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Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

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Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

Helpful | Level 6

I am moving files and folders from the hard drive of my computer (Mac) into the Dropbox folder, using the desktop app in combination with the Finder, but still keeping a local copy of the files on the hard drive. I've noticed that if a folder is renamed after being moved into the dropbox folder and successfully synced, all the files within that folder are re-uploaded again - or at least that's what seems to happen, since the icons turn to blue/syncing mode. That is weird though, I would expect Dropbox to recognise that if a folder structure, location or name changes without any of the files within being edited, it's not necessary to upload every single file within that folder again. What concerns me is the fact that renaming a significantly large folder could lead to a waste of bandwidth, computer resources, and the danger that files may get corrupted. 

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Re: Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

Super User II

It will appear to be uploading and downloading, but it's not. A rename is seen as a deletion followed by an add. Dropbox sees that the folder with the old name is no longer in Dropbox and registers it as a deletion, and then it detects a "new" folder with the new name you gave it. It needs to reindex all of the files and folders within that folder which takes time, especially in the case of large folders. It will work out that the files already exist online and won't reupload them.

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3 Replies 3
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Re: Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

New member | Level 2

Nope, it does not re-upload. It just take a while to recognise if the folder and items are the same.

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Re: Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

Helpful | Level 6

Cool, it's good to know. It does sometimes also show the "in progress" icon even though the files have been updated on the cloud already. Maybe it's just a matter of time as you say, but certainly misleading. Thanks for your reply, appreciated. 

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Re: Is dropbox going to re-upload every single file again, if a folder gets renamed or moved?

Super User II

It will appear to be uploading and downloading, but it's not. A rename is seen as a deletion followed by an add. Dropbox sees that the folder with the old name is no longer in Dropbox and registers it as a deletion, and then it detects a "new" folder with the new name you gave it. It needs to reindex all of the files and folders within that folder which takes time, especially in the case of large folders. It will work out that the files already exist online and won't reupload them.

View solution in original post

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