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Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Crylock
Helpful | Level 5

Dropbox scares me.  I just want to have a safe a place to keep my files, and access them from two or three different devices.  But sometimes, instead of just saving the file, Dropbox saves it as a separate file.  Then I've got two versions of the same file.  Over a period of weeks or months, I end up with six or ten versions of the same file.  Plus, sometimes my PC or laptop loses its connection, and the device saves a local version.  Now I've got a dozen versions, and I'm afraid to work on any of them, because if I choose the wrong one and save it, I could lose hours of previous work.  So I have to go through them all, try to figure out which one is the latest one and which one has the revisions I want.  Once I find the latest version, I would like to get rid of all the other versions so I don't have to keep doing this.

 

That's when it scares me.  When I try to delete one, a box pops up, asking me if I'm sure I want to delete all versions on all my devices.  Christ no, that's the last thing I want!  But that's the only option it offers.  That, or cancel.  So I cancel.

 

I'm guessing this function is part of Smart Sync, so I have tried to turn off Smart Sync.  There doesn't appear to be any way to do it.  But in "settings" there's an option to turn off System Extensions, which, it says, enables Smart Sync.  I turned that off.  My PC just spent the last half hour doing something with my Dropbox files, but I can't tell what.  Frankly, I have no idea what the effect of turning off System Extensions might be.

 

The files seem to be accessible.  Have I achieved my goal?  Can I now use Dropbox without the threat of it changing or deleting my local files?

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Crylock
Helpful | Level 5

Thank you Daphne!  That's what I needed to know! I appreciate your time and attention.  🙂

 

View solution in original post

5 Replies 5

Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Daphne
Dropboxer

I hope you're well today @Crylock, I'd be happy to help out with this!

 

For the issue you're having with multiple copies of the files, just to have a better idea of the situation, can you let me know what file type these are?

 

Also, which app are you using to edit these files? Are all the copies saved in the same location in Dropbox, or other locations on your computer too?

 

When deleting files from the Dropbox folder, this prompt is to clarify that the deletion of that specific file will sync with your account online.

 

This means that the deletion of that file will sync with your other devices too. While you have different versions of the same file, only the version that you're deleting will be removed from Dropbox and your computer.

 

This is a general prompt for when deleting files from your computer, rather than a feature of Smart Sync.

 

I'll be looking forward to your reply!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Crylock
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Daphne,  thanks for responding!  I'm mostly referring to docx Word files.  I write novels, and I work on several at once, writing a little bit here and there.  Losing one of these files means losing sometimes hundreds of hours of work.  I recently had a traumatic incident with OneDrive where it automatically synced with files on my laptop and deleted them, taking the entire contents of my desktop as well.

So, to be clear, what you're saying is that if I delete a file on Dropbox, any file with that name on my PC will also be deleted?  Even if I've disabled smart sync?

Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Daphne
Dropboxer

Thanks for the additional info @Crylock!

 

For deleting the files, that wouldn't happen, to delete all files with the same/similar name on your device.

 

If they are indeed simple copies of the file with slightly different contents, even if they have the same name, only the specific file that you delete will be removed from your computer.

 

If that specific deleted file happens to be within the Dropbox folder, then the deletion will be synced with your Dropbox account, and will also be removed from other devices syncing with this account.

 

It would be the same as deleting a file normally on your computer outside the Dropbox folder. Even if you have a file with the same name in another location, only the one you choose to delete will be deleted.

 

This would be the case regardless of Smart Sync, as this is used to reduce the space files take on your computer. It wouldn't affect other actions you take on files, eg. renaming, moving, or deleting.

 

To give you some peace of mind, I can suggest making a copy of the version that you want to keep in another location on your computer outside of Dropbox.

 

You can then delete all the unwanted versions from Dropbox, knowing that you have another copy of the file on your computer.

 

Let me know if this helps clarify the matter somewhat!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Crylock
Helpful | Level 5

Thank you Daphne!  That's what I needed to know! I appreciate your time and attention.  🙂

 

Re: Will Dropbox delete my local files?

Daphne
Dropboxer

I'm glad I could be of help with this @Crylock!

 

I'll be just a post away if you need anything else. 😁

 

Wishing you a great rest of your week!


Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
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