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Understanding Selective Sync and regular file sync

Understanding Selective Sync and regular file sync

tobeycarol
Explorer | Level 3

I'm rather new at the using Dropbox to regularly keep files synced.  Until now, I've been using a minimal-size Dropbox, so I only put copies of key files into my desktop Dropbox, and used Dropbox on my mobile devices for travel reference and occasional sharing, but didn't worry about syncing after the initial sync of the original files.  I would simply delete any files in Dropbox that needed updating and re-add them to Dropbox before my next trip.   My questions are:

 

1.  What happens to my index of folders in Finder if I drag just some of the folders in, say, my overall "Documents" folder to the Dropbox file on my computer?  Do I no longer have one complete index of what is in "Documents" under Finder? 

 

2.  Or, if I copy and paste some of the files from "Documents" into the Dropbox folder on my computer, am I correct that the original file that stays in "Documents" remain there and if I work on it, it isn't synced to the copy in the Dropbox folder and to my other devices with Dropbox?

 

3.  Finally, I want to use Selective Sync on my mobile devices, but even though they already have Dropbox installed, I can't find a Selective Sync option under the settings "gear" on any of these mobile devices   How can I install or locate it? 

 

Thanks! 

2 Accepted Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Re: Syncing

dbeato
Super User

@tobeycarol wrote:

I'm rather new at the using Dropbox to regularly keep files synced.  Until now, I've been using a minimal-size Dropbox, so I only put copies of key files into my desktop Dropbox, and used Dropbox on my mobile devices for travel reference and occasional sharing, but didn't worry about syncing after the initial sync of the original files.  I would simply delete any files in Dropbox that needed updating and re-add them to Dropbox before my next trip.   My questions are:

 

1.  What happens to my index of folders in Finder if I drag just some of the folders in, say, my overall "Documents" folder to the Dropbox file on my computer?  Do I no longer have one complete index of what is in "Documents" under Finder? 

 

2.  Or, if I copy and paste some of the files from "Documents" into the Dropbox folder on my computer, am I correct that the original file that stays in "Documents" remain there and if I work on it, it isn't synced to the copy in the Dropbox folder and to my other devices with Dropbox?

 

3.  Finally, I want to use Selective Sync on my mobile devices, but even though they already have Dropbox installed, I can't find a Selective Sync option under the settings "gear" on any of these mobile devices   How can I install or locate it? 

 

Thanks! 


  1. You no longer have a full index of all the files that were there since you moved them to Dropbox, but if they were only copied then the index will be the same. 
  2. The original is kept in your Documents when you copy to Dropbox. 
  3. Selective Sync for mobile is not how it works. You will need to make a file or folder available offline. See more here: https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/mobile/access-files-offline?_locale_specific=en

View solution in original post

Re: Syncing

dbeato
Super User
For selective sync, mobile doesn’t have that option as far as I know.

View solution in original post

3 Replies 3

Re: Syncing

dbeato
Super User

@tobeycarol wrote:

I'm rather new at the using Dropbox to regularly keep files synced.  Until now, I've been using a minimal-size Dropbox, so I only put copies of key files into my desktop Dropbox, and used Dropbox on my mobile devices for travel reference and occasional sharing, but didn't worry about syncing after the initial sync of the original files.  I would simply delete any files in Dropbox that needed updating and re-add them to Dropbox before my next trip.   My questions are:

 

1.  What happens to my index of folders in Finder if I drag just some of the folders in, say, my overall "Documents" folder to the Dropbox file on my computer?  Do I no longer have one complete index of what is in "Documents" under Finder? 

 

2.  Or, if I copy and paste some of the files from "Documents" into the Dropbox folder on my computer, am I correct that the original file that stays in "Documents" remain there and if I work on it, it isn't synced to the copy in the Dropbox folder and to my other devices with Dropbox?

 

3.  Finally, I want to use Selective Sync on my mobile devices, but even though they already have Dropbox installed, I can't find a Selective Sync option under the settings "gear" on any of these mobile devices   How can I install or locate it? 

 

Thanks! 


  1. You no longer have a full index of all the files that were there since you moved them to Dropbox, but if they were only copied then the index will be the same. 
  2. The original is kept in your Documents when you copy to Dropbox. 
  3. Selective Sync for mobile is not how it works. You will need to make a file or folder available offline. See more here: https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/mobile/access-files-offline?_locale_specific=en

View solution in original post

Re: Syncing

tobeycarol
Explorer | Level 3

Thanks for your answers to my first 2 questions. But, I don't think I explained my 3rd question on selective syncing correctly.  

 

Once I have files in the Dropbox folder on my desktop, but I want only some of them synced ongoing to one of my devices, I believe I use selective syncing to do that.  I don't need to view them offline.  I want to choose on each mobile device which files I want synced on that device.  But, I can't find a selective sync option, which I thought is under the settings “gear”. Hopefully I'm explaining this clearly.  Any suggestions?

Re: Syncing

dbeato
Super User
For selective sync, mobile doesn’t have that option as far as I know.

View solution in original post

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    tobeycarol Explorer | Level 3
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