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What does the limit on shared folders mean?

What does the limit on shared folders mean?

IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3
Since Dropbox discontinued free Team Accounts, our account was converted to a Basic account.  Apparently this change introduced limits on the number of shared folders we can have.  All of our folders are currently sub-folders of a "Team Folder".  When I try to share one of these subfolders to anyone outside the group to which the top-level "Team Folder" is already shared, I get the message:
>>
This folder can only be shared with a link
The parent folder is 4 shared folders over the limit. Learn more
<<
The "Learn more" link says that the top-level folder (which is the parent folder in this case) can only have 10 shared sub-folders, so I deleted and moved some folders to reduce the number of sub-folders in the top-level folder to 7. Nonetheless, I still get the error message cited above when I try to "Share with Dropbox".
What am I doing wrong?
Have I misunderstood the shared folders limitation?
27 Replies 27

Jay
Dropbox Staff

Hi @IMCZug, thanks for messaging the Community.

 

Do you have any other subfolders within subfolders that could be shared with different permissions on your account?

 

This will help me to assist further!


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3

@Jay wrote:

Do you have any other subfolders within subfolders that could be shared with different permissions on your account?


Most likely, why?

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hi @IMCZug, sorry to jump in here! 

 

Have you tried unsharing or moving any subfolders with those subfolders too? 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3

@Megan wrote:

Have you tried unsharing or moving any subfolders with those subfolders too? 


Thanks for responding.  I have deleted some sub-folders and moved one, but this doesn't change the message I reported. When I tried moving sub-folders up to the root level, they lost their sharing access lists, so I moved them back.  Can I at least move sub-folders up to the root level without breaking the sharing links I have already distributed?

Jay's response suggests to me that the sharing limit does *not* only apply to the parent folder, but to the parent folder *and its sub-folders*.

If this is the case, then both the error message and the "Learn more" link need to be a bit more specific.

For example, the error message should read:

>>
This folder can only be shared with a link
The parent folder *(including subfolders)* is 4 shared folders over the limit. Learn more
<<
If this is true, then I will need to find the contributing sub-folders. However, our directory tree is pretty extensive.  Is there some way to find the contributing sub-folders without having to individually examine each sub-folder?

Здравко
Legendary | Level 20

Hi @IMCZug,

Yes, the message content is somewhat confusing, but the FAQ that link points to is clear enough, I think. At the beginning, do you have shared folders count above the absolute maximum (30 000)? 🙂 Most probably no, but for completeness, if you have, their total count should  be decreased.

 


@IMCZug wrote:

...  I have deleted some sub-folders and moved one, but this doesn't change the message I reported. When I tried moving sub-folders up to the root level, they lost their sharing access lists, so I moved them back.  Can I at least move sub-folders up to the root level without breaking the sharing links I have already distributed? ...


😁 Of course, one shared folder share everything within, including all files and subfolders. If you move out something (file or folder) it's no more within and no more shared as a part of the shared folder. If you put something into shared folder (again file or folder) it becomes shareable as a part of it. You don't have to reorder your shared folders content, but the shared folders ordering within their containing folder(s). You can have 10 shared folders within one containing folder at most! 😉 This is the reason, most probably. In such a case, move some shared folder (one or more - as much as need) in some other folder, so no more a place (folder) be that contain more than 10 shared folders within. Take in mind that shared folders can't be nested too, while decide where to move particular folder to.

Hope this helps.

IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3

@Здравко wrote:

 

At the beginning, do you have shared folders count above the absolute maximum (30 000)?

No

 

You don't have to reorder your shared folders content, but the shared folders ordering within their containing folder(s).

Sorry, I don’t understand this

 

You can have 10 shared folders within one containing folder at most!

I originally had more than 10 folders under my top-level folder (which is shared).  In an attempt to eliminate the message described, I deleted some, moved one to the root level and moved one to a sub-folder.  The top-level folder (parent folder in the error message) now has only 7 direct sub-folders.

 

This is the reason, most probably. In such a case, move some shared folder (one or more - as much as need) in some other folder, so no more a place (folder) be that contain more than 10 shared folders within.

After closer examination, I find only two sub-folders with their own sub-folders. One has 13 (sub-)sub-folders, the other has many more.

 

Take in mind that shared folders can't be nested too, while decide where to move particular folder to.

Sorry, once again I don’t understand.  I already have a lot of nested shared folders.  The shared folder I moved from the top-level folder to a sub-folder is still shared, even though it is nested in a (shared) sub-folder of the (shared) top-level folder.


I have to differ with your opinion regarding the explanation of the error message.

It says, “Within a single folder, you can create up to 10 shared subfolders.

There is no mention of sub-folders in this statement.  Furthermore, there is no reference to the definition of a “shared folder”.  As you pointed out, the sub-folders of a shared folder inherit the access list of the parent folder, and are therefore also “shared”.  However, they were never explicilty “shared”, nor were they created as “shared folders”.  Do they still count as separate, additional “shared folders”?

Здравко
Legendary | Level 20

@IMCZug wrote:

... It says, “Within a single folder, you can create up to 10 shared subfolders.” ...


Hi @IMCZug,

Yes, that's right.

 


@IMCZug wrote:

... There is no mention of sub-folders in this statement.  Furthermore, there is no reference to the definition of a “shared folder”.  ...


Yes, could be more descriptive, but "shared" folder is the one that has been explicitly shared and listed as a such in your shared folders list. Every other folder doesn't count as a shared (in spite can get shared as part of other shared folder)! 😉

Hope this clarifies matter.

IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3

Our club’s free Dropbox Team account was converted to a normal free account when Dropbox discontinued free Team accounts.

This left us with a top-level folder shared with all of the former team members.  They are still referred to in the UI as “folder members”, but I cannot find any information describing how to mange these in an ordinary free account.  All I can do is delete some of the obsolete ones.

How can I share a new folder to the same people?  Do I have to send new Dropbox invitations to all of them?

Furthermore, the top-level folder lists an obsolete e-mail address as its “owner”.  How can I fix this?

IMCZug
Explorer | Level 3

@Здравко wrote:

Yes, could be more descriptive, but "shared" folder is the one that has been explicitly shared and listed as a such in your shared folders list. Every other folder doesn't count as a shared (in spite can get shared as part of other shared folder)! 😉

Hope this clarifies matter.


Not at all! In fact, it makes the error message all the more incomprehensible.  Our “shared folder list” lists *only one* shared folder: our top-level folder. How then, can a limit on the number of shared folders have been exceeded, much less “by 4”?

Meanwhile I have deleted (sub-)sub-folders so that no folder has more than (or even as many as) 10 sub-folders.  However, this has not made a difference in the behaviour.

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    Здравко Legendary | Level 20
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    IMCZug Explorer | Level 3
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