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See names of online-only folders and files while offline

See names of online-only folders and files while offline

Ann W.6
Helpful | Level 5
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When I use the Android App, I can view files and folders that are not synched or saved for offline access.  

 

On my new laptop, I don't have enough space to sync all of my dropbox files.  I have used Selective Sync to sync only the folders I need to have regular access to, but it is a pain to only be able to see what folders and files I have by opening a browser and going to Dropbox.

 

Is there a way to sync names only (not contents of files) to save space on my new laptop, or am I going to have to go to another option like SkyDrive versus Dropbox?  I really prefer and trust Dropbox a lot more, but with hard drives in laptops becoming smaller and smaller,  I'm not sure what other option I have if this feature isn't available.

 

Thanks.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Hannah
Dropbox Staff
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Hey @Ann W.6, thanks for reaching out to the Dropbox Community.

 

We do offer a feature that helps you free up hard drive space, by making your files online-only.

 

That means you'll only be able to see placeholders of your files in the Dropbox folder and you'll only be able to open them, if you're connected to the internet.

 

You can see more info about this feature here.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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9 Replies 9

Hannah
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hey @Ann W.6, thanks for reaching out to the Dropbox Community.

 

We do offer a feature that helps you free up hard drive space, by making your files online-only.

 

That means you'll only be able to see placeholders of your files in the Dropbox folder and you'll only be able to open them, if you're connected to the internet.

 

You can see more info about this feature here.

 

Let me know if you have any questions.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, give it a Like below to let us know.
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Ann W.6
Helpful | Level 5
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Thank you.  If I'm understanding the help article correctly, Select Sync and Online Only are mutually exclusive.  I will try changing from selective sync to Online Only and then changing folders and files that I want to have locally one by one to be available offline.  I really appreciate your help and I'm very happy that Dropbox can do what I need it to do.  

Hannah
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Not a problem, Ann, I was happy to help!

 

If you need further info or have other questions, don't hesitate to let us know.

 

Have a great day!


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Munro
Explorer | Level 4
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Hello.

 

I don't think this fully answers this question, which I now have as well - I have a new machine and have used selective sync to only make two folders available offline.  At the moment, I am ONLY seeing those two folders in my Dropbox folder on my computer, none of the others, even just as placeholders.  On my old computer, I saw all my Dropbox folders and only these two folders were available offline.  I think this question was asking how do we get to that point - where we see all our Dropbox folders but only some of them are available offline?

 

Could it be that when my computer has finished syncing the other folders will appear?

 

I think a lot of people want to do this - to have majority offline-only but some crucial folders available offline - but the installation instructions are not clear on how this is possible.  Seeing them all on our computer means we can continue to use Windows Explorer to manage our files and not have to be connected to the internet and use the clunky web interface.

Ann W.6
Helpful | Level 5
Go to solution

@Munro ,

 

I understand your frustration.  The directions are not clear at all and for me, since I want about 25 folders to show up, it is a little more of a pain, but it seems to be working now.  

 

Here is what I did:

1) In the Dropbox Preferences, on the Sync tab (where you set up your selective sync), I changed the Storage of new files to Online-Only.  I don't know if this step was required, but I had a computer working the way I wanted and that was set on that computer, so I made the change.

2) I set up Selective sync to sync everything.

3) In explorer, everything now shows with a little cloud next to it, meaning it is online only.  This is a different behavior than I had on my old Windows 10 machine before. On Win 10, everything got a green check mark at this point once synching was finished.

4) I have started to right-click each folder that I want to be available offline, and chose the Dropbox > Make available offline option.  They then get a green check mark once everything downloads.

 

I hope this helps.

 

If someone knows whether or not I need to leave the New files default at Online-only, I'd really appreciate knowing that.

Munro
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Thanks Ann, I really appreciate the effort to help.

 

I had problems finding my Dropbox Preferences actually.  If I open the Dropbox app on my PC it simply brings up a windows explorer open on the Dropbox folder and I can't find a Preferences option.  I couldn't find it on the webpage either.

 

Then I thought, maybe you mean when you install Dropbox, so I am currently uninstalling and reinstalling it, following your instructions and synchronising all folders.

 

I realised there was a typo in my previous post - I think most people want majority ONLINE-only with some crucial folders available offline as well.

 

It still seems very clunky and unintuitive but hopefully I will get there.

 

Many thanks

Munro

Munro
Explorer | Level 4
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I had another idea, that Selective Sync is a red herring for us and we shouldn't use it at all - if we just select the recommended "Online-only" when we install Dropbox, I bet we will still have the option to right click - "Make available offline" on the folders we want to.

 

I have uninstalled Dropbox, restarted the computer, reinstalled Dropbox using this but it is still currently just showing me the two folders I had previously selected for Selective sync for the previous installation.  There must have been a Cache I needed to clear as well.  Oh well, this is all rather frustrating but I'm sure I'll get past it somehow.

Ann W.6
Helpful | Level 5
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Try and go into your selective sync and check the box that checks every folder.  This effectively turns selective sync off.  As long as you have the "all new files online only " option picked, this seems to be what we need.  And yes, all folders on mine now show and all have the option to make available offline.

Munro
Explorer | Level 4
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Thank you, yes, mine is working now too, horrah.  I think after I made the Dropbox folder Online-only, they all showed up after a while and I have been able to select a few folders to "Make available offline".

 

I'm still not sure where to get to my Selective Sync settings once it's installed - I'm on Windows 11 - but I don't need to now.  I don't personally think the "All new files online only" option is relevant, at least it didn't seem to be for me.

 

All's well that ends well

Munro

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