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Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Periannath
Explorer | Level 3

Context: I got a new Mac and transferred everything over using Mac migration, worked great. Dropbox was set up with the new computer, logged in and everything but didn't seem to be backing up on the new computer. Everything I needed was in "in the cloud," so it seemed to be fine. One issue I seemed to have, but am not certain, is that dropbox did not seem to being "reading" my new Mac as a different Mac. I wanted to factory reset my old Mac, it barely works but thought I would give that a try and needed to unsync, to do that I needed to stop backing up my files. So I did that and it gave me the option to keep them in my cloud and delete them off of the computer or delete them on my computer and keep them in the cloud. 

From my perspective, they were on my computer in "hard form," not just synced files so deleting them from the cloud would be fine and leaving them on my old mac would also be fine. So I chose to delete them on the cloud and keep them on my old Mac. Suddenly, all of those files were deleted on my new Mac. That put me for a scare but I was able to get them restored in dropbox and they are popping back up on my new Mac now. What I don't understand, is these files were never transferred with Dropbox onto my new Mac, they were transferred when I did Mac migration so why would deleting them on the cloud delete them on this Mac? This aspect of dropbox has scarred me so much it makes me want to avoid using it. Unfortunately, they don't have any reasonable prices for personal, non-business use either so I have not felt comfortable investing further in it. That's a whole different issue though. 

So my questions: 

Why did deleting them on the cloud delete them on my new Mac? How can I keep them on my new Mac without keeping them in the cloud now? I don't even understand how dropbox got the ability to delete these files on my new Mac because like I said above, I didn't transfer them with dropbox. 

Can anyone help me 1) understand what happened and 2) a way to not have my files on the cloud without the risk of them being deleted here again. 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Rich
Super User II

@Periannath wrote:

Yes, and I was expecting that. What I was not expecting is for all of those same files to be deleted off of my new Mac. What caused that?



Then it gave me the option to keep the files on dropbox or keep them on my Mac. I chose to keep them on my old Mac, I no longer needed them in dropbox.

^ That's what caused it. Those files were synced to your new Mac. When you chose to keep them on the Mac, that removes them from Dropbox. Since they were deleted from Dropbox, and Dropbox syncs all changes to your computers, that deletion was synced to the new Mac and the files were deleted.

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7 Replies 7

Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Hannah
Dropboxer
Hey @Periannath, thanks for joining our Community!

Would you mind describing the process you followed to unsync the files (or computer) in question?

Also, can you please clarify what you mean when you say that you deleted the files from the cloud? Did you delete them from the website?

Just to clarify, your files need to be on the 'cloud' (website), no matter what. This is what keeps them in our servers. 

If they get deleted from the website, they are deleted from Dropbox. 

I'll be looking forward to your clarifications, so I can help you figure out what happened!
 

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Periannath
Explorer | Level 3

1) While trying to unsync dropbox from my old Mac ( I think its just called signing out now, I clicked sign out). It said in order to do so I needed to stop backing up so I clicked yes to do this. Then it gave me the option to keep the files on dropbox or keep them on my Mac. I chose to keep them on my old Mac, I no longer needed them in dropbox. I had moved them to my new Mac through Mac migration, so I did not think they were linked. So when I removed them from dropbox, it deleted them on my new Mac and I am not sure why that is. I need and want them on my new Mac, so I was able to restore them on dropbox (I acted quick enough I suppose) but now I am afraid that if I delete them on dropbox it will delete them from my Mac again. 

2) I did not delete them from the website, or anywhere, I just chose to "keep them," on my old Mac which I think deleted them dropbox. It did not give me the option to keep them in both places. I thought, they are on my old Mac and my new Mac and my dropbox is full so I will back them up a different way and begin using my dropbox for different things. So I was shocked when it deleted them off of dropbox, it deleted them on my new Mac as well.

Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @Periannath, most likely this was related to the computer backup feature, since this is where you get these options. If you keep files on your Mac, then it'll move the files out of the Dropbox folder, which will delete them from the Dropbox site.

Keeping them on Dropbox would leave them in the Dropbox folder and thus the site itself.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Periannath
Explorer | Level 3

Yes, and I was expecting that. What I was not expecting is for all of those same files to be deleted off of my new Mac. What caused that?

Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Rich
Super User II

@Periannath wrote:

Yes, and I was expecting that. What I was not expecting is for all of those same files to be deleted off of my new Mac. What caused that?



Then it gave me the option to keep the files on dropbox or keep them on my Mac. I chose to keep them on my old Mac, I no longer needed them in dropbox.

^ That's what caused it. Those files were synced to your new Mac. When you chose to keep them on the Mac, that removes them from Dropbox. Since they were deleted from Dropbox, and Dropbox syncs all changes to your computers, that deletion was synced to the new Mac and the files were deleted.

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Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Periannath
Explorer | Level 3

Okay, that's what I was maybe thinking but that just seemed so bizarre to me. The whole sync deleting feature of dropbox makes me incredibly uncomfortable. 

Let me offer myself a solution I think will work and get feedback for it. 

Unsync my new Mac, delete the files on Dropbox and my dropbox will be clean but I will not lose the files on my new Mac.

Would that work? 

Thank you!

Re: Confusion to why unsyncing deleted files on Mac.

Periannath
Explorer | Level 3

Thank you, this answered my question! Still a bit scary, how syncing works, but I will just have to be careful.

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    Periannath Explorer | Level 3
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