely store your data on a spare device, or your friend’s spare device, without anybody being able to access it, read it or edit it.

How can I retrieve the data from my Blind repositories?

To retrieve data from your Blind repositories, please perform these steps:

Step 1: Make sure that the device containing your Blind repositories is online.

Step 2: Locate the write token for this repository (which you created and stored in steps 2 and 3 above).

Step 3: Open the Ouisync app on your primary device, and tap the plus button to Import the repository in a normal way.

Step 4: Paste the retrieved write token link in the provided field and tap the Import button

Step 5: In a short while, the newly imported repository will receive all the data stored in the Blind repository. They will automatically sync with each other if they are connected either via internet or via a wi-fi or a local network.

From this point on, all the changes you make to the repository on your primary device will, once again, be synced with your Blind repository, as long as devices remain connected .

If you add files to your primary repository, that addition will be propagated to your Blind repository too (if your backup device is connected/online). That means that your Blind repository will automatically receive all updates from your primary repository. However, if you delete any files in your primary repository, then that deletion will be propagated too, and you won't be able to retrieve those files. Ouisync is currently primarily a synchronization tool and not a secure backup tool. The selective syncing, and creating snapshots in time that will allow you to go back to the previous version of your repository is planned for development in future Ouisync releases.

Notice: if you lose your 'Write' link for the backup repository, you won't be able to retrieve data from that Blind copy.


How can I share my repository with my peers (or my other devices)?

You can do this by tapping the repository Settings menu and then tapping the Share symbol:

Select to share a repository

This will open a small window on the bottom part of your screen.

Sharing options

Here you need to decide which permission (or access mode) to give to your peers and whether you want to share the repository using the token link or the QR code.

How do I decide which permissions to select when sharing a repository?


If you want your peers to be able to add files, delete them, rename or move them within the repository that you shared with them, then you need to share your repository with Write permission.

Select Write permissions

An example use case for this level of permissions: sharing photos with friends and family, or working collaboratively on a project.


If you want your peers to only be able to read the repository contents, then select Read permissions. This means they will be able to open the files and read them, but they won't be able to add new files to your shared repository, nor move or delete any files from it.

Select Read permissions

An example use case would be when you want to share the information regarding an event or news items, or maybe regarding certain products, or perhaps you are a teacher sharing some content with your students, etc. In all these you want the recipients to be able to read the contents but not change them.


Select Blind permissions

This level of permissions can be useful when you want to securely store your data in a Ouisync repository. This means that the person or device with whom you shared your repository as Blind won't be able to open the files to read them, nor make any changes to them.

To share by Token Link or QR code?
Share Repository with a link or QR code

If the peer (or device) with whom you want to share a repository is nearby, you can generate the QR code for them to scan. After that, they need to tap on the Import button

Repository QR code

This action will import a copy of your repository onto your peer's device, including all the files and folders within it.

If your peer is not nearby, you can share your repositories by generating a link.

Share Repository with a link or QR code

The Copy link button will copy the generated link which you can paste in an email, text message, chat etc.

The Share link button will offer you a choice of apps you can use to send the link.

When they receive the link, your peers will need to go to the app home page, and then tap the plus button to start the Import repository process. They will need to copy and paste the link into the field provided and proceed with the repository import.

Can my peers re-share my token links?

Yes. They can generate the token links with the same permissions they had in the original token link that they received from you, or lower.

This means that if a person has received a token link to import a repository with Write permissions they are able to generate the same kind of link to share the same repository with other people, or they can also generate links for the same repository but with lower permissions (Read or Blind).

If they imported a repository with Read permissions only, then they can share it with others as Read or Blind. If they imported your repository as Blind, they can only share it as Blind.

File Management

What happens if my peers and myself upload the same file into Ouisync?

Ouisync is capable of handling two different scenarios.

