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Smarter sync

Smarter sync

New member | Level 2


When moving files from a folder to another, the files are moved correctly (and no other operation is needed) only if the device is online.

For example, I moved about 20 files from a device while all my other devices were offline (and to be clear, those devices were up to date prior to the moving). The operation was performed on the Dropbox website (because I was hoping Dropbox would be smarter, but alas...) and the online device performed it correctly. However, when I started my other devices, they all had to resync (which is expected) but then for whatever reason, they needed to download 4k files (basically it downloaded the entire folder again).

So my suggestion would be to use a system close to what VCSs do: keep track of the operations that are done on the online devices, so that offline devices can replicate the operations instead of downloading entire folders.

Helpful | Level 5

Yes, I've noticed this too.  I've wondered why DB doesn't push around move requests, that could turn into regular re-sync requests if the target directories & files were symbolic links or hardlinks (aka irregular in some way).

Explorer | Level 4

Yeah I found out that too when I was moving some folders to restructure my Dropbox content and even doing it when my other devices are online they download the files instead of moving them.

Super User II

It doesnt actually download them - you can test that yourself by moving large files, it does, irritatingly however say it is downloading them via the menu bar notifications. 


It basically does the following:

  • Indexs and notices that files X, Y and Z are missing
  • Deletes these files from the location they were at
  • Moves these deletions to the hidden Dropbox cache
  • Completes the index and sees that files X, Y and Z are now in a new location
  • Creates any folder structure 
  • Moves the files out of the local cache.

The indexing, however, does take time as it does it for every 4mb block.


Now Smart Sync is smarter :grinning:

If you have the default setting for your Smart Sync set to "Online only" , then any files syncing from the website to this device, will automatically be "Online only". 


Status changed to: Delivered
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