This was scary: A user says they have no files in their Windows Explorer\Favorites\Dropbox. When I looked at a user's Windows Explorer at c:\users\username\Dropbox, I could see folders, but they were all empty! There's the first heart attack of the day : (
Side Note: The user always exits the Dropbox Windows app after updating some local files in the aforementioned ..\User folder. They have to "Quit" Dropbox because if they don't, all of their Windows desktop "Shortcut key"s (e.g. alt+shift+p to open Notepad) take an annoying extra 4-10 seconds to open the desired program. I documented that bug at Dropbox-causes-slow-opening-of-windows-programs-keyboard-shortcuts , but never had any community feedback. So the workaround for that user is still to "Quit" the Dropbox app when done using it to update the cloud files. Moving on . . .
Side Note: Yes, Selective Sync is set for all folders; nothing is excluded.
Luckily, I found that when I opened the user's Windows Dropbox app, then gave it a couple of seconds, the files magically appeared back in the aforementioned folders in Windows Explorer. Then I took a look at recent backup media and saw that the files are physically in the aforementioned folder in the backup media. So they weren't gone, just hidden from Windows Explorer. And, sorry, in my haste I didn't think to check for the files via cmd for -h files.
Here's a scary thought: If some kind of occasional login to the Dropbox app is required for Explorer to display the local copies of the files, what happens when the network is down for days? As our friends in Louisiana know after this week's hurricane, they may not see a network for weeks.
Does anyone know why the local files were hidden from Windows Explorer, until an internet session with dropbox's cloud site was made?