Peers who are online at the same time

If you and one or more peers upload the same file (for example Billy.jpg) to the same Ouisync repository that another peer has already uploaded, Ouisync will detect this situation and ask if you want to keep both files or replace one of them:

Synchronous edits file handling

If you decide to keep both of them, the new one will have (1) added to the name and you will see both files on your Ouisync screen. If you decide to replace the existing one, then the new one will overwrite it and the old one will no longer exist

Peers who are offline at the time of uploading the files

If you and one or more peers upload the same file (for example Free_Test-Data_1MB.docx) when you are offline and therefore not able to sync files immediately, your files will sync when you are able to connect to your peers again. In case of two or more files bearing the same name, Ouisync will detect this situation and it will add random string at the end of the name of each file - to distinguish between them.  You can then view them and decide which one to keep, whether to rename them etc.

Asynchronous sync file handling
What happens if I delete files in my repository?

File deletion is propagated to all replicas in existence - which means the same file that you deleted will be automatically deleted in the repositories of all the peers with whom you have shared it.

Equally, if your peers delete any files in any of the repositories that they have imported from you, their file deletions will be propagated to your device too. It works both ways -i.e.: repositories shared with Write permissions will sync with each other, including file edits, additions or deletions.

What happens if I rename files in my repository?

If you rename files in your repository, the new file name will be propagated to the repositories of all the peers that you shared your repository with.

Can I move my files from one repository to another?

No. At the moment you can only move files from one folder to another within the same repository. Moving files from one repository to another is planned for future releases of Ouisync.

Privacy, Security and Cache Server

Are my files stored on a server? Why?

Yes. They are stored fully encrypted in transport as well as at rest and are not readable by the server.

The purpose of this temporary server storage is to facilitate file syncing between peers when they are not online at the same time or when they cannot establish a direct peer-to-peer connection.

If you want to share a repository with a peer who is not online at the moment, your repository data will be stored encrypted on the server and when your peer comes online and connects to the server (or to your device) the files from the stored repository will sync with the files in your peer's repository.

The server is zero-knowledge and it's purpose is to ensure reachability by temporarily storing data and providing it to those who posses the corresponding token link.

Is there a way to opt-out?


Use Cache Server toggle

When creating or importing a repository, you can decide to use this option, or to opt out of it.

If you want to change your decision later on, you can do that in the repository Settings screen.

Repository Settings window
What happens when Use Cache Server is ON?

If this option is ON, your data is stored on the cache server for a short period of time. The stored data is fully encrypted in transport as well as at rest and is not readable by the server. 

Use Cache Server

When your peer comes online at the time when you are offline, they will connect to the server and the stored repository will sync with your peer's repository.

What happens when Use Cache Server is OFF?

When this toggle is off your data is not stored on cache servers. This means that you will be able to sync your repositories only with peers or devices that are online at the same time as you.

Do not Use Cache Server

If you initially decide to Use Cache Server your repositories are going to be temporarily stored on the Cache Server. If you then decide to opt out and not use this option any more, your previously stored repositories will be deleted from the server. You can opt in or out as many time as you want.

Why don’t I see the Cache Server toggle?

You will see this toggle only got repositories for which you have the write access. For repositories with read or blind access, this toggle is hidden.

If you initially decide to Use Cache Server your repositories are going to be temporarily stored on the Cache Server. If you then decide to opt out and not use this option any more, your previously stored repositories will be deleted from the server. You can opt in or out as many time as you want.

How can I connect to the server?

If you selected to Use Cache Server, when you create a repository ,your device will automatically be connected to the cache server. You don't need to perform any additional actions.

Where is the Cache Server and who runs it?

The Ouisync servers are physically located in Canada and are managed by eQualitie.

What private data does Ouisync use/store?

Ouisync uses the IP addresses of your devices to be able to connect you with your peers in the peer-to-peer network. We don't store those IP addresses anywhere on our systems. We don't keep any other user data.

How can I lock my repositories when I'm not actively using them?

To lock your repositories when not actively working on them, tap on the Lock button.

Do not Use Cache Server

To unlock them, first you need to tap on the repository name.

If your repository is protected by password or biometrics, enter the password or scan your fingerprint when prompted. Otherwise, just tap on the Unlock button and continue to work on your repository.

