cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Update: Find information on Dropbox support during COVID-19 here
Close
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Nancy M.40
Helpful | Level 5

I have a specific folder that I use to share large files. I only sync it with one account - that account is no longer being used so I tried to set up selective sync on that folder in the account I am not using.

I used Preferences to select the folder (Homeowner Copies). selective sync 2.jpg

There are 4 sub folders that should have synced to my desktop. Rather than syncing, Dropbox created another folder (Homeowner Copies (Selective Sync Conflict)). 

selective sync 3.jpg

The dialog box does state that the folder will be online only.  Which means the files are NOT synchronizing. So please explain. How does Dropbox now define synchronization? If I wanted to only see the folder online, I would use the browser interface. 

I did NOT create a duplicate folder (Dropbox did that. What possible reason would there be for Dropbox to create a duplicate folder, mark it as a selective sync conflict and then NOT SYNC ANYTHING at all!).

I've checked the knowledge base on this subject. https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/selective-sync-conflict Nothing in this article applies to my experience today.  I've searched the community posts. Nothing. The only action I took was to open Preferences, used Selective Sync to check a folder that was not previously syncing and hit Apply.  After the selective sync conflict folder is created and I go back to look at Preferences, the checkmark beside the Homeowner Copies folder is gone. WTF?

How do I synchronize this folder to my local machine? Or is this one of the great new features that I don't need but have to pay for anyway?

8 Replies 8

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Nancy M.40
Helpful | Level 5

I'm so frustrated that I can't complete the piece of work I need to complete that I started looking at SmartSync.  It's not a bad idea but I am not able to access it anywhere.

I'm running Windows 10. Dropbox desktop version is 83.4.152.

There's no On/OFF setting for SmartSync in Preferences under Sync. I have no SmartSync option in the right-click context menu when I view my Dropbox files in Windows Explorer. This is the article I'm trying to use but really, it just doesn't apply. https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/smart-sync

update selective sync settings.jpg

Above is the dialog box I see when I tried again to selectively sync the folder in question. There's no option to actually synchronize. AND the folders I selected are not available online-only either. Can you spell BUG?

So as far as I can tell, SmartSync is not actually available to me BUT it is being applied by Dropbox without my permission, or my desire.  Again, thanks for making what should be a simple operation a wasted 2 hours.  SmartSync is not a bad concept but it has been exceptionally poorly implemented.

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Super Collaborator | Level 20

Hi @Nancy M.40,

As far as I can follow your explanation above, seems you are expecting Dropbox application to be able merge two directories (one created befor some time and "unchecked" using "Selective Sync" and other created after that). Actually Dropbox can't do that and as a result - conflicted copies. You can try (while the directory chechbox is removed and there is only one copy) move the only copy outside Dropbox directory. Next, set the check mark (as you initially have done), and let Dropbox sync the "server version" (hope now without conflict). After that you will be able to merge the two folders by hand (move desired content to current version of the directory - "server version").

Hope this gives some idea.

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

If the selective sync conflicts where not created, as described in our help center article, I would like to investigate this for you @Nancy M.40 and help you funderstand what happened and continue working. Здравко's solution, is steps you have to take at this point to get rid of the conflicts. 

Whenever you get the time, please answer the following questions for me to investigate. 

Do you have Dropbox installed twice (on another user account) on this computer by any chance? 

Are you on a paid plan? I am asking to see if your desktop should offer Smart Sync. 

Thank you! 


Fiona
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 Solution' 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!)

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Nancy M.40
Helpful | Level 5

So from what you're saying selective sync first creates a new folder on my local machine and then tries to sync it with my online store. That is not only counter-intuitive, it is simply plain silly. I selected an existing folder in my online store which I had previously elected not to synchronize with my local machine. When I select that folder to now selectively sync, my expectation (and my experience in the past with Dropbox) is that the folder currently in my online store now synchronizes to my local machine.

Why on earth would the Dropbox app create a different folder withy an identical name on my local machine? What would be the reasoning there? Selective sync should allow me to choose what I want to synchronize from my online store to my local machine. If I create a folder on my local machine in the Dropbox app, it will synchronize with my online store automatically. 

So please explain again, why would I try to synchronize an existing folder in my online store to my local machine by creating a conflicting folder on my local machine?  It's a faulty approach and something is broken.

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Super Collaborator | Level 20


@Nancy M.40 wrote:

... I selected an existing folder in my online store which I had previously elected not to synchronize with my local machine. When I select that folder to now selectively sync, my expectation (and my experience in the past with Dropbox) is that the folder currently in my online store now synchronizes to my local machine.

...


Hi @Nancy M.40,

I already have explained above. Ok.. Little bit more in deep. At the moment you have "selected not to synchronize" you actually remove the folder from your drive! Pay attention here. After that you have created new directory with same name. This is second copy! That's it.

Dropbox has created a new folder with changed name because other folder with same name exist which already you have created in meantime.

Hope this add some clarity.

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Nancy M.40
Helpful | Level 5

Fiona,

I coordinate 3 Dropbox Plus accounts on 3 Windows 10 machines.  One of those accounts is not being used anymore on these machines. It happens to be the account that was synchronizing the Homeowner Copies folder to the local machine.

I am currently working on the Windows 10 machine logged into one of the remaining 2 Dropbox Plus accounts. SmartSync options are not available on either of these accounts at this time.

In further testing, the problem seems to be that on that machine, 3 of the subfolders of the Homeowner Copies were already set to selectively sync.  Those subfolders were deleted (cleaned up) and then I tried to select the whole Homeowner Copies folder (all existing subfolders). That is when the conflict folder was created. 

I've successfully syncrhonized the Homeowner Copies folder now on my machine (rather than the folder owner's machine). I had not been syncing any of the subfolders of that folder on my machine previously.

While I still think this is a bug, I am not pursuing it any further. While it's not ideal that this folder is syncing on my machine instead of the folder owner's machine, we only want to synchronize on one or the other. So I'm done troubleshooting. I do think this is a bug. Hopefully you can alert the developers and they can do a little more testing before releasing another update.

Thank you anyway

 

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Nancy M.40
Helpful | Level 5

Sorry, your "in depth" explanation still doesn't make sense. Why is selective sync creating a new folder on my machine unless it is copying (synchronizing) it from my online store? If it did that (ie. selective sync) there would be no conflict.

So why don't you pay attention here - I did not create a new folder on my local machine, Dropbox did.

 

Re: Selective Sync will not work - the explanation in Help does not apply

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

I appreciate your efforts explaining the problem and the additional info @Nancy M.40. Thank you so much for reporting your experience. 

If you wanted me to further investigate this, I would ask a few more questions. But this is completely up to you. I will understand if you don't wish to further engage to this, as stated and I can just keep an eye out for similar reports to investigate. 

For not seeing Smart Sync on your Plus accounts please review the following Help Center article: https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-web/smart-sync-experiencing-issue

I hope this is helpful. 


Fiona
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 Solution' 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!)

Work Smarter with Dropbox

The way we work is changing. Share and discover new ways to work smarter with Dropbox in our community.

Sound good? Let's get started.
Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?