Understanding sync errors and warnings

If a problem occurs when you are attempting to sync, it is either a sync error or a sync warning. Sync Center notifies you of any sync errors, but not of sync warnings, though both are displayed on the Sync Results screen in Sync Center.

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What is a sync error?

A sync error is a problem that usually prevents sync from being completed, such as a mobile device that is not plugged in or turned on when you try to sync with it, or a server that is unavailable. Sync errors usually occur when there is a problem with the device, computer, folder, or web service you are trying to sync with.

What is a sync warning, and how is it different from a sync error?

A sync warning is similar to a sync error except it is typically less severe, and it usually does not block you from completing your sync. A sync warning might tell you an error could occur if you don't take action. For example, Sync Center might warn you that it detects low battery power on your cell phone, and if you don't recharge it soon, the phone might die before sync can complete (which would create a sync error).

What is the difference between sync conflicts and sync errors and warnings?

Sync errors and warnings usually occur when there is a problem with the mobile device, computer, or network folder you are trying to sync with. Sync conflicts occur when Sync Center can't reconcile differences between a file stored in one location and a version of the same file in another location.

Will I be notified if I have any sync errors?

Yes, the Sync Center icon Picture of the Sync Center icon in the notification area on the taskbar will change to look like this Picture of the Sync Center icon indicating a sync error whenever you have a sync error. Right-click this icon, and then click View sync results. This will open Sync Center, where any errors will be displayed next to each sync partnership.

Will I be notified if I have any sync warnings?

No, but you can check for sync warnings at any time on the Sync Results screen in Sync Center. To check for sync warnings:

  1. Open Sync Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Sync Center.

  2. In the left pane of Sync Center, click View sync results.

Where can I view sync errors?

You can view your sync errors in the following areas of Sync Center:

  • The Sync Results screen. This is where all your sync errors are displayed in detail. From here, you can see the time each error occurred, what went wrong, and other information that can help you fix errors.

  • The main Sync Center screen. This screen also displays any sync errors you might have. Click any error link that appears next to a sync partnership to view its details on the Sync Results screen.

  • The Sync Center icon in the notification area. This icon, located in the notification area on the taskbar, will change to look like this Picture of the Sync Center icon indicating a sync errorwhen you have a sync error. If you right-click this icon and click View sync results, this will open Sync Center, where any errors will be displayed next to each sync partnership. Depending on how you have your taskbar configured, this icon may not be visible.

Where can I view sync warnings?

The Sync Results screen is where all your sync warnings are displayed. From here, you can see the time each warning occurred, what went wrong, and other information that can help you fix warnings and avoid future errors. To view sync warnings:

  1. Open Sync Center by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking All Programs, clicking Accessories, and then clicking Sync Center.

  2. In the left pane of Sync Center, click View sync results.

Should I try to fix sync errors and warnings?

Yes, you should try to fix sync errors, but you don't have to fix sync warnings. Sync errors usually block sync from completing. If you don't fix them, some or all of your files will not be in sync.

Sync warnings usually don't prevent sync from completing, so it is not imperative that you fix or even notice every warning. However, it is a good idea to check occasionally for warnings on the Sync Results screen when you sync. Warnings might notify you of problems that will lead to sync errors if you don't take action to fix them, such as recharging a battery that is almost dead or plugging in a cable that has come loose.

Can I ignore sync errors and warnings?

Yes, you can. If you want to clear the error so you don't see it anymore, go to the Sync Results screen, right-click the error or warning you want to ignore, and then click Ignore. Until you fix whatever caused the error or warning, however, you usually will not be able to sync the partnership with the sync error, and the error is likely to reappear the next time you try to sync.

How long will my sync errors and warnings show?

Sync Center only stores your sync errors until the next time you log off Windows or turn off your computer, when they are erased. This gives you time to fix errors, but prevents error messages from piling up and being displayed longer than necessary. For example, what if you have an error on your cell phone, but then stop using that phone and never connect it again to your computer? You don’t want that error to show up forever.

What is the other information on the Sync Results screen?

In addition to sync errors and warnings, the Sync Results screen displays the results of all your sync activity. You can visit this screen to find out whether you were able to sync successfully. Like sync errors and warnings, this sync information is only stored until the next time you log off Windows or turn off your computer.

Note

  • The ability to sync with network folders is not included in Windows Vista Starter, Windows Vista Home Basic, and Windows Vista Home Premium.