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How to stop ._ (dot dash) files being uploaded

How to stop ._ (dot dash) files being uploaded

Robert O.2
New member | Level 1
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I recently switched my storage folder from internal hard drive to my external drive. Since then, in every drive there's a duplicate under the extension of ._xxxx as well as "conflicted copy of xxxx". Can't delete files on the root folder which isn't nice and every new file gets duplicated.

Solutions to delete them...permanently?

Mac 10.10.5 

Dropbox 3.10.8

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Richard P.
Super User alumni
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There is no way to hide ._ files, they are created by OSX to store extended attributes when the files are on a filesystem that doesnt support OSX extended attributes.

How much space they take up depends on the data stored in them - most of the time they are less than a Kilobyte in size.

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20 Replies 20

Jason R.12
New member | Level 1
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I second that. We have a desktop Mac user that seems to have duplicates pop up once a week. no hard drvie change like Robert mentioned though. The folder appears with period at the end of the name and does not have sharing capabilities. The user deletes these but they pop up a week later.

Tom M.28
New member | Level 1
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Hi there.  Same issue here.  We've just added our first mac user to the corporate account and the file count has DOUBLED all due to the ._ files that the mac has created.

The Mac is slowing down Dropbox response for the whole company 😞

Any way to stop his ._ files from syncing ?

 

Thx

 

Tom

Robert S.
Super User alumni
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What you are seeing are OS X system files which are normally hidden by the Mac OS filesystem.

They can be deliberately made visible, but the usual reason is because the Dropbox folder has been moved to a non-Mac filesystem (i.e. FAT) which ignores the hidden attribute of those files. Almost invariably it turns out to be the use of a removable external drive of some sort.

You can delete them but, if that's the case, they'll continue to be recreated every time you access that folder on your Mac.

The effect would have been mitigated by ensuring the target volume was first formatted to the native MacOS filesystem. However, I would also note that Dropbox are pretty clear that they don't support removable drives or network volumes because there's a high risk of data loss associated with such devices.

Tom M.28
New member | Level 1
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OK - Thanks for the feedback Robert.

 

You are quite correct in your analysis.  It is an external drive that's causing it.  (mac book air with tiny SSD space issues)

Made a temp fix by disabling write access for that user.  Will see what more permanent fix can be implemented.

 

Thanks

 

 

Tom

Robert O.2
New member | Level 1
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Nice to see some feedback on this thread. Sorry about the issues Jason and Thomas.

Robert S. is right about the file format. A couple of notes before formatting the hard drive:

1) Be prepared to use the hard drive exclusively for mac devices to read and write information. I gave up looking for alternative solutions from dropbox and mac since I have large external drive to be formatted.

2)What I do before shutting down is making sure the drive is connected before turning on the mac and removing it after it's powered down to prevent the relink menu. When logging in, make sure the drive is always located at the same place and gets ejected properly to prevent conflicted copies.

3) [Jason R.] Only sync folders you're going to really use and not the whole organization drive. You really do not want to spend working hours deleting ._ and ([USER_NAME] Conflicted Copies) from countless folders and subfolders. 

Gary A.5
New member | Level 1
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I have a partner who uses a Mac and I use a PC. We both access the same dropbox files. I now have tons of ._ files in the folders. I assume because we share the folder. Is there a way in windows to ask windows to hide all ._ files?

Gary A.5
New member | Level 1
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Also, I have a question.  Do ._ files take up hard drive space on my PC?

Christel H.1
New member | Level 1
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same problem en questions as Gary A. above. Is there are way to hide or delete all ._ files ? And do they take up space on Macbook ?

Richard P.
Super User alumni
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There is no way to hide ._ files, they are created by OSX to store extended attributes when the files are on a filesystem that doesnt support OSX extended attributes.

How much space they take up depends on the data stored in them - most of the time they are less than a Kilobyte in size.

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