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Apr 8, 2010

Portable Apps, Dropbox and Chrome Sync for Settings and Autofill data

It seems that a recent Chromium build is allowing for synching of settings and form autofill data. The next step will hopefully be extensions and browsing history. For a while I was using a portable version of Google Chrome from Portableapps.com which I would keep synched on several computers with Dropbox. But this had the huge disadvantage of forcing me to leave my computer on from anywhere between 2-30 minutes after I was done working. Yes, Chrome stores that much data! Sometimes files could be up to 50MB, (which is kind of creepy, what the hell is it really storing?).
I soon discovered that I could just delete these files if I was in a real hurry to shut my computer down, but then what was the whole point? I would lose my history, thumbnails or whatever else was over more than a couple MBs. This could have been solved if Dropbox offered the possibility of shutting down the computer after synching was done. And then there was also the problem of conflicting files that were created occasionally. I had to be really careful to never run simultaneous versions of Chrome (or any other portable app for that matter). Fair enough.

There were some advantages though. I loved being able to close my browser with all my current work at home in the night and get to the office at the following morning, open up Chrome and have everything exactly as I left it. So, ever since bookmark sync was added to Chrome, I have ditched the portable version. I still do use Dropbox synching for a few other applications, but ones that I use less frequently (and that store a lot less data than Chrome) and just where I want my settings, plugins and/or extensions to be saved from one computer to another. Filezilla, Notepad, Skype, Foxit PDF Reader adn a few more are great examples. I also really like that this way I don't mess with the computer's registry as much by continually installing, uninstalling, reinstalling.

Overall, I now love my setup with a few portable applications staying the same across multiple computers. I just hope that Chrome keeps adding the ability to sync more data.
5 Veiko.com: Portable Apps, Dropbox and Chrome Sync for Settings and Autofill data It seems that a recent Chromium build is allowing for synching of settings and form autofill data. The next step will hopefully be extensio...

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