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what (exactly!) is the funcion of "synchronize in the background"


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As the title said.  Of course, I am talking about the item in the "sync" tab of the "options" dialog from the "tools" menu.


For an application that has been around for this many years, it is disappointing how sparse the "Help" documentation is on key areas of product functionality.  Every option, function, button, etc. should be defined in Help documentation and this information should be structured in a systematic way.  For example, I fail to find any methodical explanation of each choice one can make in each tab of the "options" dialog.


The closest I found was the ability to do a search on a string (e.g., "synchronize in the background") but that merely yields countles posts that have arbitrary titles.


So, what exactly is the effect of the above option being selected or deselected in terms of the various states a note can be in and states the app can be in? 

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As I understand it,  when Evernote syncs it can either take up whatever resources it needs from your system to complete the sync,  regardless of anything you may be doing at the time;  or it can take what resources are available up to a fairly low limit (a 'background' operation) so its activities are completely (or at least mainly) transparent to the user. 


'On' - or ticked - is the preferred option,  but it probably depends on what else you use your computer for.  If only Evernote is running - doesn't much matter.  If you're downloading or installing an urgent update from the internet for some other app,  your bandwidth and processor space might be quite precious to you.


If Evernote is running,  it will sync to its own schedule,  usually every 30 minutes.  If you File > Exit,  no EN services will run.


Entirely the users' choice.  Hope that helps.

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