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I have an issue with indexing "._" files. Any ideas?

maldonfruit New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Why are files prefixed with ._(then file name) showing in all my folders? Is this a mistake?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Indexing files

Super User II
Super User II

Dot Underscore ( ._ ) files, otherwise known at AppleDouble files, are created by Apple's OS X or macOS operating system, typically when you store files on a non-native hard drive partition. They're used to hold extended attribute information that cannot be written to the partition along side the files. This is most common when using external hard drives that are formatted as FAT32, though it can happen with other partition types as well.

 

You usually don't see these files on a Mac because the operating system knows to hide them (they're still there though, and if you can see hidden files, you'll see them). On other systems the files are visible, including on Dropbox which will sync them like any other file. Note that an Apple Mac operating system is creating these files; not Dropbox.

 

Try a Google search for AppleDouble or dot underscore files and you'll find a lot more information about them.

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8 Replies 8

Re: Indexing files

Super User II
Super User II

Dot Underscore ( ._ ) files, otherwise known at AppleDouble files, are created by Apple's OS X or macOS operating system, typically when you store files on a non-native hard drive partition. They're used to hold extended attribute information that cannot be written to the partition along side the files. This is most common when using external hard drives that are formatted as FAT32, though it can happen with other partition types as well.

 

You usually don't see these files on a Mac because the operating system knows to hide them (they're still there though, and if you can see hidden files, you'll see them). On other systems the files are visible, including on Dropbox which will sync them like any other file. Note that an Apple Mac operating system is creating these files; not Dropbox.

 

Try a Google search for AppleDouble or dot underscore files and you'll find a lot more information about them.

View solution in original post

Re: Indexing files

HS4
Explorer | Level 4
Thanks for pointing the issue, but there is no solution, not from any other user and not from dropbox support. Very disappoint from a service i considered the best on the industry, #Fail

Re: Indexing files

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey there @HS4 - sorry to hear you feel this way - I'll try to help with this now. 

First off, these "AppleDouble files" - the (._) files - are generated by your Mac device(s), not Dropbox as @Rich has clearly outlined in his reply. 

Having said that now, kindly note that the issue you're seeing is a Mac issue that occurs when copying files with extended attributes metadata into a file system that doesn't support them. Depending on the information stored in the metadata, you may or may not need these files.

To avoid this issue if you have your Dropbox folder on an external drive, please make sure that the drive is formatted in the default file system format for the Operating System that is installed. 

Formatting drives may cause data loss. You can consult resources from your Operating System's manufacturer for steps and recommendations on formatting drives to a different file system. The most common default file systems are NTFS (Windows), HFS (Mac OS or ext4 (Linux) while Dropbox can't be used on removable drives at all. 

I know this is not much of a help but I hope it points you to the right direction. 

If there's anything else I can do from my end to help with this, do let me know!

 


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


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Re: Indexing files

HS4
Explorer | Level 4

Yes, its no helpful but thanks for reply, I just wonder if its only a mac problem why dropbox service doesnt allow me to search the files by ._ so I could easily find the wrong files and delete them instead of going folder by folder in 200 gigas and delete one by one. 

 

My suggestion for other mac users, that should be apparently (for dropbox) very few in the world; is get a copy of all your files in a external hard drive, then cancel your subscription to dropbox and find a compatible service somewhere else where could take care of common user problems. It would be easier to delete the wrong files from your hard drive than from dropbox in the clouds.

Re: Indexing files

Super User II
Super User II
It is dead easy to delete them from Dropbox (I do it frequently although it only happens if you use a badly formatted drive on your Mac).

Simply search for ._ on the Mac you are using Dropbox on OR at the Dropbox website and then delete them.

Users themselves really need to delete them - no program at all should be doing this because there is a chance of data loss.

 


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Re: Indexing files

HS4
Explorer | Level 4

Try in the website, and check if it works, I totally tought the same at the beggining before i got upset with the service.

Re: Indexing files

Super User II
Super User II
I did. It Worked fine.

I just searched for ._ and they all show up, or, rather did as I have removed them.

What I am going to say is that I am a Professional customer (www.dropbox.com/professional) which I know gives higher searching capabilities - mainly searching inside files, but, I dont know if that has anything to do with it.

 


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Re: Indexing files

Debra & Allen H
Helpful | Level 5

I'm late coming to the discussions about the ._ files. I'm not a Pro user.

When I search on the ._ files on any folder, the result is "no files found" and if I add the year (I don't rename  photos), it results in every file beginning with the year (._ or not). If I add year & month, I seem to get all of them with a few random. And I'm on the computer that likely caused the problem.

But it's nice to know that most of the photos are on dropbox regardless of the ._ files. (Of course, except the ones my husband wanted at 2am. LMFAO)

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