Cloud Sync Overview

Tip!: The Cloud Sync feature requires an active Plex Pass subscription for the main Plex Media Server account.

Plex is designed to allow you to access your media wherever you are. Sometimes, though, your home Plex Media Server may not be accessible. Cloud Sync allows you to sync content from your library to a cloud storage provider so that it is available for you to stream even if your Plex Media Server is not accessible. Cloud Sync is a Plex Pass premium feature. The Server must be logged in using a Plex Account with an active Plex Pass subscription in order to set up your content for Cloud Sync.

Related Page: Plex Pass > What is Plex Pass?
Related Page: Getting Started > Guides > Quick Guide to Cloud Sync

Note: Cloud Sync is not available for Plex It! Queue items, Recommendations, or for most Channels in Plex.

What Cloud Sync Does

Cloud Sync allows you to select content from your local Plex Media Server and then sync it to a cloud storage provider. It does this by creating an optimized version of the specified local media and then uploading it to the cloud provider.

A Cloud Synced item is not meant as a replacement for your local media; it is a copy of your local item.

Note: If you remove an item from your local Plex Media Server, the item will also be removed from Cloud Sync.

Warning!: Cloud Sync is not intended for uploading entire Libraries or even really large sync selections. It's designed for more selective uploading of specific content you choose. Trying to sync large selections or entire Libraries will likely result in poor behavior or failure.

What Cloud Sync is Not

We want to be clear up front:

Cloud Sync is not intended to let you connect to content that you've manually uploaded to a cloud storage provider yourself.

If you've already uploaded dozens of video files to a cloud provider yourself, Cloud Sync is not designed to let you simply start streaming that content with various Plex Apps. Rather, you specify content from your local Plex Media Server to sync and then a compatible version of that item is created and uploaded for you.

Plex App Support

Though Could Sync does work with in most Plex player apps, it is not currently supported in the following Plex apps:

  • Apple TV (4th gen)
  • PlayStation 3
  • PlayStation 4
  • Xbox 360

How Cloud Sync Works

There are a number of pieces and steps to how Cloud Sync works.

Set Up Cloud Storage Providers

You'll first need to ensure that you've set up one or more cloud storage providers and linked them with your Plex account. These are accounts you sign up for with services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, or other supported providers.

Please note that Plex does not provide any cloud storage. Storage is handled by linking your Plex account with other supported cloud storage providers.

Related Page: Cloud Sync Storage Provider Setup
Related Page: Plex Pass > Supported Cloud Storage Providers

Choose Content to Sync

Use the Plex Web App to specify content to use with Cloud Sync. You could specify a single movie, the 5 most recently added movies, a particular television season, or any number of other possibilities.

Related Page: Plex Media Server > Managing Media Items > Sync Content

Optimized Versions are Created

When a sync job is created via the Plex Web App, your Plex Media Server will then prepare that content for you. It processes the content to create optimized versions that will be compatible with Plex Apps. This process usually involves transcoding the content and can thus take anywhere from a few minutes for a television to over an hour for a movie, depending on the speed of your Plex Media Server.

Please note that your Server will first prepare all of the items in the sync job before proceeding to start uploading them. Make sure that you have sufficient space to store the local temporary transcoded files on your computer if you specify a large sync job.

The Plex Web App will display the current progress as items are prepared.

Content is Uploaded

Once all of the content for a sync job is processed by your Server, it will begin uploading the items to your cloud storage provider(s). If you've set up more than one provider, Plex will try to use them in the order in which they're listed.

Content will be uploaded as fast as both your upload connection and the cloud storage provider's API allow. In some cases, this can result in your full upload speed being used and thus you may experience slower network access in other areas if you attempt to do other things while the upload is taking place.

The Plex Web App will display the current progress as items are uploaded.

Accessing the Content

Once all content for a sync job has been uploaded, it will be available for access from your Plex Apps. When you sign into your Plex App using the Plex account with the active Plex Pass subscription, your Cloud Sync content will appear as a new Library. For instance, if you synced some content from your local "Kid Movies" Library, then you would now see a cloud version of the "Kid Movies" Library with only the synced content.

Related Page: Sign in to Your Plex Account