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Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Helpful | Level 5

Hi,

until this summer I was able to sync folders outside Dropbox using simbolic links.

I just tried again to sync a folder with this tricky method and it's not working. I tried to create simbolic link with normal and admin user rights, I tried to sync a folder in another disk partition, it just doesn't work anymore.

The "fun fact" is that the old symbolic links I created are working, but if I create a new one it shows a red X on it.

I know it's not a feature but a tricky method, but I read that Dropbox doesn't support simbolic link anymore.

Just....WHY. It was so useful, the only drawback was that the sync wasn't in real time with the great advantage of being able to save any folder you want without moving it into Dropbox.
In OneDrive I'm still able to use it (I use it even at work to backup (backup, not syncing, because it's not syncing in real time) my user folders), in Dropbox the old ones are working, but why not the new ones?
The command I use to create simbolic link is like this:
mklink /J "F:\Dropbox\TRANSFER\PC GAME\USERDATA_links\Pictures" "F:\USERDATA\Pictures"

Note that I could try with any folder, even in C: but it doesn't work anymore.

There is a method to make it working again?

13 Replies 13
Highlighted

Dropbox saving in 2 places and need to sync now

Explorer | Level 4

Somehow when I got the latest update, my computer is not syncing properly. I keep a copy on an external drive and one on Dropbox. They used to sync perfectly. They no longer do and since they have the same shortcut name in my quick access file explorer, I am loosing track of which file is the right one. Please help get everything synced back up without losing my updated files.

Highlighted

Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hi @Baboo85! Thanks for raising this topic. 

Truth is symlinks won't work like the use to anymore. 

Check out this Help center article explaining how Dropbox can sync symlinks nowadays. 

We also have several Community discussions about this. 

I received an email about changes to symlinks. Any ideas?

Best practices for using symlinks (symbolic links)

Moving folders/files to meet new symlink rules.

I am here for all your questions. 

Have a nice day! 


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


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Highlighted

Re: Dropbox saving in 2 places and need to sync now

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hello @time4us2fly, thanks for posting. 

You mentioned Dropbox needs to sync in 2 different locations and so I understand you are using symlinks. I merged your topic to this one here. I hope the information provided here clarifies matters and helps you set this up differently. 

Dropbox should still sync, from the Dropbox desktop application to the web and the other way around though. Does it report to be "Up to date"? Check your status please.  

Looking forward to your comment to see if there is a syncing issue with the dekstop app or if the problem described, is related to the symlink changes. 

Thank you! 


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
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Re: Dropbox saving in 2 places and need to sync now

Explorer | Level 4

It shows up to date. What I think happened is that I have 2 instances of Dropbox both called the same thing. One is on my E drive.  And the other is in the Cloud. The Cloud shows up to date and syncing. I don't know what it's syncing with. But all of the folders are checked with green arrows.  

The E drive has all of the same folders, but no check marks. Not syncing with the Cloud. Hopefully that makes sense?

Highlighted

Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Helpful | Level 6

Truth is symlinks won't work like they used to anymore. 


Does that mean that the symlink feature is definitely not going to come back? Can you please provide a clear statement on this?

I am a paying user and I need to sync multiple folders in different drives, which until now could be achieved using symlinks/NTFS junctions. Moving everything under the dropbox folder is not an option for me. If this feature is no longer available I will be forced to cancel my subscription an look elsewhere.
 

 

Highlighted

Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for joining our discussion. 

Symlinks were never a Dropbox feature @xgirones. They use to work but they were causing huge syncing issues.  

I am in the unpleasant position to confirm that the old set up with symlinks will not work. 

Sorry to hear that you cannot change your set up. 

 

@time4us2fly Was the E folder syncing previously?  Are both your local folders linked with the same Dropbox account/email address? 

 


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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
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Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Helpful | Level 6

Thanks for the clarification. Will support for multiple unrelated folders in different drives be provided instead? IMHO it does not make sense to pay for a 2TB cloud storage that restricts the user to keep everything under the same local folder.

Highlighted

Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

You can keep everything in the Dropbox folder and the Dropbox cloud. Dropbox does not support syncing outside of Dropbox though. 

You can have Dropbox folders on different pc users of your device if you wish. You just need to install the application twice to different computer users. 

You cannot have two active Dropbox folders in the same pc user and different drives.  

Let me know if you want me to clarify this any further. 

 


Fiona
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 Solution' button to help others find it.
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Highlighted

Re: Dropbox doesn't sync symbolic links anymore

Explorer | Level 4

It seems that the Dropbox team does not understand why using symlinks to manage Dropbox localy is the only reasonable way.

It seems unreasonable to have 2 TB of cloud storage, while on the local drive you have, for example, at most 1 TB of space available (if using SSD drives, for example) on the main drive or partition.

I asked the support team "how do I sync files accros different partitions or drives with just one folder without using junctions?". The answer was clear: "There is no way to do this currently. The files do need to be within the Dropbox folder."


So, Dropbox must be THE ONLY folder you can sync! Just put everything there (it doesn't matter if you don't have a 2TB partition on you SSD drive, we still charge you for 2 TB and we just removed the support for symlinks).

Where is the logic in that?

Do all the other cloud storage services are the same? Now I must do a manual sync using third party software (which goes very sloooooly) and I must find another provider that can sync local files as it should be!

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