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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Ah, I see @cmurockstar… 
 
All’s well that ends well; pleased to hear that you’ve got that sorted now & I’m always here if you have more questions for me. Take care until we talk again! 🤓

 


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

 

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I have this exact same problem and agree that @Jane does not seem to be getting it.

I have SmartSync turned off on all of my devices. I use Selective Sync to limit what appears on my smaller devices.

If I add a folder to my device's Selective Sync, it does not download -- the files appear in the directory with a gray cloud. I have to right-click the and select "Local" for EACH ONE. Even though I supposedly have Smart Sync disabled.

The problem happened to me JUST TODAY and its a real problem. I travel for business and if I get on the plane and find the files I thought I had added to the machine haven't downloaded, I'm dead in the water. This is the basic reason I turned this function off.

I am IMMENSELY frustrated. I'm a paying customer, have been for a couple of years now, and if Dropbox can't resolve the issue with this "feature" I will have to find a new provider.

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey @autonerd, I hope I’ve got the most important info, let’s have a closer look!
 
It sounds like you’re looking at the Selective Sync pop-up window that loads your folder structure & shows the current sync status on each directory ☁️/
 
Your initial description doesn’t specify whether you’ve always set your files to sync locally as the default setting or this has changed. Could you please clarify this bit in your next message?
 
Rephrasing from the previous page, if you’ve changed that recently through Preferences, it will not apply to everything but only to newly synced content from our servers to this device. For anything that was synced before this point in time, you'd have to make Local through the right-click menu. 
 
Hopefully this sheds some light!

 


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

 

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Helpful | Level 5

@Jane Let me be blunt. I am irate at the run-around you are giving me.

Today, I went into drop box preferneces.

"save hard drive space automatically" is "off" and "new content default" is set to local

I then went to "selective sync" and chose "choose folders to sync" and added a folder which was not previously synced, to synced.

It then appeared in my folder structure - AND DID NOT DOWNLOAD. It has the cloud icon.

[i am yelling here] EVERYTHING I HAVE DONE IS TO DISABLE THIS HORRIBLE FEATURE AND STILL IT IS NOT BEING DISABLED

what is worse, I set this up to "sync" and "doanload" - go to do another task (because the files are multiple GIGS of video files I need to edit and want to use my time well), and come back later and find NOTHING HAPPNED. You are wasting my time here on the form, and in real life.

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Helpful | Level 7

Hi @cmurockstar, welcome to the club. We've been there and railed against Dropbox support staff. Something went horribly wrong. But did you see the post about turning off system extension? Log into Dropbox.com, go to settings (under your profile icon), then switch off Dropbox System Extension. It immediately fixed things for me and several other people here. Not sure if that will work for you.

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey @cmurockstar, thanks for checking back with us on this thread, and I'm sorry to hear about your frustration. 

I just wanted to mention that when you choose to sync a folder from your selective sync settings and you have Smart Sync enabled, that folder will appear in your Dropbox folder as online-only. 

However, I do understand how important this is for you and your feedback about this functionality is greatly appreciated. 

As @olliebown also posts above, if you don't want to have Smart Sync enabled, could you please make sure that you've disabled the extensions as shown in this article?

Keep us posted!


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


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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Helpful | Level 6

This post has been removed multiple times and I don't see any valid reason why that would be the case. I'm going to try again.

I've been following this for a while and I'm not sure anyone has stated the issue in a way that Dropbox employees have understood it in its entirety. I'm going to give it a go to see if I can make any headway.

Here's what I just ran into, which prompted me to look for this thread again. I have a folder structure as follows:

Projects
    2019
        0001-0050
        0051-0100
    2020
        0001-0050
        0051-0100

Initially, I setup my user's desktop app to selectively sync all of 2019, which includes the two subfolders under it. Smart sync is set to Local and I right clicked on the Dropbox folder itself to set it to Local Only via the system extension, which applies to everything in the Dropbox folder. At that point, here's how the folders were synced:

Projects: Local (Dark Green icon)
    2019: Local (Dark Green icon)
0001-0050: Local (Dark Green icon)
0051-0100: Local (Dark Green icon)

Then I went into Selective Sync and checked 2020 -> 0001-0050. Here's what happened:

Projects: Mixed Local and Online Only (Light Green icon)
    2019: Local (Dark Green icon)
        0001-0050: Local (Dark Green icon)
        0051-0100: Local (Dark Green icon)
    2020: Online Only (Gray Cloud icon)
        0001-0050: Online Only (Gray Cloud icon)

 

The new folders did not inherit the attributes of the parent folder (Projects). The new folders also did not honor the Local setting in the Preferences menu. I have inadvertently gotten on an airplane thinking I had the files synced locally only to find that a few folders buried deep in the hierarchy had been set to Online Only even though every other folder, including multiple parent folders, were set to Local. This behavior makes no sense and is extremely irritating at best and, more often than not, a costly business issue.

