How does Google Chrome Sync work?

Ercan Cem March 17, 2012
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How does Google Chrome Sync work exactly?

Say I have bookmarks at computer A. I sync them; now they are stored in the cloud. I go to computer B, with a freshly installed Chrome. I sign in, and get the bookmarks from the cloud. Now here comes the tricky bit: I again sync bookmarks from computer A. Now, say, cloud has bookmarks “A2”. Then go to computer B and play the with bookmarks, and, at that moment I have “B2” (previous state was A1.)

Now when I sync, how does Chrome knows whether I want cloud to be synced to A1 state, or want PC B to be synced to “A2” state? Was that confusing?

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  1. Emrah At?lkan
    March 29, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    My sync is not working correctly for last 6 months. I am deleting extensions and after a while extensions coming back again. i have to remove it from all computers i use at the same time. Maybe you had the same issue.

    • Dirk
      July 31, 2012 at 11:09 am

      Same probllem as Emrah: I delete a bookmark folder and it comes bak again and again :-(

  2. Indronil Mondal
    March 17, 2012 at 6:44 am

    Chrome doesn't knows knows whether you want cloud to be synced to A1 state, or want PC B to be synced to “A2? state
    all files are uniformly copied to all 3 places because you are using only one account i guess..

  3. Chris Hoffman
    March 17, 2012 at 6:42 am

    That's a good question.

    Basically, how it works is that Google Chrome sets up a connection to Google's servers with XMPP. XMPP is the same protocol used for Google Talk chats.

    When you delete a bookmark on computer A, computer A sends a small message (kind of like a chat message) to Google saying "hey, this bookmark was deleted." Google then sends a chat message to computer B saying "hey, delete this bookmark."

    So it doesn't just sync all your bookmarks as a big blob, it's smart enough to only sync individual bookmarks.

    This is explained at the bottom of this page: http://www.chromium.org/developers/design-documents/sync