Syncthing: sync phone root directory (all internal storage)

April 2, 2023

If you use Syncthing on your phone, it may not let you select the phone’s root directory as a shared folder source! At least that’s the case on my phone running Android 13.

Syncthing web GUI showing root directory path as text

As you can see, “use this folder” is greyed out and there’s a warning the folder can’t be used for privacy reasons.

But I own that phone and I don’t like being told what to do. In our case, I want to be able to sync all of my phone’s storage to my computer, as a backup system.

So how to circumvent that?

Turns out we can do that through Syncthing’s lesser known “web GUI”!

You can find it in the left menu (where you also exit Syncthing from). It will open the web version of Syncthing. From there, instead of selecting the directory to sync from your phone’s native folder picker (which may prevent you to use the root directory), you can just input a path as plain text.

Syncthing web GUI showing root directory path as text

Enter /storage/emuilated/0 (or simply ~), and there you go, you have a Syncthing folder that syncs all of your phone’s internal storage! 🙏

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