@Daphne , thanks for your reply.
My apologies... I had not restarted the Dropbox service. Since I don't use the Dropbox "app", which is what the instructions mention, I ignored that part. But it makes sense that the service needs restarting, which I did from the menu bar.
After I did that, a mass re-syncing began. After a number of hours, all the files started reporting Zero Bytes in size. But the disk did not show that it had freed up any space.
I then began to drill down using the Get Info dialog to find what folders were still "consuming" all the space. The folders would usually show a large size at first but then re-calculate down to something that matched the proper "online only" status of dropbox files.
But still, the disk as a whole has not recovered space. See the screen shot below. The 4 folders on the disk add up to 184GB. On a 250GB disk, that should leave 64GB free. But macOS only reports 11GB free, the same amount that it showed before I flipped that switch in the Dropbox settings.
So, whatever Dropbox has done, the Mac does not appear to have acknowledged anything about recovered space.
What do we try next?
georgief, thank you for your solution. Since I've been a Clean My Mac user for a long time, I'm interested in your workaround.
But I don't understand exactly what you mean by "I toggled on the Mac Sync switch online".
And by "uninstalled / reinstalled the app" you mean the Dropbox app, right?
It would be very nice if you could provide step-by-step instructions here.
It may be that the system hasn't taken a new snapshot of the current space used. There's a some more info on this here.
@patient, would you mind letting me know your ticket number (eg. #1234567) so that I can look into this from my side for you?
I see, thanks for clarifying @reggoboy!
There isn't a way to send this privately, however, only the Support team will be able to view the ticket itself.
Since you already have a ticket open though, if you haven't already I would suggest replying back to the email Summer would have sent after the chat to follow up and continue troubleshooting there.
Most likely, it will need to be looked into by our specialist team.
I think my situation is now resolved. For the community, I'll post what I found.
First of all, the reason the folders don't add up is because "Get Info" on the Users folder returns basically false information, at least under Catalina (not sure this was always the case). Most folders of other users under this folder are marked with the "do not enter" badge and, ostensibly for security reasons, their file size shows 0 bytes, even though there is really content in there.
If you go to Apple -> About this Mac -> Storage -> Manage...->Other Users, you can see how much space is being consumed by other users, even if it doesn't tell you which users or where the files are.
Long story short, I have a Backup Admin account on this Mac (and all my Macs) where I had also previously configured Dropbox. But that dropbox, like most of them, were supposed to be Online Only. But apparently one of these changes happened, and that was flipped. So under that account, the entire contents of my dropbox was locally synced under that user.
I changed it to Online Only, and now my drive has all the free space I am expecting to see.
So this is really a combined problem that both Dropbox and Apple need to take ownership of. I'm not sure there are any bugs to be found here, but there are certainly usability issues, communication issues, and lacking admin tools.
Hope this helps,
I'm having the same issue, I bought a brand new iMac computer with 2tb of hardrive space with selective sync on, and yet its still taking up harddrive space. Currently, I have 50 gb left on my harddrive, and the documents are taking up all the space even though I'm synced to online only. I've fixed the permissions, there is defnitely a bug with Dropbox because I can't use it now as my harddrive space is running out.
This has happened on both imacs, I'm completely at a loss and waiting to hear from Dropbox support as I've sent screen shots showing everything is up to date and online only with selective sync on.
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