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Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

I'm using DropBox Advanced for Teams in a multi-user work environment on Windows 10 Pro and I'm having kind of a weird problem.

Most of the files are kept online only using Smart Sync and for the most part, it works. But if I run a file scanner like Folder Size I can see that there are some files being stored locally that should be online only. I can set the containing folder to online only and most of the files are processed correctly, but a few are not.

I have attached screenshots of two of the files as examples. As you can see they have both the X mark indicating that they are online only and the file icon is not grey indicating that the file is local. If I open the context menu for the files Smart Sync is not showing up.

Any ideas about what is going on here and how I can get these files to be online only with Smart Sync?

 

Annotation 2019-11-08 094451.jpgAnnotation 2019-11-08 094451 1.jpg

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

Followup for everyone, it turned out the be an issue with Windows maximum path length. Once the file exceeds the maximum path length (255 characters in my tests) weird things happen, some applications can't open the file, the file name can't be changed, Dropbox can't delete the local file, and probably other things I did not run into. Dropbox will let you create and save files that exceed the maximum length but the Windows operating system will not allow Dropbox to delete the local file or change the file name of the file. So if you set Smart Sync to Online Only the file stays on your local hard drive and the weird icon is shown that shows both the file is local and set as Online Only. 

The only way to fix this I have found is to copy the file to a shorter path, delete the file from the original location using File Explorer, change the file name or file path of the original location to be less than the maximum length, copy the file back to the original location.

 

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12 Replies 12
Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hi Marvin; welcome to our Community!

I'm sorry to hear you're having hiccups with the desktop app and Smart Sync on your Windows 10 computer. Let's have a look now into this - shall we? 

To begin with, can you send me the exact status of the desktop app as shown within your system tray

Also, the grey X overlay icon doesn't seem like any of our known status icons, could you try re-installing our app and let me know if you're still noticing them on the mentioned files? 

Keep me posted on your findings and we'll take it from there @Marvin42



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


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Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

Thanks for the followup, Walter. The app seems to be working fine. It says it is connected and up to date. It's been happily syncing files all day. 

The normal file icon has a grey file type icon with a grey X in the lower left-hand corner if the file is online only. If I download it I get the normal file type icon in color and no X. Only these problem files have the combination of the full-color icon and the X.

I did have to reinstall the app a month or so ago and that did not fix the problem then. I can try again but it takes several days to resync all the company files so I can't do it during the week. 

Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Thanks for your swift response and additional details here Marvin - I appreciate it. 

Re-installing our software in the affected device wouldn't affect your files in any way (this would be the advanced re-install's process) but I can understand you're reluctant to do it.

One last thing I'd like you to check is how those specific files are previewed on our website so please let me know when you get the chance and we'll pick this up from there.

PS: If you'd like to look into this with account and device specific information, just let me know and I'll reach out to your Dropbox associated email address to work on this together.



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


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Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

I did the regular reinstall and it is up and running fine, but no change to the files. I can preview the PDF file on the website through a browser but the other file is a complicated tif file and it won't preview. It forces a download to view the file in an app. That's understandable.

Feel free to email if it will help troubleshoot this. 

Thanks

 

Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

I just sent you an email -thus, creating a support ticet for you- so we can dig deeper into this matter Marvin.

At your earliest convenience, please take a look at your inbox and we'll take it from there. 

Thanks again!



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


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
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Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

Followup for everyone, it turned out the be an issue with Windows maximum path length. Once the file exceeds the maximum path length (255 characters in my tests) weird things happen, some applications can't open the file, the file name can't be changed, Dropbox can't delete the local file, and probably other things I did not run into. Dropbox will let you create and save files that exceed the maximum length but the Windows operating system will not allow Dropbox to delete the local file or change the file name of the file. So if you set Smart Sync to Online Only the file stays on your local hard drive and the weird icon is shown that shows both the file is local and set as Online Only. 

The only way to fix this I have found is to copy the file to a shorter path, delete the file from the original location using File Explorer, change the file name or file path of the original location to be less than the maximum length, copy the file back to the original location.

 

View solution in original post

Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Collaborator | Level 10

I'm afraid this isn't working for me. I have done all the suggested fixes and also the length of the file name doesn't seem to have any effect on it.

Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Helpful | Level 6

It's not the length of the file name by itself that matters, it's the length of the whole path from the C: to the end of the file name. I have tested it on my system and up to 255 characters everything works fine, add one more character and it fails. 

I have also read in different places that the limit is 260 or 256 but from my tests, it's 255 on my system running Windows 10. 

Highlighted

Re: Smartsync not in the context menu for some files, weird file icons

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hey @Marvin42, thanks for sharing what did the trick for you - awesome work!

Also, I just wanted to check back with you, @Debby M. Did you have a look at what @Marvin42 mentions by any chance? Are you still having trouble with this? 

Keep us posted!


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


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