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Mac slows down on starting with paid Dropbox.

Explorer | Level 3

I have to wait on my macs (27" and two 13" Macbook, three and four years old, newest systems) almost 10 to 15 Minutes until i can use other apps, as dropbox syncs so slow the list. After list is loaded, the file syncing is in normal speed.

An update to the next level (where Smartsync is possible) is too expensive.

So what to do?

Best regards

Josef

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted

Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
To my mind, the most likely cause should be that files on one of your Macs are removed (i.e. using the Selective sync feature), therefore this has improved your overall syncing speed Josef (@pmeier). That’s merely a guess of course, though would you mind checking back to see if this applies to your current setup on either of your devices?  
 
Additionally, I’d suggest having a look here for some tips to adjust your bandwidth locally, which will help you speed up syncing a bit when it comes to your files uploaded/ downloaded via the client. 
 
I hope that my advice is a bit more helpful. Let me know how you get on with these steps & we’ll take it from there Josef. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

 


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

 

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18 Replies 18
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Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey Josef (@pmeier), to help you diagnose the behavior, let me quickly ask you a couple of questions in regards to your current file structure & then advise on how to best resolve that!
 
For starters, it would be worth checking back on the files updated on your account on a specific timeframe Josef.  If there was a significant number of changes, then Dropbox will scan your system & compare the versions, in order to update all your local files to your website view. 
 
When Dropbox syncs your files it starts with all of the folders & then moves on to files from smallest to largest. Please be patient and the files will sync. In other words it will either say "all files up to date" or tell you how many files are left to sync and how long it expects to take. Please note that this is an "instant" estimate based on the current upload speed. This value can change if you check the value just a few seconds later. 
 
In case you’d like to start all other applications on this device & then launch Dropbox manually, you could disable the autostart through the desktop application Preferences. (Dropbox logo on your menu bar>  icon> Preferences> General> Uncheck the Start Dropbox on system startup box.)
 
Spoiler

Startup.png

From there, you could also utilize our Selective Sync feature that will reduce the overall load of the client & improve syncing. 
 
Hopefully my advice is helpful & please do keep me updated on this discussion on how my pointers work for you!

 


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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Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Explorer | Level 3

Dear Jane,

thanks for the informations!

I wonder, why this problems after >Restart< happen not on the Macbook Air, but on the same old 27" Mac? Both have similar systems.

Is there a Tip?

 

Best regards

 

Josef

Highlighted

Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
To my mind, the most likely cause should be that files on one of your Macs are removed (i.e. using the Selective sync feature), therefore this has improved your overall syncing speed Josef (@pmeier). That’s merely a guess of course, though would you mind checking back to see if this applies to your current setup on either of your devices?  
 
Additionally, I’d suggest having a look here for some tips to adjust your bandwidth locally, which will help you speed up syncing a bit when it comes to your files uploaded/ downloaded via the client. 
 
I hope that my advice is a bit more helpful. Let me know how you get on with these steps & we’ll take it from there Josef. Wishing you a wonderful week ahead!

 


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.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

View solution in original post

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Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Helpful | Level 6

I am sorry, I don't see how this answer solves anything. 

I have the same problem. My desktop mac (older, but running High Sierra, 32G memory and decent disk space) becomes almost unusable for 10-15 minutes following startup.

I am pretty sure it is Dropbox, because the disk crunching and the slowing down goes away if I turn off Dropbox (or just the sync).

Just now, I know for a fact that *nothing* changed in my files between the time I logged out and then logged back in after ~1 hour. Yet, the whole sync circus started again.

It seems to me that Dropbox simply downloads and uploads every single file if it thinks something changed. Or at least, it does so with way more files than are actually in need of syncing.

Is there anything that can be done to improve this? (I use selective sync as much as possible. ) I do have a lot of files (300Gb), I use this for work. I pay something, I am not sure what level that is. I can't search my email because my computer is stuck with Dropbox syncing ...

(Also, the Dropbox icon has been stuck on "Starting ..." for about three years, but I gave up on that.)

Highlighted

Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey there (@Nick_zz), just to take it from where you’ve already left off on your end, I’ll try to follow-up on your description as closely as possible; thanks for checking back with me here on this matter! 
 
