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Sync settings reset frequently--very long wait to sync unneeded files before opening a file

Sync settings reset frequently--very long wait to sync unneeded files before opening a file

Loutro
New member | Level 2

I am using Dropbox within finder on my MacBook Pro (current OS) to access files from my Employer's Dropbox which contains all of the business's files.  I have set the parent folder to 'online only' and then done the same for all subfolders that I use as well (via rt-clicking on the folder).  The problems I am having are:

 

1. Opening a file from within a program - If I am doing this for the first time at the start of the day, or after several hours have passed, the Finder opens into the last folder I accessed, all files are grayed out, and I begin seeing alerts that files are being sync'd.  This continues for a long time, several minutes to more than 10 minutes until it is done and then I am able to select a file to open.  If I check a folder's Sync settings before I open I file, rt-clicking on it, it shows no check next to 'online' or 'local'.  Then, if I need to open a file from a different subfolder under the same parent, even just moments later, the process occurs again.  It appears that it is syncing any file that I have accessed in the past.

 

2. Opening a file from within finder directly - This situation is better because usually, but not always, I can rt-click on a parent folder and select 'online' before syncing begins which prevents all the syncing.  But, about half the time I do this, syncing begins before I can set the sync setting, and I need to wait.

 

In both cases, once I've set the sync settings, they stick for a while.  As I would expect, the files that I have open sync, but not others.

 

Why is Dropbox making me redo the sync settings each day, or sometimes multiple times in a day?  Because these files are large (100+ mb), the wait is painfully long.  I am wasting 30-45 minutes a day just waiting to open files.

 

Is there a setting I am missing?  Should I be using the Dropbox app instead? if so, I'm not sure how I could do so, opening a file from within a program which for some reason the primary program I use requires if I already have one file open.

 

Any help would be much appreciated!

 

MacBook Pro 2019

11.2.3

3 Replies 3

Re: Sync settings reset frequently--very long wait to sync unneeded files before opening a file

Hannah
Dropboxer
Hey @Loutro, thanks for joining the Dropbox Community!

Generally, it does make sense for online-only files to take some time to sync, before they are opened, as these are placeholders, not the actual files. 

It sounds strange though, that the Smart sync settings keep changing. 

Is anyone else accessing this computer other than you, that could be changing the settings?

Or perhaps there's a third party app that's looking into the Dropbox folder, forcing the files to sync?

Let me know what you find!

Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Sync settings reset frequently--very long wait to sync unneeded files before opening a file

Loutro
New member | Level 2

Hi Hannah,

 

Yes, I would expect the syncing of the file(s) that I am opening, or that I have open already.  I would also expect it to happen with a file that I had previously worked on and closed if I had not individually changed its sync settings or its folder.  

 

...However, this makes me wonder, does the action of saving a file automatically change the setting of the folder from 'online' to 'local'?

 

No one else uses my computer and there is no third party app accessing the files or folders that I am aware of.

 

One particularly frustrating aspect of the problem is that as I mentioned, when I go to open a file, multiple files in the folder begin syncing, and this causes the spinning beach ball which prevents me from rt-clicking on the folder to change the setting back.  I'm forced to wait until everything is done, the spinning beach ball ceases, and then I can change the setting, but of course at that point doing so is only helpful for the next time, if it sticks.

 

Is it not possible to set Sync to only sync the file in the folder that I choose to open?

Re: Sync settings reset frequently--very long wait to sync unneeded files before opening a file

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi @Loutro, when you access, edit and save a file, it remains local and doesn't revert to online-only automatically. You'd need to change that setting yourself to make it online-only. 

As you see files downloaded from Dropbox to your computer that were previously online-only,  and you didn’t open or change the files, another application on your computer might be causing the issue. Some applications need to look at your files to work, and that makes Dropbox download the files.

Some examples of applications that do this are:
 
  • Applications that back up your files
  • Antivirus applications
  • Third-party applications that store files in your Dropbox folder
  • Applications that automatically create a list of your recently used files (these can send a request to the file in Dropbox, similar to the request that gets sent when you open a file)
Most likely it's the latter option, the app you're opening has a 'recently opened' file list, and might make a silent request to access those files.

The Dropbox desktop application would detect this and start to download those files. 

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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    Loutro New member | Level 2
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