Syncing across devices

Actual is a different kind of app in that all of your data is stored locally. We believe that you should have complete control over your data, and provide optional services to help sync it across devices and back it up. It's your choice when to share your data.

This also means the app is always available (and super fast) regardless of network connection.

When you enable syncing across devices, we temporarily store recent data on our servers using bank-level 256-bit AES encryption.

Syncing allows multiple devices to get the latest changes no matter who made them, wherever you are.

Settting up syncing

Since we don't host your data by default, viewing your data across multiple devices is a little different than most apps. You need to connect two devices over the same network to set them up, but you only need to do that once. From then on, they will seamlessly sync.

  1. If you aren't logged in yet, press Subscribe in the title bar of the app and press Sign in.
  2. Press the gear icon beside the budget name to open the settings page.
  3. Under Syncing, press Broadcast to make your data available to another device.
  4. If the other device is desktop, on the budget list page (press
    if a budget is already open), press Sync file to discover your device and setup a syncable file
  5. If the other device is mobile, hit Sync from desktop on a fresh install, or Sync new file from the budget list page (close an existing budget under settings).

Tip: If you ever have a problem with syncing, you can reset syncing under Advanced in settings.


If you are having problems setting up syncing, you can try a few things:

  1. Make sure the device you want to sync from has opened the settings screen and is showing "Broadcasting".
  2. Make sure both devices are on the same wifi network. This is the only way they will discover each other (you only need to do this once, after setup they don't have to be on the same network).
  3. If you are still have problems, please contact us.


When you sync multiple devices, changes are temporarily stored on our servers so that you can pull them down from anywhere. This data is stored in an encrypted database using 256-bit AES encryption, the same encryption used by banks. In transit data is always encrypted with TLS/SSL.

We say "temporarily" because we don't need to actually keep your data around. After a certain time period, we assume all clients are synced and will automatically delete old data. Our servers are simply used as a place to put recent data. Currently the threshold is around 6 months.


In the future we will explore the following:

  • Allowing true peer-to-peer syncing.
  • Implementing end-to-end encryption so that even we can't access your data when it's on our servers.
  • Providing a service for hosting encrypted backups.

All of our technology is already built to make these things possible!