Introducing BitTorrent Sync 1.4: An Easier Way to Share Large Files

With new sharing features and a redesigned user experience, version 1.4 brings cloud-free sync to a wider audience

BitTorrent Sync began as a technology experiment; a way to see how a distributed, peer-to-peer model can change the way we sync and share files. Sync takes central servers and the cloud out of the equation and brings security, speed and user control to the table. No cloud means faster transfer speeds and that no third parties ever have your data; your data belongs to you. BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Since the initial Alpha launch of Sync a little over a year ago, we’ve now hit over 10 million total user installs and have transferred over 80 Petabytes of data. Anecdotally, that equals the storage capacity of 2.5 million 32GB iPhones!

Today, we’re unveiling version 1.4 of Sync, a major update that fundamentally changes the way users interact with the application, making it easier to share things with others.

Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for a better way to share large images with a client, a researcher trying to send big files to colleagues, or someone sharing vacation videos with friends and family, Sync was built to make the way we manage our files better.

Sync and share large files – the bigger, the better

If you’re sharing files with a group, wedding photos for instance, there aren’t a lot of good options in the market. Cloud-based solutions slow the speed of transfer, amongst other issues, and shipping around burnt DVDs is inconvenient. Both of those options also get expensive fast.

Sync works magic here. Try it: put a folder of photos into a Sync folder and watch it start syncing with your group in seconds.

With Sync 1.4, we’ve built a workflow it to the application that makes it easy to share. The big feature with this update is the introduction of links. It’s simple sharing, without needing to set up an account.

There’s two ways to send a link, via email or copying it to your clipboard (so you can send using any communications tool of your choice).

BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Screenshot

All receivers have to do is click the link and Sync walks them through the remaining steps.

BitTorrent Sync 1.4

For those of you familiar with Sync 1.3 and earlier, an option to give access to folders via Keys (formerly called Secrets) is still available.

As you’ve seen, we’ve also rolled out a completely redesigned interface for Sync 1.4, a big step in efforts to create the best user experience. BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Screenshot

The folder list is customizable, to show the status and information that you desire.

BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Screenshot

Sync files across every device you own

According to Nielsen, the average person owns about four digital devices these days. Regardless of the purpose, having access to all your data – across all your devices – is a non-negotiable for many. Sync lets you access your files on all major desktop (Windows/OS X/Linux) and mobile (iOS/Android/Windows Phone) platforms.

BitTorrent Sync 1.4
If you’re a network-attached storage (NAS) owner, you can connect it with Sync and tap into the large storage capacity of that device while creating your very own always-on, private cloud. Currently, Sync is available on Seagate, NETGEAR, Synology, Overland Storage, and QNAP. More to come.

Your data belongs to you; control what happens with it

Sync gives you full ownership over your data. With no third parties involved in storing or arbitrating your data, you know exactly where your files go. Privacy controls including Read-Only/Read & Write options, link expirations and approval settings, which all let you customize the level of access you want to provide.

BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Screenshot

Your peer list provides you a record of all the devices you’ve shared with. Each peer becomes a sender also, helping sync files with new peers if and when your device is not online.

BitTorrent Sync 1.4 Screenshot


Version 1.4 is a testament to our users, their acceptance of the product and the stories they’ve shared with us. Thanks to everyone who has interacted with us, provided valuable feedback, and has shown us the real power of Sync:

  • The design agency in Norway that leveraged Sync to manage and share large file shares amongst 3 offices, across 3 different countries.

  • The wedding photographer who used Sync to collaborate efficiently with other photographers.

  • The fire engineer that combined Sync and Zotero to access his academic research on-the-go, from any device.

  • The cancer researcher who used Sync to work with his global colleagues with no limitations on size and speed.

  • The engineer at Angie’s List who took the Sync API and reduced their Web deployment time from hours to seconds.


Sync 1.4 for Windows, OS X, and Linux is live now. Click the button below for the download to install or to update your existing version. You’ll see we’ve introduced a new website as well. The mobile updates will be rolling out today, so please keep an eye open for that.

For our NAS users, expect the update to being rolling out on those product’s app stores in the coming weeks.

Erik Pounds
Written by: Erik Pounds

Erik Pounds is Vice President of Product Management for BitTorrent Sync. Erik joined BitTorrent, Inc. from Greylock Partners, prior to which he spent 3 years with Drobo. Erik graduated with a BS in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco where for four years he was a member of their Division I Golf Team.

