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Dropbox ideas

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Smart Sync - Delete "Cold" Local Files

Smart Sync - Delete "Cold" Local Files

New member | Level 2

As an admin setting, it would be useful to have an option that resets files that have not been recently accessed/modified to "Online Only". 

Smart Sync is a great tool for reducing hard drive usage, but the benefit of Smart Sync wanes over time as files are accessed and local copies stored. Setting a rule to remove all local files that have not been modified for e.g. 30 days would avoid this gradual bloat.

New member | Level 2

I will say it's handy to have all of my files visible on my desktop and then be able to "sync" them just by opening them. But like others have said, the fact that I need to go back in when I'm finished with a file and mark that to go back in the cloud is just poor UX. It would be great if they could have files default back to 'cloud-only' after a certain period of time (or by some other user standard/setting). 

Hey @swpebble, welcome to our community! 

This sounds like a great idea, and so I’ve moved your comments here, to our Share an Idea section, as our team regularly reviews this area for feedback and suggestions. 

Explorer | Level 4

I'd also like this feature for my team. People don't remember to right click all the team shares and then set to online only again every week or month.


As time goes on - hard drive space will fill up. The time period suggestion would be perfect to then make the files online only again. 


Hey peeps - thanks for bringing this to our attention!

As you might have noticed by now, this has been implemented and you can read all about it here:

For more context, if you haven’t opened files and folders in a few months, they’ll become online-only. To change this setting:

  1. Click the Dropbox icon from the system tray or menu bar.
  2. Click your profile picture or initials.
  3. Click Preferences... from the menu.
  4. Click Sync.
  5. Choose your work Dropbox account.
  6. Toggle the On/Off setting under Save hard drive space automatically.

Note: This feature is only available to Dropbox Plus and Professional users.

I hope this helps and keep the creative ideas flowing :grin:

New member | Level 2

This isn't sufficient in my opinion. Which the "Save hard drive space automatically" setting files are moved back online after a few months, this completely useless if you are working with a lot of large files.

It would be way more usefull if the user can set a maximum amount of space dropbox can use for smart sync, if it's full dropbox could automatically overwrite the oldest files.

A bit smarter in my opinion 😉


Heidi A.3
New member | Level 2

The feature also seems to tie the automatic space savings to placing new files into online only mode, which is counterintuitive. The best user experience typically requires new files to be in local mode for some time. Ideally the old and new file behaviors should not be tied together or provide a configurable duration e.g. Files newer than xs days default to <local/online>. Files not accessed in xx days default to <local/online>.

Status changed to: Delivered
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5 votes received Status: Delivered