This has been happening for as long as Smart Sync has been a thing and it is an obvious functional oversight in addition to being completely surprising, which is one of the worst things a piece of software can do - surprise the user with weird behavior. I've written my fair share of bad software just like every other software engineer, but that also makes it obvious to me when something has been overlooked. I refuse to believe this is an intentional behavior given how nonsensical it is.

I know you don't care, but I would go literally anywhere else if there was another viable cloud sync app. This issue has caused massive problems for my organization even with the people who know how to use it; forget about it with the majority of users because they barely understand smart sync in the first place. This feature behaves in a very illogical way and that's the nicest thing I can say about it. I can't tell you how many times I've tried to explain the difference between the dark and light green Dropbox icon extension checkmarks - average users simply don't get it. You could make the argument that they're probably not very bright, but this is an obvious case of poor UX design instead of PEBCAK.

Lastly @Jane, you should know that it comes off as very condescending when you apologize for the way someone else feels. "Sorry you feel that way" is telling someone else they shouldn't feel the way they currently feel, which is not your place to say or even suggest. People are frustrated by Dropbox's often bad design decisions, which is what you should be apologizing for instead of the pain it causes them and the fact that they are frustrated. You should stop using that phrase - especially with customers.

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey @bandtank, thanks for the detailed post & feedback. 
 
Would it be okay if I reached out to you on the email address connected to your Community profile to see if what you’re experiencing is expected? If you confirm, I’ll create a ticket on our system & continue this discussion from where we left off here & clarify matters depending on the case & the info I have on file. 
 
Keep me posted on how you'd wish to proceed in your next message. Thanks again! 

 


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

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Helpful | Level 6

@Jane This is not an expected behavior as multiple people have expressed surprise at how it works in many of the last 19 pages of comments. If what you meant by expected was that the software is doing what it's designed to do, that's basically saying it's fine for it to be unintitiuve and deceptive.

The code blocks with sync statuses should be all that is needed to understand how Smart Sync is working. What other information are you hoping to discover? If you don't understand attribute inheritance or how it should work, get a developer involved because this is definitely a common design principle in software engineering.

Simply put, if I right click on my top level Dropbox folder and select Local in the Smart Sync submenu, every folder should always be local. No exceptions. The only option we have is to set new files as Local or Online-Only, which obviously does not apply to existing, but unsynced, files, which are not new. Synced folders should automatically be set to whichever sync method the parent folder uses or we need another configuration option to force existing remote folders to adhere to a specific Smart Sync setting. The intersection of Selective Sync and Smart Sync is where this problem manifests in my environment, but that isn't the extent of it.

If you still feel like there's something you can learn from my setup, go ahead and contact me using whichever information you have available. What I'm writing about has been observed by countless users in multiple environments, so it's not related to anything I specifically have configured.

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Re: Is it possible to turn off Smart Sync?

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Thanks for keeping in touch with me here @bandtank
 
Let me try explaining matters from the example directories you outlined me in your previous message once & re-phrasing from Lusil’s post above. 
 
It looks like the issue lies on the “0001-0050” folder you un-checked & then re-checked on your Selective Sync settings, so this should be set as Online-only if you’ve enabled System Extensions. Once you re-select your folders to sync, you should see the pop-up message reading that un-selected folders will be removed & selected folders will be Online-only.
 
Following-up on your comments above, I understand that you’d like to be able to modify this setting. While it’s great that you’ve outlined us your thoughts here, you could post your interest on the Share an Idea section where other Community members could upvote your post to show their support.
 
Please let me know if you have more questions or thoughts & I’ll do my best to touch-base here. Thanks! 

 


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

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
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Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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