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Dropbox How to Change a Folder's Name and Retain History and Deleted Files / Sub-Folders?

Dropbox How to Change a Folder's Name and Retain History and Deleted Files / Sub-Folders?

Helpful | Level 5

Hi, community!

I have some folders with a substantial number of files/subfolders and years of "deleted files" history.

Is there a way of changing a folder's name and retaining the history of it regarding deleted files and subfolders? In other words, how can I make Dropbox consider a renamed folder to be the same folder, with a different name instead of considering a new folder with the same (current) contents?

Example. Say, I rename a folder for "FOLDEROLD" to "FOLDERNEW". FOLDEROLD had included a deleted file call "recoverme.pdf". Can I then see/how can I then see "recoverme.pdf" as a deleted file in FOLDERNEW?

I had renamed folders in the past and then found that the history/deleted files were not transferred. The renamed folder was essentially treated as a new folder. After some panicking, I found that I could still recover the files from the old folder, which of course requires you to remember that you renamed that old folder's name and recover that folder first. Over the years and potentially several renames of a folder, this may get messy as you forget the earlier names.

This question is important to me because I am on a contract which allows me to recover years of files (and hence I count on being able to find and recover such files, need be). That is why I don't want to lose that ability or make it messy by splitting the history of a folder between two different places through renaming folders. However, if it can be done, I would like to rename folders as their names are now "wrong" (but again, only if I can carry across the entire history of that folder).

Thank you for any advice! 

3 Replies 3

Re: Dropbox How to Change a Folder's Name and Retain History and Deleted Files / Sub-Folders?

Super User II

Hey @notausername

I'm 99.999% certain now that Dropbox does do this. It didnt used to, but, it does now. 

The only time it wont is if you unshare a directory. Then you lose all history on it. 


 


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Re: Dropbox How to Change a Folder's Name and Retain History and Deleted Files / Sub-Folders?

Helpful | Level 5

Hi,

Unfortunately, it is the 0,001%:  The folder's deleted file history is not transferred when moving a folder or renaming a folder, I just tested it again. I am using Finder in MacOS Mojave, current Dropbox version is running.

Any advice on how moving/renaming could be achieved?

Cheers

Re: Dropbox How to Change a Folder's Name and Retain History and Deleted Files / Sub-Folders?

Helpful | Level 6

Unfortunately it seems that Dropbox completely ignores users' expectations. (And this is not the only case.)

 

What user expects: I renamed a file/folder. So it means just another record in a file/folder history like "name changed from aaa to bbb". All the other attributes, including the history are preserved. - As simple as it can be.

 

What Dropbox does: A file/folder was renamed from aaa to bbb? So... it means to create a completely new file/folder bbb and just copy aaa content to bbb. Delete aaa. - Done! All the other attributes, including history of course stays with aaa!

What? - You strangers need the history with bbb? - Restore aaa and you got it. (What Dropbox does not care is that nobody can track that bbb is a child of aaa.)

 

The same happens when copy. - A new instance is created with an empty history.

 

Dropbox approach probably is very natural for operating systems but human beings.

 

And I completely DISAGREE with Dropbox approach.

When I rename a file/folder I expect the history stays with the file.

When I copy file/folder I expect the history is copied as well.

 

The program must work as users expect. If not it's a good reason to search for other program that does. I'm sorry to write it as I like Dropbox very much.

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