On Saturday afternoon I moved several folders around in my Dropbox. All appeared to be well, although as usual it all took ages to sync.
Yesterday I was alarmed to observe that 300+ files had disappeared from a completely different folder, unaccountably. I was able to find the relevant entry in www.dropbox.com/events, and restored the files successfully.
The folders I moved were a mixture of local and online only, the deleted files were all online only and were some of the most recently added to Dropbox before the folder move (it is possible they had not yet finished uploading before the move, in case that is relevant). The mysterious element was that all the deleted files had shortish names (23-27 characters not counting the extension), although not all such files were affected. (Filenames in the relevant folder vary very much in length, which is one reason why I am totally convinced I did not do the deletion myself by mistake - it would have been almost impossible to accidentally delete 300+ files out of over 3,000 while only choosing files with names between 23 and 26 characters in length.)
Any ideas what happened here? It feels like a bug.
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Hi Jane, I have done a bit more investigation and have realised that, although I did not explicitly delete any of the files, I did have a disk space problem at about the relevant time & (in a panic) cleared out some of .dropbox.cache. I suspect this is the root of the problem. Could you please point me at some documentation that explains how .dropbox.cache is used in a Smart Sync environment, or how I can limit the amount of space used by .dropbox.cache, so that I can avoid such mistakes in future. Thanks.
The .dropbox.cache folder is used during the sync process to store chunked files as they're uploaded/downloaded. It's also used to temporarily store files deleted elsewhere (Dropbox website, another device, etc.) so that they can be quickly recovered in the event of an accidential deletion. Such files are stored for approximately three days before being purged from cache.
There's no way to control the size of the cache folder. You can delete the content within it, but if Dropbox is in the middle of syncing files, it will need to start over again.
Thanks Rich, but that makes it sound as if .dropbox.cache content is useful but not essential. It doesn't explain why, in my case, clearing .dropbox.cache appears to have caused 300+ of my Dropbox files to be deleted. Any ideas why that might have happened (in a Smart Sync context)? Or do you think perhaps the .dropbox.cache processing had a problem with disk space running out, thus causing some sort of corruption when it couldn't create or populate a temporary file successfully? (It didn't, as I expected, stop trying when storage got below a particular level.)
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