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It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

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It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Explorer | Level 4

I am using dropbox for my work, and I mostly use excel files that do not exceed 30-40 MB. 

But, it seems like about 3-4 GB is filling up everyday, while I do not download files with big size. 

It seems like Dropbox might be the reason that fills up my space, but after I change all my dropbox files to Online-only (Smart Sync), my hard drive space still stays the same. Does any one have idea on this problem? 

7 Replies 7
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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Dropboxer
Hey there (@jkim10), thanks for taking the time to drop us a line on the Dropbox Forum! 
 
For starters, I’m wondering if you’ve had a chance to check our Selective Sync feature to save up some space & keep only the files you really need available across your devices. 
 
From there, I’m wondering if you’re modifying your files locally & then saving them back on Dropbox, as this would imply that the newest version should be hashed> uploaded & then set to Online-only ☁️ anew. From there, if a file has been synced locally that you would prefer to have online-only, simply right click on it and select online-only from the Smart Sync menu.
 
Can you check if this is the option you were looking for & let me know how it works for you or in case I've misundertood your inquiry in your next post? Thanks in advance & I hope you have a great Friday! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Explorer | Level 4

Hi, thank you for your answer. 

However, I managed to sync for Online only after I edit all the files. (Of course, I deleted the files that were locally saved)

But, it seems like my hard drive is taken up by Dropbox space (not only the ones that I use, but also the ones that are in the dropbox). 

 

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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Dropboxer
I appreciate it that you circled back to me on this correspondence @jkim10, let me send you a couple more pointers below! 
 
Assuming that you’ve now set your excel files to be Online-only ☁️ on the device you’re running out of available hard disk space, it would be worth noting that some applications need to look at your files to work, and that makes Dropbox download the files. However, I wouldn’t recommend deleting your local copies altogether (i.e. unless you intended to anyhow)
 

But, it seems like my hard drive is taken up by Dropbox space (not only the ones that I use, but also the ones that are in the dropbox).  

That’s right, as your Dropbox folder works just like any other folder on your hard drive (even if you are offline), though it’s enhanced with syncing properties / . In other words, if you decide to revert your files to Local, then these should reside on your computer as any other file that’s stored on your device. In the event that you’re suspecting that your Online-only ☁️ files are indeed taking up your hard disk space, then these hints will be useful: 
 
Spoiler
Your best course of action to determine how much space your your Dropbox folder is currently taking up on your device would be to refer to the Get Info on your Mac (or Properties on a pc)
 
As there are various places to see the size of a file in Finder, some of these locations will display the logical size, while others will show you the physical size. (Note: Smart Sync placeholders takes up approximately 0kb, which is the physical size. The logical size of the file is the actual size of the file, if it were downloaded to the device.)
 
To see both the logical and physical file size:
- Right click on a file/folder
- Select 'Get info'
- In the properties window you will see the original file size, followed by the actual on-disk size
 
For example:428,510 bytes (0 KB on disk)
 
It is important to be able to view both sizes, not just to reassure you that the file is not taking up space, but also to understand the space and speed implications of returning the file(s).
 
In other views of Finder, the operating system will report the logical size. For this reason you shouldn't be concerned if it initially appears that the placeholder is taking up space. To confirm the file or folder is not taking up space, please check via the above steps. Files that are not taking up space on disk will have an icon overlay that changes from the usual green tick to the grey cloud icon, denoting that the file isn't locally present.
 
Please do let me know how these apply in your current setup & I’ll do my best to check back what’s happening. In order to follow-up more closely with you, I’d appreciate a screenshot of what you're seeing in your next post as well. Thanks again & I’ll be awaiting your next reply!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Explorer | Level 4

Hi, Thank you for your continous help.

 

However, I've already checked the properties of the Dropbox folders and their size is little above 100GB, and their size on Disk takes up about 357MB. 

The reason why I asked you this question in the first place was that my C drive (main drive) is taken up about 150 GB. With the fact that I use only excel files for work, I suspected that the drive cannot be taken this much if it weren't the Dropbox. 

I've already formatted the disk about a month ago because the disk was 99% full with the same problem, and asked this because I'm having a similar probelm now. 

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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Dropboxer
Thanks for looping back to me here with your findings @jkim10! Now, from what I gather from your description, your online-only files in Dropbox shouldn’t be taking up your hard disk space since the folder's Properties display the physical size correctly, though it seems that you may need to monitor & analyze how you’re currently utilizing your available space locally on your pc in a bit more depth (i.e. for that reason it would be best to contact your IT department/ search online for the best next steps &c). 
 
In any event, I hope that this gets resolved soon for you & I remain at your entire disposal should you have any additional questions. In the meantime, take care until we talk again!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support

 

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

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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Helpful | Level 5

Hi, I have a similar issue. I had 13 GB on my hard drive, did a search, Dropbox filled my hard drive and then failed to download more synced files and told me to free up space on my hard drive.  So now I have 3.9 GB free on my hard drive, and it's not going back up.

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Re: It seems like Dropbox is filling up my hard drive

Dropboxer

Hi @NJtoTX; thanks for joining this discussion and sorry to hear about this.

 

Based on your description, I'm assuming that you searched for files that were set to be Online Only through the Smart Sync feature and upon that, the files synced down to your machine as local ones, thus taking up space on your hard drive.

 

Can you take a look at the overlay icons of your Dropbox folder's content and let me know if that's the case indeed? 



Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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