Synology Home folder setup is one of those glossed over topics but nevertheless, a critical piece for understanding how Synology works with multiple users.   You can’t sync documents, backup photos in Moments, and take advantage of other features without a Synology home folder created for your users.

What’s a Home Folder?

Typically, each user created on their Synology receives a home folder.  It’s your personal storage space that’s protected from other people from accessing it.  Some of the packages you will see your personal data stored on there are:


  • Synology Drive
    • Synology Drive Client is the newer version of Synology’s similar legacy product called Cloudstation Drive. By default, Synology Drive Client syncs your home folder.  For more details on how to sync another folder besides your home folder, see our CloudStation Drive post.
  • CloudStation Drive
    • Cloudstation is the legacy version of Synology Drive Client. Note:  You can’t use both versions of Drive at the same time.
  • Moments
      • Synology Moment App makes a backup and a database for storing all your photos from your mobile device to your Synology.
  • Cloudstation Backup
      • Legacy backup software. Active Backup is the way to go now for backing up your PC, server, or virtual machine.  Do not use Cloudstation Backup or Synology Drive Backup.


What does a home folder look like on the Synology Diskstation Manager?

It depends who you are logged in as.  It is best practice to login as a standard user for every day use.   Here’s what a standard user “home” folder looks like.

Synology Home folder setup

This is what the local administrator looks like.  Notice how they have access by default to all the “homes” folders including the one illustrated above?

I don’t see home folders

To enable the user home service in DSM:

  1. Check Enable user home service.
    *Users, advance tab… 2-step verification located there too.  It’s great security but annoying and sometime unreliable login process.
  2. If there are multiple volumes, select where you want the homes folder to be stored.
  3. Click Apply.

What does a home folder look like on your computer?

Many users setup their own shared folders that are accessible from their desktop computers.  A home folder could reside on your desktop or the home would simply reside in the Synology DiskStation (DSM) cloud interface.

Is Synology the only operating system with “home folders”?

No.  This is a standard feature over many decades across many server Operating Systems environments such as:

  • Novel
  • Windows Server
  • Linux

However, home folders are evolving into products that typically reside in the library section of both Windows and OSx.  It’s a centralized place for bringing together all related file from different folders or different PCs.  User folder are actual folder while libraries are a collection of shortcuts.  Notice the file hosting services that reside in the user Michael?

  • Dropbox
  • OneDrive
    • Microsoft evolution of the classic home folder and competitor to Dropbox
  • Default Windows Libraries
    • Documents
    • Music
    • Pictures
    • Videos

Synology Home folder setup Summary

Check out more of our resources below and install these packages for more relatable home folder exercises.

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