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Sync - Local vs on line / Back up

Sync - Local vs on line / Back up

New member | Level 2
Dear all,
I have just set up my new Dropxbox Plus Plan, and I am struggling with various important things. Your support will be very much appreciated.
1. Every time I upload files via Dropbox Folder, they are saved as "local" using space from my local hard drive. How can I always save them on line? I selected the smart sync and unselected all the folders under “selective sync”. The result after finishing the sync was that the files disappeared from the local drive. But I want them "on line".
Is there any difference with regards how the files are saved (local vs on line) if you upload the files via teh web, application or folder?
What can I do to solve the issue?
2. This question is related with the local back up. 
Is it possible to select which folders from the local drive you want to sync? Or by contrary, it is only possible to back up the folders Desktop, Downloads and Documents? I have Mac by the way..
I can´t find the files synchronised under Documents, since I see various folders like Garageband, iMovie, Keynote, Numbers, Pages, Preview, QuickTimePlayer and Text edit. In the folders Desktop and Downloads is easy for me to identity them.
I thought all these folders were saved under “My MacBook Air”??
3. Last question is related when you edit a Word, Excel, or any other file, or simply when you open a file. Automatically if it was saved on line it turns to local..
If I go to the Dropbox Folder and open for example a Word document, I edit it and save it, the file turns to local (and uses space in my hard drive). If initially was saved on line, why when it is edited is not saved automatically on line? The result is that every time I edit a file, I need manually to turn it back to on line. Otherwise it uses space as local.
Many thanks!!
1 Reply 1

Re: Sync - Local vs on line / Back up


Hey @Renton; thanks for joining our Community and happy Monday!


To get to the chase, Smart Sync and selective sync are two separate features and are not to be confused. In order to use them, you can manage your syncing settings through the app's preferences.


Smart Sync helps you save space on your hard drive by making your folders Online only while being still visible. On the contrary selective sync helps by removing them from your computer. 

When it comes to our computer backup feature, you'll currently be able to backup your Desktop, Download and Documents folders.

Lastly, third party apps you use for file previewing or editing will most likely recall the whole file -thus turning it to local again- as they'd need to access the whole file's information and not just the placeholder's (i.e. the Online Only file). Once you're done with your edits, you can turn it to 'Online Only' by right clicking on it and choosing the relevant option.

I hope this information helps clear things up a bit and we're always a post away if you have any follow up questions! 

Community Moderator @ Dropbox

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