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Does renaming a folder cause all files in folder to be deleted from old, re-added to new?

Does renaming a folder cause all files in folder to be deleted from old, re-added to new?

Jonathan M.2
New member | Level 2

I have a shared folder that was named "research" and that really turned into a folder to hold all my stuff on academia. It is shared across a few accounts that I control (not sure if that is important or not - I've had this happen with non-shared folders, as well). I renamed the folder from "research" to "academia". This has kicked off what appears to be a re-download of all the files in that folder on all computers that have this folder into a folder of the new name. Is this really what is happening? If so, shouldn't there be a way to adjust the name without having it become an entirely new folder and so force a new download of the entire thing?

This might be related to a phenomenon that I've seen when I bring a computer back online that has been off for a long time (more than a month, not sure where the cutoff is). I have done similar renaming of folders that contain lots of files while one of my machines is off, and when I eventually bring up a computer that has the old name for the folder, not the new one, it consistently fails to detect that a rename occurred and so uploads the entire contents of the folder with the old name, and then downloads the entire contents of the folder with the new name. This appears to also indicate that the identity of a given folder is not maintained separate from the name. This makes a certain amount of sense, but I wonder if there isn't something you could do about it?

Anyway. Any help understanding what is going on here would be appreciated. I have started to be gunshy about renaming folders in dropbox because I'm wary of having to clean up when I bring up a backup partition or machine I haven't used for a while that will not deal correctly with the rename. And, it is annoying to have it take hours to deal with a rename, as well (I renamed this folder about 2 hours ago, and it is still not finished processing on the local computer where I made the change).

Thanks,

Jonathan Morgan

5 Replies 5

Rich
Super User II

A rename on your operating system is seen as a deletion of one folder and an add of another. When this happens Dropbox will re-index the entire content and while doing so it will appear as though it's uploading and/or downloading, but it really isn't. Only files that have actually changed will be transferred. This process can take a long time, especially for large folders or folders with a lot of files.

In addition, when you rename a shared folder, Dropbox will also indicate that you've left the share but will then say that you've rejoined the share. This is also normal. Another item of note with shared folders is that anyone can rename a shared folder to anything they want, and it WILL NOT be renamed on the other accounts that have the same share. This allows people to name their shares however they want, without it impacting all other members.

As for bringing an older computer back online, this behavior happens often, especially if the old computer wasn't fully synced prior to shutting it down.

Jonathan M.2
New member | Level 2

Thanks for the information. Makes sense. Interesting that with the shared folder rename, it didn't automatically rename on some of my computers (as you described, and as I expected), but it did on others.

With the older computers, they were completely synced before they were shut down. Is that to be expected as well? I've started uninstalling dropbox on computers that I know will be off longer than a month so I won't have to deal with it (not the worst idea in the world, anyway - I have a backup snapshot from that time that won't change).

Thanks again for the information!

Karen D.20
New member | Level 2

I did a mass renaming and moving of folders last night. This morning I received an email:. See below. Does this mean I DELETED FILES? Or is it just a warning I can ignore? Thank you.

Karen

 

 

Hi Karen,

We noticed that you recently deleted a large number of files from your Dropbox. Deleted files are saved for 30 days, and can be restored anytime during that 30-day window.

Dropbox will save deleted files longer than 30 days if you've purchased Extended Version History, or if you have a Dropbox Business account.

Want to restore? Go to www.dropbox.com/trash, select the deletion event, and then click the restore link.

Learn more at www.dropbox.com/help/9132.

We thought you should know about these large deletion event(s) that occurred recently:

Mark
Super User II

Technically you HAVE deleted them... you deleted them from the OLD location and created them in the new one. 

As long as you know they are moved correctly you can ignore it


 


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Karen D.20
New member | Level 2

Thank you!

 

[This thread is now closed by moderators due to inactivity. If you're experiencing a similar behavior, feel free to start a new discussion in the Ask a Question section here.]

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    Karen D.20 New member | Level 2
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    Mark Super User II
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    Jonathan M.2 New member | Level 2
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    Rich Super User II
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