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Dropbox on macOS Monterey lost my Documents folder AND ITS CONTENTS

Dropbox on macOS Monterey lost my Documents folder AND ITS CONTENTS

Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

I now have two machines, a MacStudio (M1max processor) and a MacPro (Intel processor). The contents of $HOME/Documents got lost on the MacPro. I also have a laptop (MacbookPro, macOS Monterey) which I won't discuss.

 

Previously on macOS HighSierra on my MacPro (and earlier):

Dropbox Folder: $HOME/Dropbox

Documents folder with contents: $HOME/Dropbox/Documents

Symbolic link: sudo rm -fr $HOME/Documents; ln -s  $HOME/Dropbox/Documents  $HOME

Dropbox backup folders: (NONE)

This worked fine for many years, syncing correctly with my laptop; some macOS updates required me to re-link the Documents folder.

 

I purchased a new MacStudio (with the Apple M1max processor). That forced an OS upgrade to macOS Monterey.

 

Now on macOS Monterey on my MacStudio:

DropboxFolder: $HOME/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox
Documents folder with contents: $HOME/Documents

On my MacStudio I manually moved $HOME/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox/Documents/* to $HOME/Documents
and deleted $HOME/Library/CloudStorage/Dropbox/Documents. So $HOME/Documents is correct, with contents.

Dropbox backup folders: Documents, Desktop

Note that I cannot remove $HOME/Documents and link it into the Dropbox folder -- the OS won't let me (via either the Finder or Terminal/bash).

 

Now on macOS Monterey on my Mac Pro:

Dropbox Folder: $HOME/Dropbox

Documents folder with contents: *** NOWHERE ***

Dropbox backup folders: Documents, Desktop

There is a "magic" symbolic link from $HOME/Documents to $HOME/Dropbox/Mac\ (2)/Documents -- the Finder cannot see it but Terminal/bash can. It is empty.

Note this is the OLD organization, so it's no wonder that $HOME/Dropbox/Documents is missing. It appears to be setup to backup Documents, but that is separate from my MacStudio -- it did NOT sync to the backup from my MacStudio, but rather created a separate backup.

 

How do I get my $HOME/Documents folder AND ITS CONTENTS to be visible on both machines, and to sync between them?
Google finds lots of OUTDATED instructions; I need to do this NOW (February 4, 2023).

(Fortunately I have TimeMachine backups.)

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

I found a way to sync Documents on macOS Monterey (and probably later):

How-to-sync-Documents-on-macOS-Monterey-and-probably-later 

View solution in original post

7 Replies 7

Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

It is OUTRAGEOUS that Dropbox cannot sync the Documents folder on macOS Monterey.

 

Or is there some magic I missed among the zillions of outmoded pages found by Google.

Megan
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hi @Tom R.5, let's jump right into this! 

 

Keep in mind, that when you use the Computer backup feature, that creates a Backup with the name of each device, that syncs online. 

 

You should be able to see your Backups from other devices synced locally, however it would be a separate folder, inside your Dropbox folder, not merged with your current Backup.

 

Now, in regards to your MacStudio, could you try to enable hidden files, and see if you can locate the folder there? You can try this by pressing Command+Shift+Dot.

 

One more thing, that I'd like for you to check, is the Backup page online, and let me know what you find. Is your Documents folder visible there?

 

Let me know more, and we'll take it from there!


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

The backups of Documents and Desktop are fine and I see them on Dropbox.com. I have since disabled them, as they are not useful -- I need Documents to SYNC.

 

I have found a workaround, and will describe it in a new thread and link that into this one.

 

Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

I found a way to sync Documents on macOS Monterey (and probably later):

How-to-sync-Documents-on-macOS-Monterey-and-probably-later 

BobaHoTep
New member | Level 2
Go to solution

I have the same problem. If I got into terminal and navigate to ~/Documents I see a number of folders - however, if I go to Documents in Finder I don't see any folders or files. Hitting cmd+shift+dot does nothing as these files are not hidden. This only happened after Dropbox did some kind of update and moved stuff around. Super annoying - can someone at Dropbox confirm this is a known issue and is going to receive a fix? The solution in this thread is insanely destructive and a no-go for me. 

Tom R.5
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

Try: AppleMenu/ForceQuit and force the Finder to relaunch.

 

The Finder remembers the configuration of Documents (and probably other folders), so if you change where Documents is located you need to relaunch the Finder.

BobaHoTep
New member | Level 2
Go to solution

embarrassingly that worked - thanks 🙂 

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