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Some Dropbox folders in Windows Explorer take minutes to refresh

Some Dropbox folders in Windows Explorer take minutes to refresh

Terry H.10
Helpful | Level 6

Let me give you an example of what's happening: I am in a Windows Explorer folder that is synced with Dropbox. I click to re-order the items in the folder (e.g. sort by date, sort by duration of music file, etc.) The green progress bar begins and it can take 30 seconds or 2 minutes or 5 minutes to complete. In other words, folder changes or refreshes can take a very long time. This only happens in folders within the Dropbox part of my folder structure, and it appears to be much worse in some sub-folders. I recall contacting Dropbox support a year or two ago (because I have had this for a long time) and they told me to follow a complex process (including registry edits if I recall correctly) to uninstall and reinstall Dropbox and clean up my file structure. It sounded like there was a corruption somewhere. Clearly I didn't want to do this because it's a huge hassle to reinstall and then resync hundreds of thousands of files. Has anyone else seen this problem, and is there a way of fixing it?

11 Replies 11

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @Terry H.10, I'd be happy to look into this for you! 

 

Did you notice this behavior consistently throughout all the updates of the app? 

 

Do you also happen to know approximately how many files are syncing locally to your device at the moment? Are they more than the soft limit of 300K

 

Lastly, if you could locate your old ticket number reference, from your past communication with our Support, that'd be amazing.

 

Keep me posted, and we'll take it from there! 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Terry H.10
Helpful | Level 6

Hi Megan

Thanks for the reply.

My Dropbox locally has 256GB and 56,000 files.

It is consistent as in it occurs every day in certain folders. Today for example the green bar in Windows Explorer sat there advancing slowly for 5 minutes, which makes it unusable.

 

I have found the support thread from Feb 2021. The ticket is Ticket #12007104. Your support wrote to me:

"I’ve taken a look at your account, and there appear to be some issues with the Dropbox software currently installed on your computer. To ensure that the software is working correctly, I’d like you to do a complete reinstall to try to fix the problem. This will not affect or remove the files in your Dropbox folder." ... It then goes on to give those complex instructions including editing the registry, which I didn't want to do at the time! You will see the instructions when you look at the ticket.

 

I am hoping there is another way around this because uninstalling would involve me resyncing 256GB which is massive.

 

Thanks

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Thanks for the update here, @Terry H.10, and sorry to jump in here.

 

These look like steps to an advanced reinstall of the Dropbox application.

 

Would you mind checking something, before we try anything else?

 

Please close/quit the Dropbox application and let me know if the issue persists with the app closed.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Terry H.10
Helpful | Level 6

Hi Hannah.

I quit Dropbox and I checked in Task Manager that it wasn't running.

But the slow refresh of Explorer is still happening, just the same as when Dropbox was running.

Terry

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Thanks for the update, Terry.

 

If you see the same behavior with the Dropbox application closed and not running, that means that something else is probably causing this behavior.

 

Do you have any third party apps looking into your Dropbox folders?

 

Or perhaps your computer is having a hard time sorting through too many files/folders/subfolders.

 

You can try to simply uninstall the Dropbox app, restart your computer and reinstall it, though, to see if that helps.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Terry H.10
Helpful | Level 6

If I uninstall the Dropbox app:

a) Will it remove the folders that are within Dropbox? Or will it unlink them from Dropbox so that they just sit there as regular folders?

b) Will I have to set up the selective sync again?

 

I read somewhere that ugrading from Windows 10 to Windows 11 addressed a similar problem for another user, so another opeion is for me to make the upgrade (that I have put off for so long!) to W11.

 

Terry

Jay
Dropbox Staff

If you uninstall the Dropbox desktop application, the folders will remain on the Dropbox site. 

 

When you reinstall the app, you would need to set up selective sync again to prevent those folders from downloading to your computer.

 

Regarding upgrading to Windows 11, this would be up to you and isn't necessary, since the Dropbox desktop application is compatible with both Windows 10 and 11.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Terry H.10
Helpful | Level 6

Thanks.

You misunderstood my question. let me put it another way.

If I uninstall the Dropbox desktop application, what happens to all the folders and files ON MY PC that are synced to Dropbox? I have 256GB of files on my hard drive that are synced with Dropbox ... would they be removed when I uninstall? (I totally get that they are all still there in the cloud, but as you can imagine, having to re-download them would take a very long time). 

I just want to know the implications of uninstalling and reinstalling Dropbox.

Terry

Nancy
Dropbox Staff

Hey Terry, I hope you don’t mind me jumping in, as well. 

 

If you uninstall the Dropbox app from your device, then the files within your local Dropbox folder won’t be affected; they will just not be syncing to your online account until you reinstall the desktop app and connect it to your account once again. 

 

As a result, after the reinstall, the Dropbox app should only re-index your existing files and not download them anew.


Nancy
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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