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Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Explorer | Level 3

My computer is currently almost unusable due to Dropbox, making work impossible. I am running Windows 10 and I keep being told that my hard disk is almost full, even though I know I have 40+GB free space. It is running increasingly slowly as a result. to the point that it is barely usable.

This has been an ongoing problem relating to Dropbox for a while. Initially I tried to solve the space issue by using selective sync to remove large folders from local storage altogether. This would temporarily solve the problem but before long I would suddenly be told that my hard disk was full again and go through the same process. 

Recently I enabled smart sync, in the hope of removing further folders and files and resolving the issue once and for all. I also reinstalled Dropbox and allowed it to sync fully. However the problem is now worse. Initially it all worked and yesterday my C drive showed 45GB of free space, then I came back this morning and it tells me there is just 300MB of free space and the computer is running at a crawl again. The dropbox folder shows a very large gap between folder size and size on disk, but the C drive itself thinks it is full.

I pay £9 per month for this but have now had to unsync my dropbox entirely. So far even that is not working. I am expecting to have to switch to a different cloud storage company, but before I go through that hassle, I wonder if you have a fix for me. I can see that a lot of people have had this issue on Macs for the last year or two (and only now has it possibly resolved) but few reports on Windows, so I realise it is optimistic to expect a solution...

10 Replies 10
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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Super User II
Super User II

If you've unsynced your entire Dropbox folder from the computer and your operating system is still telling you that you're running out of drive space, then you most likely are running out of drive space. Have you used any utilities to visualize the disk usage, such as SpaceMonger or WizTree?


I can see that a lot of people have had this issue on Macs for the last year or two ... but few reports on Windows ...

The issue with incorrect drive space reporting is unique to Mac and has never been an issue on Windows. On a Mac, the operating system would always read the actual size of Online-only files instead of the size of the place holder left behind, whereas Windows has always correctly displayed both the size and the size on disk.

 

608bb8d9a11ddce81296f9dee516b74b.png

 

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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Explorer | Level 3

I appreciate your answer, and I understand this hasn't been an issue on Windows, which is why I am tearing my hair out, but I promise this is happening! Yesterday after smart sync initially failed, I reinstalled Dropbox, and selected almost all files to be stored online only. I also downloaded Folder Size to assess my storage situation. While this initially showed a discrepancy between the total space used on C drive and the total of all the files added up, it all eventually added up by the time I went to bed.

Actions performed included:
- Dropbox reinstalled
- Full dropbox sync performed
- Smart sync used to move most files online only
- At least 10GB of downloads and programs and videos deleted from disk permanently...

By the end, I had more than 45GB of free space, and the computer was quiet and running smoothly when I went to bed.

When I returned to it this morning, it had an alert that i was running out of disk space, only 300MB available, and Dropbox was showing up as at least 40GB larger than it was the previous evening... On the Folder Size app, it lists the 'Size' of the Dropbox folder, rather than the size on disk. I am attaching images. Bear in mind I have already deleted about 35GB of 'fake' folders and files from Dropbox, hence why the numbers are already lower than reported above.

However, note it still tells me I have 197.44GB used vs 1.77GB free, even though the folders and files individually add up to a mere 119.10. 

Edited by moderatorEdited by moderatorEdited by moderatorEdited by moderator

I have now deleted Dropbox entirely, but it has left me with a lasting problem. I am going to delete a few more bogus folders and then restart.

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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I Have the same problem.  I reinstalled dropbox and unsynced everything yet the space is not freed.  I tried removing the biggest folder by using selective sync in the preferences and the folder has gone but the space has not been freed. Any suggestions?

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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey @Marc N.2, thanks for joining us here!

Perhaps this could be caused by the cache folder still holding a large amount of data.

The folder should be automatically emptied every few days, but perhaps you can try clearing the cache folder manually to see if that does the trick?

Let me know how it goes!


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


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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

I have the same problem. I checked the cache folder and the size was only 300 MB. Please help me to free the hard drive space.

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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Sorry to hear that @SinaR.

Could you first let me know if you're getting an error message or notification informing you about your computer's hard drive? In that case, could you forward me a screenshot so I can have a look too?

Also, have you made sure that the desktop app is set to have your files set to 'Online Only' through the desktop app's preferences?

Let me know what you find and we'll take it from there! 



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


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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Hello,

I've got the same problem since windows 10 ran wsappx (and using much of my CPU-power). Suddenly windows says my C drive is full. Last time I checked it was not even half full (500 Gig ssd). I use dropbox selective sync. It seems to me that windows 10 somehow sees all (virtual) files that are not on the ssd but in the file directory as if they are using space on the drive.

I hope this helps solving the problem. I use this computer for my work, so a quick solution would be nice!

Kind regards,

HJ

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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey @haajee, thanks for joining us here!

That sounds rather strange indeed for the device to read the size of selectively synced folders too.

Can you just clarify for me if the they're selectively synced and don't appear within your File Explorer, or if they are Smart Synced as "online only" and show in the File Explorer?

Let me know and we'll take it from there!


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


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Re: Smart sync problem - Windows 10 thinks my hard drive is full, but it isn't!

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

@Daphne Hi Daphne,

My problem is solved. It was not a dropbox issue. I'm sorry for assuming it was.
Windows 10 wsappx filled up the temp folder with over 350 Gb of data. I just remove the files to solve the problem.

Thanks for your quick reply.
Kind regards,
Henrik Jan

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