What Does Sync Mean? How to use it with your Google account

Learn what sync stands for, why you need it, how to do it and whether it is safe.

What Does Sync mean

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The word sync is a shortened version of the word synchronization which means two things working together.

For example, if you’re watching a movie and the actors’ lips don’t match up with the audio, then it’s out of sync. However, this isn’t as frustrating as your devices not syncing with each other.

Syncing files means that you won’t lose anything by switching from one computer to another. Your pictures will still be there, even if your laptop gets low on power. Your documents will still be available on other computers.

And if you get an email on your phone, you’ll be able to read it on your laptop which is a very convenient feature.

What You Can Sync

You can locate and edit the information you have synchronized on your devices such as passwords, history, bookmarks etc.

If you were logged into Youtube, or Gmail, for example, you will remain logged in if there was an active session when you turned on sync.

You are also able to customize your experience in the Google apps by keeping your web browsing history if you turn on Web & App Activity.

You should bear in mind when setting up Chrome Sync that your personal data could be shared with Google as part of the process.

To protect yourself, make sure you’re syncing only with devices you own. Also, if you’re using a public PC, use guest mode instead of normal mode.

1

How To Sync

Step

1

Google Account

To turn on sync, you need a Google Account.

Step

2

Turn On Sync

Simply open Chrome, click Profile, sign in to your Google Account and turn on sync. You can choose to sync across all your devices, go here.

If you want to use more than one account, or if you share your computer with other people that is also an option.

Syncing On Android

Syncing your Android device to back up data has become a fairly simple and straightforward process these days, but there are still some things you need to consider before doing this.

First, you need to make sure that you’re using an encrypted file system (such as ext4). You also need to ensure that you’ve backed up everything important to you.

Finally, you need to be aware that there are certain limitations to what you can restore.

Turning Off Sync

You can turn off sync without losing your bookmarks, history or passwords. If you want to turn off sync, you’ll need to do this on each device separately.

If you choose to turn it off your bookmarks, history, etc. won’t be deleted but they won’t be synced either. You’ll still be logged into Gmail, though.

To turn off sync at Gmail, log out of your account then log back in again. Then sign in again. When you sign in through a Google service, such as Gmail, you’ll be automatically logged into Chrome.

You can always log out of Chrome by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL or clicking the power button.

Apple Devices

It’s easy to Sync your Apple devices such as iPod classic, iPod nano or iPod shuffle with iTunes.

Apple makes it very easy to add music, movies, photos, contacts, and other things to your iPhone or iPad. Just follow the instructions from the settings tab. You can also remove them if you want.

Is It Safe To Sync?

You could choose to use a password manager such as Enpass. Enpass allows you to sync your data across different devices.

The advantage of using Enpass is that you don’t have to worry about losing any data because Enpass takes backups regularly. Enpass is completely secure because it encrypts your data before sending it over the internet.

Your computer uses the cloud as a place to store data. You can use this service to access your files whenever you need them.

In Summary

Syncing files and data shouldn’t be a difficult process and there is a plethora of information about the different ways to do it.

Kevin is the Editor of PC Guide. He has a broad interest and enthusiasm for consumer electronics, PCs and all things consumer tech - and more than 15 years experience in tech journalism.