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Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Douglas B.10
New member | Level 2

I have a folder set to be online only in Smart Sync. However if I drag and drop a locally stored file into that folder using Finder, it gets stored locally. I get a green checkbox next to both that file and the folder it's in. Why does the 'online only' rule for the folder not carry over to files dragged into that folder?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Rich
Super User II

@Douglas B.10 wrote:

Why does the 'online only' rule for the folder not carry over to files dragged into that folder?


Because that's not how it works. Any new content you place in the folder locally will be marked as Local. You have to right-click the files and mark them as Online-only. Any new content that syncs down to that folder (i.e. from the Dropbox website or another device) will be added as Online-only.

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15 Replies 15

Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

aoldenburg
Explorer | Level 4

I have selected in my preferences through my Drobox app for my Smart Sync to be synced online only.  When I create a new folder or add files to an existing folder through the desktop it dowloads it locally and it downloads to every team members hard drives as well.  Please help,  my team is getting very frustrated when I upload huge amounts of data to their hard drives.

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Walter
Dropboxer

Hey there @aoldenburg - sorry to hear about this.

 

First off, normallly when you start using Smart Sync, there's no change to files already in the Dropbox folder on your computer and new content is automatically online-only unless you or your team admin chooses otherwise.

 

Could you please share some more information on this and/or maybe provide some screenshots that show this discrepancy? Also, can you tell me if the folders/files in question report as online only? 

aaa.png

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep me posted on your findings please. Thank you! 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

aoldenburg
Explorer | Level 4

I changed all folders through my dropbox desktop app to online only and when I upload files (mainly I upload PDF's) it downloads to my computer and the rest of the team members locally. My preferences are set for any new content to be synced online only and yet they do not.  The folders report as online only, until I add a file.  The first picture is after I have changed all the folders back to sync online only.  The second is after I upload a file and it shows mixed content because the new content syncs locally. The third picture is why I have my preferences saved as on my desktop app.Folders Online Only.PNGMixed Content Folder.PNGDropbox Preferences.PNG

 

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Rich
Super User II

@aoldenburg wrote:

My preferences are set for any new content to be synced online only and yet they do not.


They really need to change the wording of that to better describe what it does. It would be more accurate to say "Any new content added from another device will be set to online-only." If you drag a file into your local Dropbox folder yourself, it will not be set to online-only unless you set it as such after you've dragged it into the folder.

 

It's easy enough to test this...

 

Add a folder to your Dropbox and set it to online-only. Drag a file into that folder and wait for it to sync. The folder will get a mixed-content icon and if you open the folder you'll see that the file is marked as local.

 

Now, delete the file. The folder will go back to online-only. Open the Dropbox website and navigate to the same folder. Upload a file into this folder through the website and wait for your computer to sync. You'll see that the folder remains online-only and that the file within has synced in an online-only status as well.

 

Also keep in mind that the Local/Online-only settings apply only to the computer where they're set. Your team members will need to mark the files and/or folder as online-only themselves if they don't want the files to sync to their computers. You would also need to set those preferences on any other computer that you use if you wanted them to apply there as well. Smart Sync and Selective settings are per computer.

 

And of course, your team admin can always control the Smart Sync defaults for your team.

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

aoldenburg
Explorer | Level 4

Ok, that explains why files I upload would be showing up as syncing locally, but that does not explain why when I upload a file it syncs locally to all the team members computers.  They all use laptops and they all have set their preferences for new content to be synced online only, but any new content I upload to our team folders downloads onto their laptops locally and in turn uses up space on their hard drive.

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Rich
Super User II

@aoldenburg wrote:

They all use laptops and they all have set their preferences for new content to be synced online only


I'd actually verify that the folders you're uploading to are set as online-only on their systems. It really sounds like they're not set as such. And remember that setting new content to be online-only does not change the status of existing files or folders. After setting the default for your Dropbox, you need to manually change any files or folders that already exist in your Dropbox. If they haven't done that, it could explain the behavior you're seeing.

 

Beyond that, if they're still having this issue, then they should reach out to Support directly so someone can help troubleshoot on a per-account basis.

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

aoldenburg
Explorer | Level 4

I was just doing exactly as you suggested when I received your message.  Everytime I uploaded a document to a folder that was set to online only on my team members computer it still downloaded locally to their computer.  If already existent folders are changed to online only will files that are uploaded to that folder be online only as well?  Does it make a difference that I am using Windows and they are using Macbooks?

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

JMiller-RPS
New member | Level 2

This thread is a couple of months old, but I just witnessed this myself.  My Smart Sync is set to Online-only in the settings window - just like your screen shot shows.  One of my co-workers uploaded a large file of over 2 GB.  It was coincidental that I happened to be in Resource Monitor, but I could see Dropbox.exe doing a lot of "Receive" bytes in the Network section.  This is the first time I noticed this, but it also the first time a file of that size was uploaded by a co-worker.  I am concerned because I too use a laptop and disk space is of concern right now.  My laptop is also backed up on the cloud.  My user profile is backed up, and thus I believe this huge file is going to backed up.

That being said, I did go to File Explorer to look at the Dropbox folder.  There were folders in there marked with a little green check badge.  Based on Rich's comment, these folders must be "local".  In fact, the large file was uploaded to one of those folders.  I simply right-clicked on the Dropbox root folder and selected "Online" only in the Dropbox Smart Sync menu.  Now the badges are little clouds.  I hope this takes care of the problem, but I probably won't know until another large file is uploaded.

The description in the settings is not very clear and misleading.  It does say "new files".  But to me that means new files to me.  That large file was new from my point of view and thus should remain "online-only" - even if the folder it was contained in was "local".

Re: Smart Sync - Online-only is Downloading Locally

Rich
Super User II

@Douglas B.10 wrote:

Why does the 'online only' rule for the folder not carry over to files dragged into that folder?


Because that's not how it works. Any new content you place in the folder locally will be marked as Local. You have to right-click the files and mark them as Online-only. Any new content that syncs down to that folder (i.e. from the Dropbox website or another device) will be added as Online-only.

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