Now as you mentioned that you’ve already checked what’s happening within a specific timeframe, I’d suspect that there’s an underlying syncing issue that has manifested itself just recently from what I gather from your description:
 
the disk crunching and the slowing down goes away if I turn off Dropbox (or just the sync)
 
Have you monitored the Dropbox performance on your Activity Monitor perchance? What have you found there if you don’t mind me asking? 
 
From there, it would be worth mentioning that we recommend avoiding the use of Symlinks &/ or storing a large number of files in your Dropbox folder as a rule of thumb, since it can affect your syncing speed. I’m also wondering whether the amount of files you’ve currently synced on your Mac (despite utilizing Selective Sync) is surpassing the recommended 300,000 files soft limit. 
 
Please include as much info as possible on this discussion here & I’ll make sure to check back with you & send you the best next steps to tackle this behavior. Thanks for posting us on the Dropbox Community & enjoy the rest of your day until we talk again! 

 


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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Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Helpful | Level 7

I also have the same issue with the MAC being unusable at startup and anytime dropbox is doing some heavy work actually. I ran and installed BlackMagic for MAC and saw that the average read/write speeds on teh HDD were 25/35 mb/s with dropbox running and 50/60 mb/s without dropbox running. Support provided all of the basic things that have already been mentioned to look at and I have less than 20,000 files selectively syned and the system stalls so frequently. After a week or more of waiting for more 'try this and try that', I decided to upgrade to the latest Macbook Pro. I'll find out soon on this new clean install wether dropbox performs well on SSD as compared to the old HDD it was on.

Highlighted

Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hey there (@Shaun S.10), thanks for pinging me here! As I can see that you’re currently discussing that with our specialized technician, I’ve made sure to include a copy of your comments on your ongoing correspondence & I’ve increased your support priority internally. 
 
Since they’ve got more advanced tools at their disposal, they could best determine where the issue lies for your setup or settings. Please include all relevant details on that email chain & rest assured that they’ll do their best to follow-up on the matter. 
 
I hope that this is helpful to you & please do let me know here in case you need further assistance in any way & I’ll check back with you asap! 

 


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.
 Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Helpful | Level 6

Hello Jane,

I am sorry for not getting back after your detailed response. 

I do use the System Monitor, but I couldn't put my finger on an instance when Dropbox itself (i.e. a process that clearly relates to Dropbox) would be hogging the CPU. I could see that the disk read / writes was pretty high, but I can't provide a good set of numbers. (That was part of why I never got back, I was hoping in vain to have the time to collect some numbers.)

It looks more like an issue of the way Dropbox and the the Mac's other processes (in particular, mds_stores which relates to Spotlight) interact. 

In other developments, I enabled smart sync, and it sems a bit better (upgrading the memory to 64Gb might have helped, too). I do have a lot of files (2 million) but am only using a fraction of the total storage. 

My ongoing peeve is that yep, that initial slow-down is still there. The mac is unusable for a few minutes. The other issue that is annoying is that Dropbox seems to spend a lot of time updating folders that I haven't touched for years. As a result, changes in files I do update don't propagate for a long time and I end up with lots of forked versions and occasionally lose work I thought I had saved.

I don't understand how the "sync this file first" feature is supposed to work. Having to click on them one by one by hand kind of defeats the purpose of cloud storage, doesn't it? I run simulations that generate many outputs. I have versions of papers that I want my coworkers to see. I have class folders with subfolders for each student, with further subfolders for their homeworks, etc. etc. 

Yes, I could be more organized with my files, and perhaps take old folders off of Dropbox or stop syncing them. But that would require spending a long time sifting through years worth of stuff... again , I thought the point of cloud storage was that (1) it is available on different machines and (2) you don't have to decide what to do with old folders due to lack of capacity. 

Highlighted

Re: Mac slows down on starting with paid dropbox

Helpful | Level 7

New Mackbook Pro 15inch 2.6GHz with dropbox installed = no more issues with dropbox hogging HDD resources. The SSD is so fast now that I do not even notice the difference anymore. I was unable to use dropbox on the 2011 Macbook Pro or 2011 iMAC 27 inch computer anymore due to the way it uses HDD resources. It was a $3K fix, but fix nonetheless.

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