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Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring Dropbox to a specific point in time.

Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring Dropbox to a specific point in time.

karlg100
Helpful | Level 5

While I fully grasp the restore functionality of dropbox restore, and the ability to restore folders recursively, the functionality is not so useful from a usability standpoint of recovering a large directory structure that's been inadvertently deleted.  If one has a data-delete-disaster mess, where a large tree of folders (especially with a lot of changes/living documents) will restore all files, those deleted recently, as well as ones deleted since the folder was created.  Instead, a "download or restore a recursive copy of this folder as it was at X time" would be very beneficial.


After attempting to use the dropbox restore, I threw my hands up when I found the restore was a complete jumbled mess of previously removed and duplicated files as the directory structure has lived for many years.

 

I've avoided a near complete disaster and days of rebuilding a large directory tree by an accidental delete by using my Mac Time Machine and was a snap to fix.  This is all well and good, as long as all the files are stored locally on the computer.

 

Now with smart sync, time machine will not be able to backup all the files since they are no longer stored locally.  I WILL NOT use the smart sync until a point in time restore feature exists within dropbox.  I recommend others to not enable smart sync until such a feature like this exists.  otherwise you're looking at a colossal mess on your hands if you opps the delete key.

 

 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

Jane
Dropboxer
Hmm… Now I have a clearer picture of the situation you’re encountering & I’ll make sure to promptly transfer your comments on to our dev team, so as to be taken into further consideration in the future karlg100
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, I’ve already made sure to add your voice to the feedback gathered, as I understand the benefits in your workflow & I’m positive this input is valued immensely. 
 
Thanks again for getting in touch on our Forum & we’re always here in case you’d like to share your thoughts again in the future, so please don’t hesitate to check back with us at any time. Take care in the meantime! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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6 Replies 6

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

Jane
Dropboxer
Hey karlg100, I appreciate your detailed post here, I fully understand your concern & I’ll try to do my best to address the feedback you’ve sent us over!
 
I’ve previously had a similar discussion on the Forum here, where we clarified the matter with 
Rich & briefly touched upon some workarounds you have at hand in case you’d like to use the two apps simultaneously. Indeed, you’re right in your assumption that:
 
time machine will not be able to backup all the files since they are no longer stored locally.
 
though I’d just like to clarify that Dropbox has its own versioning system, too. That being said, let me rephrase that our dedicated team can rollback your account back to a previous point in the past at any time, if you get in touch with them on our Official Support channel (therefore you may rest assured that, no matter the case, your files are safe with us) & we’re aiming to make this service as seamless as possible on your end. 
 
At this point though, the workaround we’d offer will have to be using the two apps independently (meaning Time Machine & Smart Sync) by applying Selective Sync to some of your folders & backing up the content in smaller batches. 
 
From there, you may use Smart Sync to save up some space locally, which will let you access your files across your devices at all times without having a physical copy residing on hard disc. 
 
I hope my reply is useful to you & I remain at your entire disposal in case you may need further suggestions or you have additional questions. Thanks again for posting & welcome aboard!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

karlg100
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Jane,

 

Thanks for the reply.  While I do get the method described to prevent timemachine triggering a download, at this point, and until there is a way to direct the Dropbox web app to restore a directory and all contents as it was at any arbitrary point in time to a new destination, I will be using timemachine to keep my teams data versioning.

 

A rollback of my entire account may not be useful for feasible.  With a very active team reading/writing data all the time, a PIT rollback of my entire account, would cause data loss for any new data after the point where a specific sub folder was damaged.

 

Until there is an alternate solution that provides timemachine like functionality directly implemented in Dropbox, I will not be using smart sync.

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

Jane
Dropboxer
Hmm… Now I have a clearer picture of the situation you’re encountering & I’ll make sure to promptly transfer your comments on to our dev team, so as to be taken into further consideration in the future karlg100
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, I’ve already made sure to add your voice to the feedback gathered, as I understand the benefits in your workflow & I’m positive this input is valued immensely. 
 
Thanks again for getting in touch on our Forum & we’re always here in case you’d like to share your thoughts again in the future, so please don’t hesitate to check back with us at any time. Take care in the meantime! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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

View solution in original post

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

Jeff-O
New member | Level 2

Hi-

 

It's been two years since @karlg100 raised the question of TimeMachine-like data restore.

 

Has this functionality been implemented? I'm at a point where I need to choose between DropBox and iCloud.

 

Thanks,

 

Jeff

 


@Jane wrote:
Hmm… Now I have a clearer picture of the situation you’re encountering & I’ll make sure to promptly transfer your comments on to our dev team, so as to be taken into further consideration in the future karlg100
 
Thanks for sharing your thoughts here, I’ve already made sure to add your voice to the feedback gathered, as I understand the benefits in your workflow & I’m positive this input is valued immensely. 
 
Thanks again for getting in touch on our Forum & we’re always here in case you’d like to share your thoughts again in the future, so please don’t hesitate to check back with us at any time. Take care in the meantime! 

 

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

karlg100
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Jeff,

 

I can say that a similar to what was described was implemented.  (At least for the corporate entperprise version,  I have not checked the paid personal account version). It's a bit different than working with Mac's Time Machine, but it does provide a way to rollback massive changes to a point in time, by committing a copy of the historical point in time as the latest revision.  Some care would need to be taken if a data loss was discovered far in the future from when it occurred, but it is possible to do a full point in time restore.

 

I've not used it yet and just glad I haven't had to deal with that situation again.

 

re iCloud - ironically, even though Time Machine is an Apple invention, (really version of an old Unix/Linux trick for dealing with hardlink snapshots) Apple has not provided like functionality with iCloud.  AFAIK, you can possibly restore a deleted file, (not sure if you can restore historical revisions?) but not restore a directory structure to a point in time.

Re: Smart Sync & Time Machine compatibility - Restoring DropBox to a specific point in time.

Jeff-O
New member | Level 2

Karl,

 

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. The consumer version of Dropbox Rewind allows file, folder, and account recovery/reset within the last 30 days. 

 

Agreed that iCloud needs Time Machine to be a true backup system that protects one from both system catastrophies and those that are user generated. As someone whose entire household has bought into the iEcosystem, iCloud's mail benefit is to allow the entire family to backup computers and devices to a shared 2TB slice of the internet is a big help. 

 

Thanks,

 

Jeff 

 

 

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