Passwords and Biometrics

Do I have to set up a password (or biometrics) to protect my repositories?

There is no requirement to protect your repositories either by password or by biometrics.

Whether you decide to do it depends on the sensitivity of data that you store in Ouisync repositories and habitual usage of your devices.

For storing and sharing photos of your cat, maybe a password is not necessary. But for storing more sensitive personal data, we recommend setting up the password (or biometrics) protection.

How can I add local password for a repository?

You can add local password to a respository at the time of creation or import by selecting the Use local password option.

Use local password

You can also do this later on by going to repository Security screen and selecting the same option.

Remember Password option

When local password is set up, you will be required to type it in every time you want to unlock your repository or when you want to enter the repository Security screen.

To avoid having to type it so many times, you can use the Remember password option. This option works in a way similar to the ‘remember password’ option on websites.

Remember password option

Activating this option means that you will not be required to enter the password when unlocking the repository, but you will still need to do it when you want to enter the Security screen.

Can I have different passwords for different repositories?


You could have a repository that you use for work purposes, and it can be protected by a password. On the same device, you could also have a repository that you share with friends or family, and you could protect that one with a different password.

Can I have different passwords for the same repository on different devices?

Yes. For example - you have a repository that you share between your Android phones and your Windows desktop. You can have one password for that repository on your Android phone, and a different password for the same repository on your Windows machine.

What happens if I lose my repository password?

We don’t store your passwords. If you lose them, there is no way of retrieving them and you may lose the access to your repositories.

Do I need to share the repository passwords with my peers?

No. The peer who is sharing a repository can protect their own replica by their own password, and the peer who is importing that repository can protect their own replica, on their device, with their own password.

How can I change a password for one repository?

This can be done in the Security screen of your repository. To get there, go into repository settings and then Security option.

In the fields provided you can type and retype the new password, then tap Update.

How can I delete a password for one repository?

Local password can be deleted in the repository Security screen, by moving the Use local password toggle to OFF position.

Don't use local password
Why is it called 'local password' and not simply 'password'?

A local password is a password set up only for your own device. You don't need to share it with your peers. They can set up their own passwords to protect the shared Ouisync repositories on their own devices.

Can I secure my repositories using Biometrics?

Yes. On Android devices that have Biometric protection set up, you can use it to secure your Ouisync repositories and to enter repository Security screen.

You can activate the biometrics protection at the time of creating or importing a repository. You can also do it later on by going to the Security screen and activating the Secure using biometrics option.

Secure using biometrics

At present, this option is not available for desktop devices.

Ouisync utilises only fingerprints – implementation of face recognition is on our roadmap.

Can I switch off the Biometric protection of the Security screen?

When Biometric protection is ON, you are required to scan your fingerprint every time you want to unlock a repository or enter into its Security screen.

If you switch the biometric protection OFF, you will still be required to scan your fingerprint when you want to enter the Security screen.

Biometric protection of the Security screen is deleted only when biometric protection is removed from devices, or when you decide to use the password protection instead.

Other FAQs

What are the advantages of using Ouisync over Dropbox, Google, or other similar solutions?

Free to use

To be able to share files using Dropbox, you need to create a Dropbox account. This requires your name, email, and credit card. It also requires payment.

Ouisync is entirely free and open source software. To share files using Ouisync, you only need to install the app. That's it. No payment is required.


Ouisync does not require the creation of user accounts. With Ouisync, it is simply a matter of installing the app and using it. All users are completely anonymous.

Ouisync is a P2P solution

This means that using Ouisync successfully does not depend on any central server anywhere. Ouisync makes use of decentralized peer-to-peer networking, which makes it an effective file-sharing app even in situations where well-known file-sharing servers (such as Dropbox or Google Drive) are unavailable.

How can I sync files with my peers or with my other devices without internet?

In situations with limited internet availability, you will need to make sure some means of connecting to other devices still exists.

This could be a WiFi signal available to all devices that want to share Ouisync repositories, or it could be intranet, a local network or similar technologies.

Currently repositories cannot be shared via Bluetooth. This feature is planned for future releases.