cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Are you interested in hearing how one of our Community members uses Dropbox for sailing trips? Read all about it here.

Create, upload, and share

Find help to solve issues with creating, uploading, and sharing files and folders in Dropbox. Get support and advice from the Dropbox Community.

cancel
Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Smart sync on multiple computers

Smart sync on multiple computers

sergedb
New member | Level 2
Go to solution

Hi,

I upgraded my account to start using Smart sync. I have two deskop computers at home and my laptop to travel around.

I started with moving all my finished project 'online only' to free up space on my laptop. I thought those same folders (projects) would be 'online only' on my other computers too, but that's apparently not the case? Does this mean that I have to manually move my finished projects on my other computers? Or is there a workaround so that my 'online only' folders are also in sync on all my computers?

Thanks.
Serge

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey Serge (@sergedb), I’d happily clarify matters for you below; thanks for checking with us on the Dropbox Community! 
 
It would be worth noting that Smart Sync is a Dropbox feature that helps you save space locally on your hard drive & that’s mainly the reason why Smart Sync settings are unique to each device you link to your Dropbox account. That said, as long as your files are updated on your account online as expected (:desktop: :right_arrow::spider_web:️), you can easily revert them to Online-Only :cloud: on your second device by right-clicking on them :right_arrow: choose Smart sync & then choose Online-only. Once you do, this will free up space on your hard drive almost instantly. (Note: It might take a bit of time for cached items to be removed from your hard disk initially, where we recommend a system restart.)
 
From there, it’s advisable to adjust the default setting on your desktop for newly added content to Online-only as well (which denotes that all content will automatically be synced from our website to your desktop/laptop as Online-Only however you can manually download files to your computer when you need them by reverting them to Local :white_check_mark:)
 
I hope that this is the answer you were seeking Serge however please do let me know if I you have any follow-up queries. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

View solution in original post

13 Replies 13

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey Serge (@sergedb), I’d happily clarify matters for you below; thanks for checking with us on the Dropbox Community! 
 
It would be worth noting that Smart Sync is a Dropbox feature that helps you save space locally on your hard drive & that’s mainly the reason why Smart Sync settings are unique to each device you link to your Dropbox account. That said, as long as your files are updated on your account online as expected (:desktop: :right_arrow::spider_web:️), you can easily revert them to Online-Only :cloud: on your second device by right-clicking on them :right_arrow: choose Smart sync & then choose Online-only. Once you do, this will free up space on your hard drive almost instantly. (Note: It might take a bit of time for cached items to be removed from your hard disk initially, where we recommend a system restart.)
 
From there, it’s advisable to adjust the default setting on your desktop for newly added content to Online-only as well (which denotes that all content will automatically be synced from our website to your desktop/laptop as Online-Only however you can manually download files to your computer when you need them by reverting them to Local :white_check_mark:)
 
I hope that this is the answer you were seeking Serge however please do let me know if I you have any follow-up queries. Thanks again! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

domp825
Explorer | Level 3
Go to solution

Can you do the opposite of this? 
As in, have users online update to the online, but not to others computers

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hey @domp825, if your inquiry pertains to updating files across accounts online that will not sync across users’ devices, then you may be able to achieve that if you’re working on a Dropbox Business account, where you should be able to utilize the Team Selective Sync functionality. 
 
On the other hand, if you’re working on a personal account, then each user should adjust their Selective Sync settings accordingly, however this is device-specific, so it should be set on a per-user basis. 
 
Hopefully my post points you towards the right direction & please do let me know my advice works for you in your next post here. Thanks!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

ScreenMachine
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

I have a similar, although slightly different scenario -

I have two computers, one is my MacBook Pro which has a limited space 500GB SSD and a Dell PC with a much larger HDD.

I'd like to upgrade Dropbox so I have 2TB storage, but wouldn't want all my files to only be online.

So, due to the difference in HDD space on the two computers, is it possible to use Smart Sync to have mainly online files (accessible on demand) on the Mac's Dropbox, and local/online files on the PC Dropbox (which I can also locally backup), or have I misunderstood what SmartSync can achieve?

Thanks.

Rich
Super User II
Go to solution

@ScreenMachine wrote:

is it possible to use Smart Sync to have mainly online files (accessible on demand) on the Mac's Dropbox, and local/online files on the PC Dropbox (which I can also locally backup), or have I misunderstood what SmartSync can achieve?


Yes, that's possible. Smart Sync settings are specific to the computer, not your account. I have three different computers using Smart Sync and each one has a different set of folders set to Online-only, with my main computer having everything set to Local.

ScreenMachine
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution
That’s great, thanks for the reply.

A couple more questions since you’re using it that way, if I may?

- can you set sync settings at a folder or file level? So, e.g., I could have a current documents folder I’m actually working with on the Mac synced locally, but all other folders online only on the Mac and local on the PC? Or is this at an account level, so that all the folders on the Mac have to be online only, and all of them local on the PC?

- what’s the best way to do the initial upload? I’m guessing I set the account/folder on the Mac (depending on the answer to the above) to online and just copy the files over to the PC?

- if I’m editing photos on the Mac (which I will since it’s the faster machine) how intelligent is the local-on-demand feature? E.g., if Lightroom tries to access a file, will Dropbox download the file? Or would I have to do this manually each time before editing?

Thanks!

Rich
Super User II
Go to solution

@ScreenMachine wrote:
- can you set sync settings at a folder or file level?

Smart Sync is set at the file and folder level, per computer. You can set any file or folder as Online-only or Local, on each computer independently.


- what’s the best way to do the initial upload? I’m guessing I set the account/folder on the Mac (depending on the answer to the above) to online and just copy the files over to the PC?

If you don't want the files on the Mac at all, then yes, set the folder as Online-only on the Mac, then add the files to the folder on the PC. They'll sync to the Mac as Online-only, but will be Local on the PC.


if Lightroom tries to access a file, will Dropbox download the file? Or would I have to do this manually each time before editing?

Dropbox will download a file and mark is as Local when ANY process attempts to access a file. This could be from virus scans, backups, thumbnail or preview generation, etc. If something tries to access a file, Dropbox will download it. When you're done with the file, you'll need to mark it as Online-only again.

ScreenMachine
Explorer | Level 4
Go to solution

Thanks, that's really useful.

OK so my only concern with using Dropbox this way is that I don't know whether Lightroom will try to download the entire photo library as preview, or only do it on-demand when I actually try to edit a file as opposed to just viewing the film-strip.

I might try doing a test on a small library, with a small amount of files to try and find out.

Jane
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hey @ScreenMachine, if I may chime in on your discussion with Rich, let me quickly suggest checking out this resource that should further address your follow-up inquiry! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Need more support?
Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

  • User avatar
    Jane Dropbox Staff
  • User avatar
    Davisdropper New member | Level 2
  • User avatar
    ScreenMachine Explorer | Level 4
  • User avatar
    Rich Super User II
What do Dropbox user levels mean?