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I am getting a 'low disk space" message. What can I do?

I am getting a 'low disk space" message. What can I do?

Benny D.
New member | Level 1

I'm getting this message and read the article.
Problem is that the whole idea of using Dropbox is to free space on local disks and put the data in the "cloud".
How do I get over the obstacle and continue the sync?

Thanks,
Benny

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Low disk space

Robert S.
Experienced Collaborator | Level 11

Unfortunately Benny, the issue here seems to be one of a false assumption about how Dropbox works.

While Dropbox does indeed have an online storage component, it's primarily a file synchronisation tool.

You can't use Dropbox like a hard disk, it isn't a cloud drive and doesn't work that way.

You can though use Selective Sync to remove unneeded folders from local view.

https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/175

Note: Dropbox has a completely free version and comprehensive help documentation to help prospective customers decide if it's the right service for them.

View solution in original post

18 Replies 18

Re: Low disk space

Robert S.
Experienced Collaborator | Level 11

Unfortunately Benny, the issue here seems to be one of a false assumption about how Dropbox works.

While Dropbox does indeed have an online storage component, it's primarily a file synchronisation tool.

You can't use Dropbox like a hard disk, it isn't a cloud drive and doesn't work that way.

You can though use Selective Sync to remove unneeded folders from local view.

https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/175

Note: Dropbox has a completely free version and comprehensive help documentation to help prospective customers decide if it's the right service for them.

View solution in original post

Re: Low disk space

Richard P.42
New member | Level 1

Well, the idea that Dropbox isn't a hard disk in the cloud is a revelation for me. It also explains why my little laptop (97 GB) gets clogged up if it's also expected that it has to swallow files from my much larger desktop computer. So now I'm really regretting signing up for 1TB 'storage space' on Dropbox. The PR bit from Dropbox says "With 1 TB (1,000 GB) of storage and powerful sharing features, Dropbox Pro keeps your stuff safe and accessible no matter where you are". So I signed up for STORAGE SPACE.
Dropbox, you have sold me something which is useless to me. I won't be renewing my subscription and I think it would be good for dropbox to let prospective customers know that it doesn't work between a big capacity computer and a small capacity one.

Re: Low disk space

Robert S.
Experienced Collaborator | Level 11

Sorry Richard, but Dropbox has never been advertised as a cloud drive.

Note: Dropbox has a completely free version and comprehensive help documentation to help prospective customers decide if it's the right service for them.

See also: https://www.dropbox.com/tour

FWIW, it's entirely possible to use Dropbox on low disk capacity machines, either by judicious use of Selective Sync or entirely via the web interface.

In point of fact, I've used Dropbox perfectly adequately on a netbook with a 4GB SSD.

Re: Low disk space

Jean S.14
New member | Level 1

For someone who has a limited knowledge of computers it is very easy to assume it is a cloud service and certainly the enticement to extend "the storage" does not point this out. I certainly won't be renewing my subscription, unfortunately I paud for a year. What a waste.buyer beware.

Re: Low disk space

Graham B.15
New member | Level 1

I'm a total novice at cloud storage and Dropbox but am already regretting buying the 1TB facility too, and am struggling to get my head around some of the conversation here. I am trying to save files to Dropbox from my MacBook Air on which the hard drive is completely full to the point where I can no longer save documents. I've managed to move over some files and have deleted them from my MacBook but now I get the message from Dropbox saying I can't transfer any more files as I don't have sufficient space on my hard drive equal to the space on my Dropbox account to enable Dropbox to synch. That is a crazy position as that situation can never happen as clearly I have nothing like 1TB of storage on my Macbook. I also keep getting a Utility Error message which I've never had before and have no idea what that is about. I see that is possible to do Selective Synching. As I don't really need synching, its the storage I need, I guess I can try to make this happen, but whether I can solve my problems this way I don't know.

Can anyone through any light - in layman's terms please- on this frustrating situation?

Re: Low disk space

Benny D.
New member | Level 1

Graham, read Robert S. above. It took me some time to get a hold on it but I now understand. Dropbox is indeed not a remote drive. It is however a very useful solution to share and store tons of data that you don't need locally at the tip of your device. So, if you use the sync smartly and store via sync only the immediate data you need locally, you can still store on Dropbox whatever you like without syncing and hence without the error messages you (and I) were getting. The web interface is good enough and you can use it to get any piece of you data, even from your smart phone, which to me at a couple of times was a real saver for data I needed immediately. 

Re: Low disk space

Graham B.15
New member | Level 1

Benny, I really appreciate the response and after a few more days of wrestling with this I'm making some progress. Basically I've come to realise, having spoken with Apple, that it is best to only use Dropbox via the web rather than via the App, unless you want to synch files (selectively or otherwise). As I use Time Machine I don't need to synch, my interest is simply to get content off my hard drive into a safe back up environment. Using the App strangely doesn't release any hard drive space, whereas using the web interface obviously does. Its clunky and slower than the App but for my purpose that's fine. That said I still seem to be having some difficulties getting iPhoto (the biggest use of space on my hard drive) transferred to Dropbox. Not only  does it take a lot of time but I get lots of error messages meaning that photos don't get transferred so I have to react the exercise (probably due to my very modest broadband speed - 4mbps). For the moment I've transferred all my iPhoto Library on to an external drive so I can clear space on my hard drive and am now transferring material from the external drive to Dropbox as and when convenient to me. Laborious but it solves my immediate capacity problem and once I've got everything on to Dropbox I hopefully will be able to maintain the situation on a regular basis going forward. If I'm missing anything here I would certainly be glad to hear. Thx again. G

Re: Low disk space

Kari W.
New member | Level 1

I am having the same confusion that Graham expressed here.

What is the difference between the web interface and the app interface? If I understood that then perhaps I would be able to go forward as I have also purchased 1T of space but can not upload to drop box because of not enough space on my own hard drive.

Thanks for any help you can give to me.

Re: Low disk space

Graham B.15
New member | Level 1

I have no idea technically what the answer is to your question. From a practical pov, however, downloading the App is really a waste of time if you are looking to upload files, photos etc to Dropbox in order to release space on your hard drive (amongst other benefits, such as security, etc) as the content remains on your hard drive so nothing is gained. If you delete the app (or don't download it in the first place), you'll lose the speed of upload and ease of use but by simply going to Dropbox via the web you will find life a little clunkier than the app but once you upload files to Dropbox and then delate them from your hard drive you have released valuable space on your hard drive. Hope this helps a little,

 

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