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Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

SunnyNonsense
Helpful | Level 5

I love Dropbox. I can't say I've messed around with a bunch of different cloud storage services, but Dropbox has been more or less great for me for years. However, recently the desktop application has been making certain aspects of my computer unusably slow. I say "certain aspects" because really it's not the whole thing. To be honest, the only thing I've notied is right clicking. It sounds silly, but this really does make your computer frustratingly slow when you're trying to work with files in Windows Explorer. I can navigate Windows Explorer with no lag, but when I right click anywhere (including my Desktop) there is a 10+ second delay to bring up the list of commands.

This problem only occurs when the app is indexing files. When it is fully synced and not indexing, everything seems to return to normal. I've also had what I've seen to be a somewhat common problem where indexing hangs up. But the right click delay is still there even when it is successfully indexing as well.

Is there a solution to this problem? I know there are options to limit bandwidth by the app, but I see nothing for controlling the indexing function. Thanks for your help.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Falonn
Helpful | Level 6

This sounds exactly like my issue.  Things are slow because Dropbox is totally thrashing the registry.  Right-clicking on the desktop (or opening the Start Menu) requires checking a few dozen registry entries, but Dropbox's indexing causes a kind of denial-of-service attack on the Windows registry.

Dropbox support was pretty cool when we started talking offline and we were able to track it down to Windows being the real troublemaker.  When Dropbox checks a file during re-sync, it sends out a request to Windows to update the little icon in the corner (green checkmark, etc.).

Historically, this was fine.  Maybe(?) after the latest Windows 10 update (that's my guess; the Dropbox team reported they haven't been able to reproduce the behavior), that exact same "hey, Windows, update that file's icon" request now involves checking the registry for four values, which ends up closer to thirty actual registry operations.  Who knows why.  Windows doesn't seem to cache the values, so it repeats the check for every file.  And Dropbox seems to update the whole folder hierarchy's icons each time (despite alleged "deduplicating logic"), so you end up with something close to 150 registry calls per file in your Dropbox!

No known workaround.

All we'd need is an "I don't want icon overlays" option in Dropbox and this problem would disappear.  Alternatively: Windows could fix its broken code.

View solution in original post

18 Replies 18

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Falonn
Helpful | Level 6

This sounds exactly like my issue.  Things are slow because Dropbox is totally thrashing the registry.  Right-clicking on the desktop (or opening the Start Menu) requires checking a few dozen registry entries, but Dropbox's indexing causes a kind of denial-of-service attack on the Windows registry.

Dropbox support was pretty cool when we started talking offline and we were able to track it down to Windows being the real troublemaker.  When Dropbox checks a file during re-sync, it sends out a request to Windows to update the little icon in the corner (green checkmark, etc.).

Historically, this was fine.  Maybe(?) after the latest Windows 10 update (that's my guess; the Dropbox team reported they haven't been able to reproduce the behavior), that exact same "hey, Windows, update that file's icon" request now involves checking the registry for four values, which ends up closer to thirty actual registry operations.  Who knows why.  Windows doesn't seem to cache the values, so it repeats the check for every file.  And Dropbox seems to update the whole folder hierarchy's icons each time (despite alleged "deduplicating logic"), so you end up with something close to 150 registry calls per file in your Dropbox!

No known workaround.

All we'd need is an "I don't want icon overlays" option in Dropbox and this problem would disappear.  Alternatively: Windows could fix its broken code.

View solution in original post

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Lusil
Dropboxer

Hey @SunnyNonsense, thanks for checking in with us. 

Have you tried a simple reinstall of the desktop app by any chance? To do this:

  1. Make sure that you save and quit all programs that access files in the Dropbox folder.
  2. Stop the Dropbox desktop app from running (click on the Dropbox icon next to your computer's clock > select your avatar > go to "Quit Dropbox").
  3. Uninstall Dropbox.
  4. Reboot your computer to make sure the uninstall is complete. 
  5. Download and install the newest version of the desktop app.

Please bear in mind that if you're on a Basic plan, there's a three device limit. For this reason, if you have more than three, you'll have to unlink all unnecessary devices until two remain. 

Let me know how it goes!


Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

I'm having exactly--exactly--the same problem.

Since the last Dropbox "update" about a week ago, my computer is now unusably slow. Dropbox support is suddenly telling me (I have 3gig of DB space) that "oh, well, if you have more than 500,000 files, performance will be affected."

Utter bollocks. I've been a DB user for 10 years plus, if memory serves. I've had more than half-a-million files, in Dropbox, for at least 3-5 YEARS. Now, abruptly, performance is degrading?

It's not minor performance items, either. When I click Dropbox to pause synching, or to resume synching, it takes MINUTES--not seconds, MINUTES--for it to change over from one to the other. When I try to right-click on a file, in my file browser/explorer, to get a dropbox link, the drop-down menu can take 30-60 seconds to appear.  This is a significant, significant change.  I'm not running some small phablet or laptop here.  I am running Win10, 32g of RAM, i7 Intel Core @3.6Ghz, with a SSDD C:drive, with more than 50% space available, running two RAIDS, both 2TB (so, 8TB of disk space all together, each raided pair being 4TB), etc.  I've not had any problems or issues--until this last DB "update." 

