Does Dropbox actually store the files "in the cloud" or are the files on my computer?
Here’s what I found when I googled this question.
Dropbox is a true cloud system. Any file uploaded there will be stored on their servers so you can safely delete them from your PC.
Dropbox is not a cloud-base storage system where you have a "virtual" folder or drive. It's a file synchronization service, meant to keep the files in your local Dropbox folder in-sync with the files in your account online and other linked devices. The local Dropbox folder is a folder like any other on your system, and anything stored in the folder takes up local drive space.
Which is it?
Hey there @Yuppies7 - how are you today?
The quickfire answer here would be the latter one, i.e. a syncing tool to keep your files synced across your connected devices and our website, but this depends on how you look at it and how you are using our software and services I guess. For example, if you're accessing your files only through our website, the files will reside in our servers (not taking up space on your devices as you won't have the apps installed in this scenario).
If, on the other hand, you'd like to use our desktop application, you'll see a Dropbox Folder on your computer. This is not to be confused with network drives as it's only a normal folder and its contents are stored on your hard drive.
The Dropbox application only watches your Dropbox folder for changes and syncs those changes online and to your other computers. One of the benefits of this way of syncing is always having access to your files, even while you are offline.
By the way, you can also find some quick tutorial videos through this Help Center article: https://help.dropbox.com/learn/video-tutorials - feel free to take a look!
I hope this information brings some clarity and please let me know if you have any questions; I'll be happy to follow up!
Thank you for your reply and explanation. It sounds a bit like quantum mechanics – as you say “it depends on how you look at it”.
For now I simply want to save my recipes “somewhere else” and take them off my iPad so I save that space. I’ve been copying/pasting them into the files folder on Dropbox, then deleting them from my iPad. I then access those recipes through the Dropbox app. However, if I understand you those recipes on still on my iPad in Dropbox, right? They are not “somewhere else”. I am therefore not saving space. Right?
Ah, thanks for clarifying that you're using our mobile app Anthony - your inqury makes much more sense now.
The Dropbox mobile app is a file viewer that allows you to preview the files, photos, and videos in your Dropbox folder directly on your mobile device and unlike the Dropbox computer application, the Dropbox app does not automatically store files locally on your device.
This is because we want to be mindful of resource constraints mobile devices face such as device storage or bandwidth limitations. Given this, the contents of your Dropbox will not take up space on your mobile device. It also means that you cannot preview files without a WiFi or data connection.
If you'd like offline access to a file, you can make it available offline by tapping the arrow to the right of the file and turning on the Available offline option. You can find any files you've made available offline by tapping on the menu button and selecting “Offline files”. These files are available offline and any changes you make while offline will sync back to Dropbox.
For more on Offline files, see here please:
You may also choose to export a file from Dropbox and store it locally on your device. Exported files will be available offline, but they do not sync to Dropbox. They also will take up space on your device’s storage.
For more on exporting, you can have a look here (make sure to choose your device's OS first): https://help.dropbox.com/files-folders/sort-preview/viewable-file-types
I hope this information helps and sorry for the lengthy response - I hope it clarifies matters to you though.
And you're referring to the mobile app @Yuppies7 ?
Do you get any errors or is it just un-responsive? If you do get an error, please send me a screenshot to investigate further.
Feel free to include any information you think might help too like your device's OS version, our app's version, if you've restarted your device to attempt to troubleshoot this issue etc.
Yes the iOS app. I’m not able to add a file/photo (by copy/paste) - nothing happens. I did get a brief warning that disappeared quickly:
“an unknown error has occurred”
is there an email address I could send screen shots to? This is getting frustrating and time consuming. I can’t access my photos or recipes! This started when I clicked on “Sign out from this device” a few days ago and a box popped that said:
”This will also remove your personal offline files from this iPad. Are you sure?”
i hadn’t saved any files to acccess offline so I thought it was ok to continue as the advice didn’t apply to me. From then on I only get acces to what seems to be the online account even when I use the app.😩
dropboc v 150.2
iPad Air iOS v 12.2
havent rebooted but will try now.
Thanks for your help and patience!
Thanks for the patience and cooperation too Anthony - I appreciate it.
Along with rebooting your iPad, could you also update its OS as the most recent version is 12.3?
Let me know how it goes!
PS: If you'd like account specific assistance, you can always reach out to our Support team via the following page: https://www.dropbox.com/support
The way we work is changing. Share and discover new ways to work smarter with Dropbox in our community.Sound good? Let's get started.
For more info on available support options, see this article.
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