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Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Ted44
Helpful | Level 5

Recently, I downloaded Dropbox basic 2GB to try it out on my iMac, but then I decided to delete it. I deleted the app from my mac as well as from the trash folders on my mac. I realized like many, my Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and Music folder were "missing" (could not click on them and had files were gone). They names of the icon were still there, but the original icon was gone (the arrow pointing down for Downloads, for example), and upon clicking them, they showed: "The operation can’t be completed because the original item for “Downloads” can’t be found." (similar to this picture/post in link from an article found elsewhere)

 

It seems like all my documents are missing, and when I log back into Dropbox online, when I click "documents", it lists very few documents compared to what was on my computer before downloading Dropbox

 

I tried to restore my computer from backups multiple times (after deleting Dropbox, and most likely data/zip files; I fear that data is lost forever) to see if that would resolve the problem... which it did not and (probably made it worse/ensured this never gets resolved). I have read though previous threads that state the computer back up option was probably on and I need to reinstall the app and change the settings.

 

The problem is, I do not have the app/icon on the computer, and every time I try to re-download the app, I am met with a message that states "could not be saved, because an unknown error occurred. Try saving to a different location." but it does not give me an option to save elsewhere no would I know where I could save it to

 

I do not know what to do, and it seems like I cannot save ANYTHING to my computer (desktop, documents - i don't even know where screenshots go after I take them) and am assuming this is why I can't reinstall it. Even if I could reinstall it, I am not sure if it would fix things and make my computer go back to normal pre- Dropbox. Again, don't know what to do at this point...

 

Help would be GREATLY appreciated

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

@Ted44 wrote:

...

It won't give me the option to save anywhere else.


That's not possible! Check your program (i.e. your web browser) settings. There should be a way to select where you want to save to your downloads. Select an existing folder (as I proposed before your home folder is a good example - it's never "catched" by Dropbox)!

Be more careful!

 

PS: You can try delete the links, which Dropbox have put there. Most probably your system (Mac) will recreate the default folder automatically. Try it! 😜 If doesn't happen fully automatic, try reboot. If not luck yet, try create the folders by hand.

If you are familiar with terminal, try following commands:

rm -rf ~/Downloads
mkdir ~/Downloads

Repeat above commands with all "missing" folders. Be careful not to apply them on an existing folder (entire content will gone)!

You can check if "folder" is a real folder or link by following command:

ls -l ~/Downloads

If you see after name sequence "->" following by another name, it's a link with name and position listed at left pointing to real (or no so real, but supposed to be) folder (name and position) listed on right. If there is no "->", it a real file/folder, not a link.

View solution in original post

5 Replies 5

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

@Ted44 wrote:

... I realized like many, my Desktop, Documents, Downloads, and Music folder were "missing". They were still there, but the original icon was gone (the arrow pointing down for Downloads, for example), and upon clicking them, they showed: "The operation can’t be completed because the original item for “Downloads” can’t be found." ...


Hi @Ted44,

🤔 What do you mean "They were still there"? According the description you are providing they are no more there! Don't confuse with the links ("arrow") Dropbox has used for replace the original folders with. They are just... links, no folders - pointing to nowhere! That's why originals can't be found. The originals aren't where links point to, since you have wiped them out already. You can count link as just a label, no as container for files (like some folder) - labels designated to missing folders (in particular).

 


@Ted44 wrote:

...

It seems like all my documents are missing, and when I log back into Dropbox online, when I click "documents", it lists very few documents compared to what was on my computer before downloading Dropbox

...


Seems not all your files got in sync before you uninstall the application and get your folders wiped. Reason could be different - from no time enough, to account overquota (i.e. your files are more than 2GB - account capacity). Most probably you can't restore missing files since you have removed their local copies (despite, take a look on trash box once again). You can restore certainly only files got successfully in sync (that you can see online).

 


@Ted44 wrote:

..., and every time I try to re-download the app, I am met with a message that states "could not be saved, because an unknown error occurred. Try saving to a different location."

 

I do not know what to do, and it seems like I cannot save ANYTHING to my computer (desktop, documents - i don't even know where screenshots go after I take them) ...


😁 Of course. Have you tried put something in a imaginary box? A box residing in your mind only, but not in the reality. Such an action could be performed in an imaginary manner only, of course.

Again, there is NOT a folder - just a link pointing to nowhere. That's why you can't save there anything.

"I cannot save ANYTHING to my computer" isn't true! You can NOT save anything to non existing folders (the only thing you have tried). Read more carefully your own post, where the solution is - "Try saving to a different location". That's it - a place without "arrow" pointing to nowhere (your user home folder for example). Use some folder that hasn't been in backup by Dropbox. 😉

In future read more carefully what you fall in agreement with (when some application asks). If you are not sure what's going word about, better don't agree, in such a way won't fall in troubles (like this). Turn on only features you are sure what they are and you need them.

Hope this helps.

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Ted44
Helpful | Level 5

Thanks, @Здравко I updated the post.

 

It won't give me the option to save anywhere else.

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

@Ted44 wrote:

...

It won't give me the option to save anywhere else.


That's not possible! Check your program (i.e. your web browser) settings. There should be a way to select where you want to save to your downloads. Select an existing folder (as I proposed before your home folder is a good example - it's never "catched" by Dropbox)!

Be more careful!

 

PS: You can try delete the links, which Dropbox have put there. Most probably your system (Mac) will recreate the default folder automatically. Try it! 😜 If doesn't happen fully automatic, try reboot. If not luck yet, try create the folders by hand.

If you are familiar with terminal, try following commands:

rm -rf ~/Downloads
mkdir ~/Downloads

Repeat above commands with all "missing" folders. Be careful not to apply them on an existing folder (entire content will gone)!

You can check if "folder" is a real folder or link by following command:

ls -l ~/Downloads

If you see after name sequence "->" following by another name, it's a link with name and position listed at left pointing to real (or no so real, but supposed to be) folder (name and position) listed on right. If there is no "->", it a real file/folder, not a link.

View solution in original post

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

Ted44
Helpful | Level 5

@Здравко 

 

Thanks for you help!

 

Apple support helped me and used your advice and saved it to "home" and was able to reinstall, change back up setting, and fix things

Re: Documents, Dowloads, Desktop, and Music folders on Mac

AnnHHunter
New member | Level 2

You are not the only one. I have also recently been having trouble with Dropbox syncing with a Mac. It works smoothly only if I go with the suggestion to upload my entire hard drive to Dropbox. When I only upload selected files, the others seem to disappear from the Mac itself. I have my Mac backed up to a hard drive, so I used Time Machine to restore a file but it immediately disappeared. Finally I gave in and checked All on the sync options.  After a little while everything worked. This is making me crazy. I tried to contact Dropbox's help desk to work things out, but could only chat because they don't provide phone support to Dropbox Plus users. I have no need for the higher level account and I am seriously thinking of leaving Dropbox altogether. It used to be stable and easy to use, but now they seem to be shifting to a different approach that is not meeting my needs as well.

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Top contributors to this post

  • User avatar
    AnnHHunter New member | Level 2
  • User avatar
    Ted44 Helpful | Level 5
  • User avatar
    Здравко Super Collaborator | Level 20
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