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Dropbox ate my disk space

Dropbox ate my disk space

pingleresearch
Explorer | Level 4

Congratulations Dropbox! I have set it up to sync a non-default folder. This is because I want to keep my work stuff separate and NOT keep it in my /User/..../Dropbox directory.

I have to be careful because every so often Dropbox "helpfully" updates itself and undoes my careful settings.

Last night however it went further than that, resetting also the list of of folders to sync. Unfortunately there are some large files in Dropbox that I have a very good reason NOT to sync to my default hard disk folder, or anywhere else, but DB knows much better than I do how to run my own life.

So this morning my hard drive is almost full of [profanity removed by moderation] that I really really DON'T want on it. And it's in the place where I least want it, totally unencrypted, taking up loads of disk space.

You say that DB is supposed to get rid of "busywork", but in my experience I waste hours and hours making it do what I would like it to do.

Dropbox, I want my life back!!

5 Replies 5

Re: Dropbox ate my disk space

Jane
Dropboxer
Hey there (@pingleresearch), while I understand that this isn’t ideal to you, please bear in mind that I slightly modified your post according to our Community Guidelines
 
From there, it appears that you’d need some immediate assistance on the matter. For that reason, I’d like to dig a bit deeper & have a closer look on your setup through our Official Support channel. So as to look into the matter having all our tools available, I’ve made sure to reach out to you directly via email. 
 
Whenever you find some time, please check your inbox for my email & I’ll make sure to promptly get back in touch with you asap. Thanks & I’m looking forward to hearing back from you! 

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

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Re: Dropbox ate my disk space

pingleresearch
Explorer | Level 4

Hi Jane,

Thank you for your quick response and I am very impressed that Dropbox takes comments so seriously.

I think the basic design choice in Dropbox does not correspond with my needs. There must be one Dropbox folder and all sync'ed folders must be subfolders of this. Moreover, the option to move this from the default place /Users/username/Dropbox seems to have disappeared (if it was ever there - but comments on the help site suggest that it once was). This is Dropbox version 63.4.107 on Macos Mojave by the way.

I can get round the problem of one Dropbox folder by using aliases on Macos, but I need to put this somewhere other than the default because I always keep work-oriented files in a separate, encrypted disk image (file vault). This is a great feature of Macos that I use a lot and it means I can keep sensitive information on my laptop (and sometimes on external drives) without worrying, plus it's a good way to keep files organised.

A method I have found, from comments I found elsewhere, to use Dropbox on a non-standard folder, is to write a small shell script called "run_dropbox" or similar, and edit info.plist to tell the application to run that shell script rather than the "real" dropbox. This shell script then simply switches to my work-dedicated drive - in which there is a folder called Dropbox, of course - and then calls the "real" dropbox, as a background job (that is, end the line with & in Unix/Macos).

This has always worked fine, except when Dropbox automatically upgrades to a new version and overwrites my special script and info.plist. To get round this, I have another shell script which "puts this right" while leaving the latest version of "real" Dropbox in place, so that I am always up to date with software versions.

I know this is not ideal, but it works for me, and I am sure I am not the only user who needs to use Dropbox in a non-standard way.

I should add that I use Dropbox Selective Sync and have several large folders from old projects that I really do not want to sync to my hard drive - certainly not to my non-work disk space. I have 1Tb of Dropbox space and that's just fine for me to keep these old, but occasionally useful, files.

Today for some reason - maybe I did something wrong - Dropbox reset my synced folders. First thing I knew was a warning that I am running out of space on my hard drive. I would dearly love for this not to happen as I have my whole settings pretty well organised as I like and don't want to have to worry about it, it should just be fix-and-forget.

Re: Dropbox ate my disk space

Jane
Dropboxer
Thanks a lot for your prompt response here @pingleresearch; we do take your comments seriously, as we’d like the application to work smoothly; let me follow-up on your last message a bit more closely. 
 
Now I’d like to focus a bit on your comment that:
 
the option to move this from the default place /Users/username/Dropbox seems to have disappeared
 
You should be able to move the contents of your Dropbox folder normally through the Dropbox Preferences. Would you mind following the steps outlined below once & let me know if you’re unable to on your end, in order to check that together? 
 
Spoiler

#1. Click the Dropbox icon in the system tray or menu bar. :right_arrow: Click the :gear: icon. :right_arrow: Click Preferences
#2.
Click Sync :arrows_counterclockwise:. :right_arrow: Click Dropbox location. :right_arrow: Select the new location for your Dropbox folder. :right_arrow: Let Dropbox move your folder and its contents to the new location.

 
(Note: You can also reply back to the ticket I had created on our system with the results, otherwise it will be closed on our system due to inactivity.)
 
While we strongly recommend choosing a location on the same hard drive as your operating system (Dropbox won't work correctly should the Dropbox folder ever become inaccessible), the steps above will be helpful with what you’d like to accomplish. 
 
Once you do, please do let me know how you get on with these steps on this discussion. Thanks for taking a bit of your time to try my suggestions & I’ll be awaiting your next reply here!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
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Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

Re: Dropbox ate my disk space

pingleresearch
Explorer | Level 4

Moving Dropbox to another location using Preferences works. I had to download and re-install Dropbox, to be sure I have the latest version. But 1) first, I have to open Dropbox with my files in my home directory, which will fill this up - make sure to have sync paused first 2) for some reason, Dropbox has forgotten/deleted all (or most?) of my shared folders - only the ones for "Only Me" are still there. Of course, I have gone online into "Sharing" where I can "Add" the shared folders to "My files" - but I don't know why it deleted in the first place. Is this a feature?

To be honest, I like Dropbox and it is very useful for sharing files and also if I accidentally lose a file on my hard drive, but it is rather restricted in design and any use outside the basic design is likely to cause problems.

Re: Dropbox ate my disk space

Jane
Dropboxer
Happy to hear that this has been resolved now (@pingleresearch) & thanks for sharing your thoughts; I’ve made sure to pass your comments up the ladder for future consideration. 
 
#1. Please bear in mind that you can utilize our Selective Sync feature to save some space on your laptop & un-check the folders you don’t need to access locally there, whereas all your content will be safely stored on your account online. (Tip: You may also have a look at this resource here, where Jay explains matters in a bit more detail.)
 
#2. When it comes to the shared folders, I’m wondering if any of those were accidentally moved to your desktop by any chance. Did this happen when you moved your Dropbox folder incidentally? 
 
Please do let me know & we'll take it from there. Thanks again!

 


Jane
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support

 

Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
:white_check_mark: Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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