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  • Darren

    Fantastic, this is something many people have been wanting for a long time! Thank you for all the work to make this available!

  • jinishans

    Gr8. Will it have/pose any issue with sharing music/video/movies between users.

    • ScottG

      Some apps, such as iTunes, will automatically rearrange folders and files to match where it thinks things should go. These apps also maintain centralized database files (for iTunes, and XML file) to keep the library organized. Be careful if you’re doing more than just “sharing a nested folder of media.” Anyone else have deeper experience?

  • tony Abedul

    this is a great update… but a suggestion: the links must be short. Use Bitly, or other (or may be your own url shortener)

    • Michele Basile

      short link = store keys

  • Dennis Cheng

    still wishing to have directory listing, selective sync on single secret. or something like the android function on desktop version

  • ScottG

    I had established sync rather than backup with my Nexus simulated external DCIM store just BEFORE the update. Now: that sync doesn’t show in the list, and “Camera backup” is there but disabled, and I can’t enable it (“syncFolder is null”). Somehow, pictures are still being backed up on my PC; I’m afraid to change anything. There’s also a top entry called “Add folder” which has 1 peer and is synced – I assume this is DCIM and something is funny. If I click it, it brings up the “Add Folder/QR” dialog.

    Still learning the newer interface, since I’m afraid to poke around without breaking my mysterious picture sync. Should I uninstall/reinstall? Suggestions? I’m not sure if the fragile DCIM sync can be re-established if I reset it.

    • Guest

      This too should be reported to Sync Support. They are super knowledgeable and can resolve issues quickly.

      • ScottG

        Thanks – on it.

      • ScottG

        OK – this is weird. I updated last night and the DCIM share wasn’t visible on the phone. Not visible this morning, although top entry said “Add Folder” and claimed it was already synced with a peer.

        Just checked now: “Add folder” is gone, DCIM is there, and displays and acts as a regular share. Weird. I’ll roll with it.

      • Nick Croonenborghs

        I also have the syncFolder is null problem. The cause was the fact that I already shared my dcim folder manually. After I removed the dcim share I was able to enable the camera upload without problems.

  • Peter

    Guys, I am trying to share a folder with a friend but the sync status is always on “pending”. I use VPN for my Internet connection, does it matter? Where is the problem?

    • Nate

      Please contact our Sync Support Team, and let them know you are having issues. The email is

  • trinitydejavu

    The new UI is junk for desktop users. There is a ton of dead space (huge border, huge min size, lots of padding, several square inches of clear dead space), it barely fits on a netbook screen (1024×600), the cols don’t resize and the fixed default sizes are ALL incorrect (is why they are all off by default?). Sharing of keys is now forced to the most insecure public methods possible, use of just keys is hard and cumbersome, email links that expire and need validating is a work around the huge security hole emailing them in the first place creates.. the list goes on and on. Seriously, what the hell did you guys just do, well .. aside from only send the alpha to sycophantic yes men.

  • Stanislav

    I’ve just updated from 1.3 on my remove linux server. I use web interface to access btsync and found that all folders after update was removed. When trying to add them again I’ve observed that there is no more folder list and I need to enter full paths manually.

    P.S. Sorry, problem was solved by editing config file.

  • Luke Douglass

    Linux user: Looking to use this as a offsite backup sync with hourly snapshots via ZFS for our friends (have lots of server based friends) but bitsync 1.4 seems to stop syncing when watching more than 1million files across multiple shares… any advice? (BSD/RHEL)

  • Luke Douglass

    also the ability to remove dead or deleted machines vs re-adding keys to every machine to clear up non-existent sync partners.

  • Yohan

    A friend tried to share a folder via email. We both have the latest version installed. Firefox doesn’t know what to do with the link, and Chrome is stuck at “Just a moment while we start your request…”.

  • Anuj

    Why can’t this app be used to share(send) folders(data) from one Android device to another Android device. When I try to share a backup folder, the android app do not generates QR code. Secondly what is the use of sharing those folders with someone else which have been added from my computer. My photos are primarily on my device and not on my computer.

  • Anuj

    To maintain a backup of images/music folder from Android to computer we can’t use QR code. Also validity of key sent by mobile to computer by mail is 3 days and this can’t be changed. Actually this app is for backing up data from computer to mobile!