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Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

CertainDeveloper
Helpful | Level 6

I have recently updated Dropbox and it's causing 10s-20s delays when opening some of the MS Office files, mainly MS Access (on Windows 10 Pro, 20H2). It's not reproducible every time, but it's definitely related to the Dropbox app. No need to mention that such delays are mighty annoying and unacceptable. The issues stopped when I reinstalled Dropbox 98.4.158.

 

I don't use the Dropbox Badge feature and I disabled the Microsoft Office add-in for the whole company. Basically all optional features are disabled for the whole company.

 

I would gladly use Dropbox 98.4.158, but the problem is that Dropbox is forcing an update (showing a message that it will stop working in 4 days).

 

Does anyone have the same issues? In which version it started? Is there any workaround to suppress Dropbox from causing the delays (perhaps limiting the permissions of the Dropbox app somehow)?

8 Replies 8

Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @CertainDeveloper, thanks for posting on the Community!

Are the Microsoft Access files in a shared folder or a private folder on your account?

How large is the Access database it's trying to open? Do you use Smart Sync on that file?

This will help me to assist further!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

CertainDeveloper
Helpful | Level 6

Hi Jay,

 

Thank you for your response.

 

All the affected files are placed in shared folders. The size of the files ranges between 50-200MB.

 

Smart Sync is entirely turned off for the whole company.

Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

Jay
Dropboxer
Are any users accessing the Access files at the same time when you're opening the files?

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

CertainDeveloper
Helpful | Level 6

The files where the issue appeared are accessed only by me, but it's possible that at the same time I had different files opened (only for reading) while other users had the same files opened as well. It's quite possible that the problem is somewhat related to how other  shared files are accessed which could explain why the bug appears in such a random way.

 

Were there any changes to the locking of the files in the recent versions? Since Dropbox 98.4.158 worked fine there must have been some new feature/change introduced that is causing this issue.

Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

Jay
Dropboxer
The Dropbox desktop application is always getting improvement with each app update, so there should've been some changes since that version of the app. 

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

CertainDeveloper
Helpful | Level 6

I have tried to install the latest build and the issue is still present.


Unfortunately, this serious bug has been introduced somewhere between Dropbox 98.4.158 and the newest version and it's still not fixed.


Do you have similar issues reported by other users? Is the fix in your pipeline?

Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

Jay
Dropboxer
We've not heard of any other user experiencing the same issue.

I'd recommend contacting the support team directly for further investigation into this matter.

Once you get a ticket ID from the automated response, please let me know the number here so I can locate it in our system!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox is causing 10s-20s delays when opening MS Office files.

CertainDeveloper
Helpful | Level 6

I opened ticket #12351454 and described the issue in detail, including a screen recording showing the symptoms of the issue.

 

Please note this recording contains sensitive information and cannot be shared here.

 

Unfortunately, after I provided all the necessary details I haven't received any additional response.

 

Could you please be so kind and try to escalate the issue?

 

It's not the first time we get such a terrible user experience when using Dropbox in our company.

 

Our company has been using Dropbox since 2009. If Dropbox would send the Net Promoter Score survey to our company in 2009 it would get a perfect score as one of the best pieces of SW with a great value-added. Unfortunately, 12 years later, Dropbox is at the top of the list of apps that are causing headaches to our staff and we are actively considering alternatives.

 

The solution to all these problems would be simple: Focus on the core functionality and let the customers turn off all the unnecessary fancy features.

 

It's clear that most of the issues are caused by these unneeded features. The fact that Dropbox is blocking other applications from launching means that it is messing with the filesystem in a way it shouldn't. We don't use Dropbox in our company for managing file permissions. We use Dropbox as a synchronization service. It should only watch the file system and synchronize the changes and not actively block the file access.

 

I understand some other companies may want these features, but make them optional. Actually, you have options to turn off various features, but the Desktop application does not respect the chosen configuration. Our company has basically all these features turned off, but it still didn't stop the Desktop application from the undesirable behavior. For example, the "Viewer info" is turned off in our Dropbox Business Admin console, but the Dropbox desktop app is still tracking the views, but only the data are hidden in the logs. That's a wrong implementation. The option "Off completely" should mean "Off completely". In other words, the Dropbox desktop app should respect this option and not track the file access at all. It should only track the changes.

 

I really miss the good old days when Dropbox actually listened to customers. Do you remember the Votebox? Customers used to be enthusiastic about the product and vividly discussed it in official forums. The feedback used to be treated differently. Then the customer relationship policies took a 180-degree turn and Dropbox became Blackbox. I can see individual members of the Dropbox team are still trying hard (like some moderators on the forum or operators in the support), but the change has to come from the top. It's clear that some internal policies prevent the staff from talking more sincerely which often makes the communication about issues rather ridiculous. Our company uses various other cloud services and Dropbox is the only one with such secretive communications policies. Everyone knows that no SW is perfect and some issues may take time to fix, but the way how the issues are communicated is what truly makes the user experience so frustrating.

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