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Dropbox as a virtual drive - files added become online only immediately

Dropbox as a virtual drive - files added become online only immediately

ArronChandler
Helpful | Level 5

It would be good if Dropbox had a feature where your space could be used as a virtual drive.  So, as opposed to files and folders that you create (eg using Word or Explorer) and place on your Dropbox being created as local copies initially, and then you having to mark them as On Line Only for smart sync to remove them from your HDD and add them to your Dropbox, instead these files just automatically go to your online space.

I realise that if you create files and folders using the desktop app that this will happen automatically anyway, but I don;t want to use the app as I find it clumsy - I just want to create and edit files on a normal daily basis but have everything stored online.

5 Comments
Daphne
Dropboxer

This idea is going to need a bit more support.

We've updated the status to encourage more users to back you up!

Status changed to: Needs more votes
Здравко
Super Collaborator | Level 20

There are many long time discussions in this forum about the best way accessing data resides in Dropbox account. The focuses are different. Starting from ability to sync data from different places outside Dropbox folder (even on different drives) to convenient way to keep engaged local storage as compact as possible. Using current Dropbox application implementation leads to "conflicting" situations, requiring sophisticated tricks for workarounds, sometimes. Provided features like "Selective sync" or "Smart sync" aren't always solutions. "Selective sync" ensure local space freeing, but makes unselected folders inaccessible. "Smart sync" keeps data accessibility, but still engage local space when a piece of data have to be accessed. Let's imagine, we should select one from thousands of movie/clip files for something. They are GBs of size every one. We need access to see how starts every one, probably few hundreds of kB up to few MB for every clip, enough to recall what's there. That what Dropbox application does, actually, is downloads entire file (every one) to gives access to just a small piece (the one needed). Is this some example of efficiency?! I don't think so. Many other examples on different types of data could be set. Another example is a user needs to add a file to Dropbox to share a result, for example, using Dropbox context menu. Most users don't expect a second copy to reside locally. How many are forum threads and support tickets related to this? 🤔 A lot!


Possible solution: Introducing new type of access to account data using virtual block device. Such a solution doesn't engage any local storage (if we ignore a caching - which could be relatively small and optimized space, object of user preferencies) while keeps access to everything inside account. Files, used often (according user preferences, again), could be kept in sync locally (in a similar way like now). Additional preferences for every one folder, in sync locally, where to resides on. Something like current "Selective sync" preferences view, but with path attribute next to every one selected tree entry (not literally same, of course). All supported platforms support virtual block devices to some extend (Linux and Mac fully, Windows partially - missing ability to represent exactly as a folder) - enough for this proposal.

Such move have ability to solve many troubles reported like noted before. Current application organization could be kept available, of course, and every user could select what best match particular needs (i.e. the proposal could be an option).

KimmyRaaRaa
New member | Level 2

Agree wholeheartedly! 

I use Dropbox for only one element of my very varied Admin based self-employment. I would benefit so much from being able to eliminate the syncing of EVERY item on my desktop hugely. 

More votes on this please! 

xxx 

vlogic
New member | Level 2

I absolutely agree

Hannah
Dropboxer

Thank you for this idea. While we can’t take every idea forward we do regularly re-review and will update you if anything changes!

Status changed to: Not for right now
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10 votes received Status: Not for right now