So now, they're telling me to remove 100k files. One Hundred Thousand files "to see if the performance improves."  This is patent nonsense.  This system is running fine, a few weeks ago; DB "udpates" and NOW, there's a problem?

And no, I'm not going to uninstall and reinstall DB and wait for 1.3M files to synch!  That's insane, especially when DB is blithely telling me that nothing is going to change.

This is simply utter nonsense.  In the world of computing, things don't SUDDENLY go boom, for no reason.  If 500K were the magic number, I'd have seen this degradation years ago, and surely at least a year ago, not abruptly, after some "update."  

So, what, Dropbox is trying to tell us--after years now of endeavoring to brand Dropbox as being for business--that it's only for home users? Hobbyists? People without very many files?  If you have more than 500K files, now, Dropbox is UNUSABLE?

Is that what you're trying to sell, Dropbox? Really?  Are you SURE that's what you want to tell people? 

I, for one, already have Amazon S3 server space and I'm strongly considering it. I also have Hightail, of course, Gdrive, MS's OneDrive and so on.  I'm sure that SOMEBODY out there wants to sell me cloud storage without this claim about performance degradation that seems to have appeared out of thin air.  I am not feelin' the love here, Dropbox, not at ALL and I doubt I'm the only one. This thread shows that I'm not the only one and I expect to see more as this "update" ripples through the DB user base. 

NOT HAPPY AT ALL.  

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Stevland A.
Helpful | Level 6

Thank you for taking the time to articulate all of that.

I'm an early adopter, and IT support specialist. I have recommended Dropbox to many of my clients.

It seems that each update in the past year has made Dropbox slower, more glitchy and less usable.

The devs keep forcing features that no one asked for, and killing the original usefulness of what was one an awesome utility.

Running Dropbox is now worse than any virus or malware that I've seen in years.

I am done!

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

Stevland A:

Where are you considering moving your shared/cloud content?  If I may ask?

Hitch

 

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Stevland A.
Helpful | Level 6
My first thought is Google Drive as I already use so many of the services in their ecosystem (Gmail, GSuite, Calendar, etc) as do many of my clients.

But I need to take a look at the playing field myself and assess what is available, pricing, ease of use, etc

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

SunnyNonsense
Helpful | Level 5

Do I accept a solution when my problem isn't really solved...?? 🙂 But I do greatly appreciate the information @Falonn. Hopefully Dropbox will understand performance is more important that cheap bells and whistles. As Hitch's post shows, some people are quite angry. I'm a calmer person myself so I'll just politely let Dropbox know performance issues are the reason I left and went to Google 😞

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

You bet I'm angry.

It's one thing when Company X updates a product and screws the pooch, and admits it. Or says, 'well, yeah, this sucks for now, but we're working on Y and that will address this issue."

It's another thing altogether when they try to pretend that "oh, it's ALWAYS been this way, and you have >500K files, so it's YOUR FAULT."  That is utter horses**t.  I'm running a business here. I'm not farting around sending myself cute memes or whatever.  I've had files, trying to synch, for 3 DAYS now, my workers can't see them, because a client sent me 8gig of files.  I tried "selective synch" and now, my expected synch time increased from 24 hours to 44 hours.  And that's AFTER 3 DAYS of synching already.  It's not like I added 50,000 files this week; I didn't.  DB was completely synched, the beginning of this week and then, voila, I added a few files--granted, large, but only a few--and now, here we go again.  So, now what? Beause I hae > 500K files, it takes my dropbox a WEEK to synch new files?  That's not immediate. That's NOT synching. That's crap. I could probably snail-mail the files to my workers faster and no, I'm not kidding about that.  

This is utter crap and I'm out of here.  I have zero desire to move 100K files to GoogleDrive or OneDrive; at least with OneDrive, I can drag-drop from one set of folders to another.  I've already got GUI FTP services, both Hightail and WeTransfer and I can park files at HT for a while, but this cloud storage issue...I do not understand what on earth Dropbox thinks it's gaining from this, or what customers are going to be happy with it. These forums are FULL of very, very unhappy customers.

 

Re: Desktop App Severely Affecting System Performance

Hitch
Helpful | Level 6

BTW:

My Dropbox issues have accelerated and become worse. A client sent me 8gig worth of files. Normally, sure, it would take a bit of time to synch, etc., but she sent these a WEEK AGO and even though I "moved" both of her files to "selective synch" (making them almost useless for me, by the way), my dropbox is STILL SYNCHING and the latest is, it's going to now take 24 hours--HOURS--to synch 107 (small) files.  

This has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous. I've never had such horrible problems with this app. Another client sent me a 3.5 gig file today, and I can't download it to DB. It's absolutely impossible; I won't be synched for a MONTH at this rate.

Dropbox--my entire company has run on your app. Myself, all my employees, etc. and now, you're not just losing MY teeny-weeny 3TB account business, but my 25 employees' too. I pay for their individual dropboxes, each year, and I **bleep** sure won't now.  This is ABSURD and I am so angry I could scream.  To have a DB that hasn't synched in over a WEEK! When I removed the "big files" that were apparently clogging it up?  (and, btw, I removed tens of thousands of files and did it do anything? NO!).

Unbelievable how you could screw up a product that worked GREAT.  What on earth were you thinking?

 

SO frustrated.

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