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Help articles Local by Flywheel

How does the Magic Sync Viewer work in Local Pro and Local for Teams?

Local Pro and Local for Teams make use of our one-of-a-kind Magic Sync deployment technology. It’s pretty slick, but since it can seem like magic (hence the name), we have a quick summary of how it works below!

How does Magic Sync push and pull files?

When using Magic Sync to push or pull a site, Local will start by asking the server for a list of all the files located within the site folder. This file list is also sometimes called an “index.”

The server’s file list is then compared with the file list that Local has for the local site. 

Local uses the differences in the two file lists to create instructions for what files need to be deleted, added, or updated to make the two environments be in sync.


Local only compares modification times of files within the file list and not the actual contents of those files. If you find yourself needing to manage and merge changes more granularly than at the file level, you might consider using a dedicated version control tool like Git.

What does the “all modified files” option do?

The “all modified files” option can be thought of as a “force overwrite” of the target site by the source site. This is regardless of the modification times that Local finds when comparing the file list of the server and the local site.

So for example, if I’m pushing a local site up to Flywheel’s servers, Local will compare the two file lists, one for the local site and one for the server. It will then generate instructions to:

  • Add any files that are missing on the server
  • Delete all files that do not exist on the local site
  • Overwrite any remote files, regardless of what the modification time is.

Notice in this screenshot, the robots.txt file is older on the Local site, but because the “All modified files” option is selected, it is still going to overwrite the remote site.

A screenshot of Local's Magic Sync Viewer with the "All Modified Files" option selected.

If we compare the above image with the “only newer files” option, we see that the files that are older on the Local site, do not show up as available to be pushed:

A Screenshot of the Magic Sync viewer with the "Only newer files" option selected.

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