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"Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

"Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

adamschoales
Helpful | Level 5

I am growing increasingly frustrated with this so called "smart sync" feature Dropbox has recently introduced (or rather forced upon me).

I have a number of files I've brought over to Dropbox using the finder on my Mac, that I have then marked as online only, in hopes that it would upload the files and then remove them from my local storage, which is limited. However Dropbox keeps randomly re-downloading the files to my system even after telling it that I want the files to be online only. 

This feature is supposed to "save hard disk space", which it does seem to do temporarily before it just starts downoading things again. It seems as though the only safe way to keep files from my drive is the old fashioned selective sync from preferences, but this is a backward way of working, especially when I want to have the folder show up on my local drive so I can bring files into it, but I may want those files to only live online.

Has anyone found a solution to this abnormal behaviour (that, once again I might add, was forced on us as justification to increase the price of the paid service)?

41 Replies 41

Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

Fiona
Dropboxer

Hi @adamschoales. Thanks for posting about this issue. 

I'd be glad to fix this for you if there is a technical issue there. :tools:

Note :pushpin: Smart Sync downloads files locally, when you open them to preview or edit. If you have third party apps syncing/using your Dropbox files. Smart Sync would recall the files locally for the third party app to use them.

Having said that, are you accessing the files locally when Smart Sync reports downloading? Is there a third party system accessing these files?

What version of the application do you have installed on your desktop? 

Are all your files downloading or is this something you see with specific folders? 

Looking forward to the additional information to help you! 

Thanks. 

 


Fiona
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

adamschoales
Helpful | Level 5

No third party files are accessing these. These are all files that I recently moved/copied to Dropbox from other locations, and set to "online only". Never even opened once moved to dropbox. And yet they still kept re-syncing. 

This is especially problematic for the files that are quite large in size. I have home movies that are several gigabytes that I simply want to store on Dropbox as an offsite backup, but when they keep downloading back to my machine not only are they taking up several gigabytes on my machine but wasting several gigabytes of bandwidth to constantly re-download.

The Dropbox app is vr. 86.4.146 and I'm runnning Mac OS 10.14.6.

 

 

Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

Fiona
Dropboxer

Please add a screenshot showing the space the Dropbox files take up from your computer at the time. 

As for your syncing, I located a ticket you have with our support and took over to take a look at device specific details. You already have my response there @adamschoales

Feel free to get back to this thread and post the explanation I provided you there. 

Thank you! 


Fiona
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

adamschoales
Helpful | Level 5

As mentioned in my email:

You flagged that you saw that the default Smart Sync setting you have for this device is "Local". Not sure where you’re seeing the default sync is “local” because here’s a screenshot from the app on my end where it clearly says online only. If you’re seeing something saying it’s set to Local that is perhaps part of the issue - somewhere in the system Dropbox thinks that’s what I want even though on my end I’m telling it otherwise.
 
Also, as mentioned, third party apps are not accessing the files. I don’t have any anti-virus software running, and while I do have some backup apps, they all have the Dropbox folder excluded from the backup.
 
So really not sure what’s going on here. Like I mentioned, the only way to get things to work properly seems to use the old “Selective sync” method, which completely defeats the purpose of Smart Sync to begin with.

Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

Fiona
Dropboxer

Thank you for updating the thread with additional information. 

I would like us to continue responding to the email, if this is OK with you, so I can have all your responses there, in case I need to escalate. 

You are of course welcome to post back here, when we get this resolved for you. 

Thank you for your understanding and patience. 


Fiona
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

busboys45
Helpful | Level 5

I am having the exact same issue.  Almost every day I turn on my laptop to discover files I have sent online are now local again.  What is the solution?

Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

onnovanvelzen
New member | Level 2

sam happening to me. very annoying as i keep running out of space. 

any solutions? 

Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hey @busboys45 and @onnovanvelzen, thanks for nudging us on this thread. 

 

In general, due to some processes on your computer that may look at files that you may not have manually opened, in order to fulfill those requests, Dropbox syncs the files. Examples of such include backup services, antivirus, recently used file lists or third-party applications that monitor files in general.
 
Although you can turn local files into online-only by simply right-clicking on them and selecting the Smart Sync option, if there are apps that constantly/persistently look at your files, they may come back as local, just as you described in your posts. 
 
For this reason, try temporarily quitting or disabling apps systematically, until you see that the issue is resolved. The last app that you closed when the behavior in question no longer occurred may be the one performing this action.
 
Let me know how you get on with this and I'll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Cheers!

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: "Smart" sync keeps downloading Online Only Files

MBVIP
Explorer | Level 4

I am also having this same issue and it's very problematic. I have no anti-virus software, no third party apps, nothing. Please help

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