5. Sync and Backup

5.1. iCloud Sync

When using iCloud Sync, your data is stored in iCloud and automatically synchronized across all your Macs signed in with the same Apple ID. To modify library and sync settings, navigate to Settings > Sync.


5.1.1. Turning on iCloud Sync

To enable iCloud Sync, ensure all the following conditions are met:

  • iCloud must be enabled on macOS with a valid Apple ID signed in.

  • iCloud Drive needs to be enabled in System Settings.

  • SnippetsLab should have permission to store documents in your iCloud account.


Unlike apps like Pages or TextEdit, SnippetsLab doesn’t create an entry in the “iCloud Drive” folder in Finder. This is because SnippetsLab uses a single library format rather than a “documents” architecture, similar to the Notes or Calendar app.

5.1.2. Turning off iCloud Sync

Disabling iCloud Sync closes the iCloud library and opens the local library instead. Consequently, all contents stored in iCloud will no longer be visible. SnippetsLab will prompt you to keep a local copy of your iCloud library before the sync is turned off.

You can still access your iCloud library on other Macs using iCloud. Re-enabling iCloud Sync will make your iCloud library available again.

5.1.3. Troubleshooting iCloud Sync

  • “The iCloud library is being downloaded, please try again later.”

    This message indicates your iCloud library is currently downloading in the background. Wait until the download completes to ensure data integrity, especially when setting up a new Mac or after a system reset.

    Download times vary based on library size, system conditions, and iCloud sync load. While it often completes within a few minutes, it might take longer if your system is syncing iCloud data from other apps simultaneously.

  • “Do you want to upload your current library to iCloud?”

    This prompt appears if you have existing snippets when enabling iCloud Sync. As the local and iCloud libraries are separate, this message asks whether to upload your local library contents to replace any data on iCloud.

    If you haven’t used iCloud previously, select “Upload” to migration your data. If you’re already using iCloud, choose “Don’t Upload” to access the existing iCloud library. Be aware that selecting “Upload” will replace the current iCloud library with your local content.

    To merge a local library with an existing iCloud library, export your local library via Library > Export, then import it back after enabling iCloud.

  • “The iCloud service is unavailable.”

    This message signifies that iCloud services are currently inaccessible. Check your iCloud Drive and Apple ID setup. Restrictions by system administrators might also be a factor. Consult Apple support for further assistance with iCloud setup in macOS.

5.2. Managing Backups

To ensure you always have access to both recent and older versions of your data, SnippetsLab automatically manages backups of your library at various intervals when editing:

  • Every 20 minutes for the past 6 hours.

  • Hourly for the past 24 hours.

  • Daily for the past month.

  • Weekly for the past 6 months.

  • Monthly for the past 2 years.

To optimize storage space, backups that exceed these predefined intervals are automatically deleted. However, any backups you create manually are excluded from this automatic cleanup process and preserved indefinitely, allowing you to maintain specific snapshots of your library as needed.

To manage or restore backups, go to Settings > Advanced. Here, you can:

  • Create a backup manually: Click Back Up Now.

  • Restore from a backup: Click Browse and Restore to reveal a list of backups, choose the desired backup, and click Restore Selected….

  • Delete a backup: Click Browse and Restore…, right-click the backup you want to delete and select Delete….

  • Change backup location: Click the gearshape.fill button on the right, and choose Move Backup Folder…. Existing backups will be moved to the new location automatically.

  • Preview backup content: Click Browse and Restore, select a backup and click Show Contents. (Note: Only backups from SnippetsLab 2.2 and later can be previewed).


It is strongly recommended to specify a custom backup location to avoid loss of backups due to system operations (like app deletion) or third-party applications that cleans up your Mac.