Unicorn version 3.2.0

The issue I am having is that in several environments when I update a item that is being controlled by Unicorn, it is updating the yml file on disk. The expected behavior is to only update the yml files when I perform a serialization. Coworkers have suggested that I am missing a config setting that makes this an option.

Is it the expected behavior for yml files to be updated with transparent sync off? And how can I turn this feature off.

2 Answers 2


Transparent Sync is off by default and something you deliberately enable. With Transparent Sync, for items controlled by Unicorn it bypasses the Sitecore database completely. In effect, the filesystem becomes the item data-store.

In regular Unicorn usage, you still use the Sitecore databases, but any items controlled by Unicorn (i.e. specified in a configuration) are additionally serialized to the filesystem.

In environments where you don't want Unicorn to maintain serialized items on disk, you can remove / disable the Unicorn.DataProvider.config file. This still allows you to use the UI to deserialize items from the filesystem, but it won't update the filesystem as items are edited in that environment.

In a typical scenario, you would have the DataProviders enabled on your development machines so that you can keep the filesystem in-sync with the items as you edit them, and then commit those serialized items to source control. Your other environments, such as production, would have the DataProviders disabled as you would only want to deploy the changes up to them, and not be interested in tracking the changes after that.

  • Would appreciate an explanation on the downvote, if there's anything misleading / incorrect about my answer I'd like to know and correct it.
    – Kasaku
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 9:39
  • Didn't come from me.
    – Chris Auer
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 12:00

Transparent sync is about reading the serialized items from the drive and updating them in Sitecore tree without manual triggers. It's not about serializing items back to the drive.

Read more about transparent sync in article: Introducing Transparent Sync in Unicorn 3

If you want your item not to be serialized every time something has been changed, just exclude this item from you unicorn serialization config.

  • Mark, but writing to disk (serializing) is the expected behavior? I guess its the same experience as ootb Sitecore serialization.
    – Chris Auer
    Commented Nov 15, 2016 at 22:51
  • Unicorn will serialize anything under it's control. All the time. This is the expected behaviour. Make changes in Sitecore -> Unicorn updates the filestore based on this -> You commit to source control.
    – Mark Cassidy
    Commented Nov 16, 2016 at 8:44

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