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Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

David S.178
Helpful | Level 7

I tend to spend much of the day editing a very small number of programming language files. Once in a while I will notice that one of these files will stop uploading through Dropbox. There is no error message. There is a message in the Dropbox popup menu saying it is syncing files. But the syncing doesn't end. Usually, syncing (uploading changes) takes only about 2 or 3 seconds (a fixed time). But sometimes it just stays stuck.

 

The files that are stuck are ordinary text files. They are not nested in many folders, nor are their names unusual or long. The problem is intermittent and random. I have no unusual ACLs in the Dropbox folders. My Internet connection is usually rock-solid and fast. I have some Junction links into Dropbox folders, but they would not account for this intermittent problem.

 

Trying to pause syncing sometimes works and sometimes fails, but resuming doesn't usually get the file unstuck (this used to work many years ago).

 

Sometimes days go by without this problem happening, but it always happens again. It's been happening ever since I first started using Dropbox, many years ago. Unfortunately, Dropbox doesn't seem to have any programmers who can fix bugs, so far as I can judge by the many years that this problem has been happening.

 

Restarting my computer does seem to get Dropbox unstuck, but that is a drastic solution.

 

Does anyone have a quicker workaround when Dropbox gets stuck than restarting my computer?

8 Replies 8

Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

Lusil
Dropboxer
Hello @David S.178, let's see what we can find on this together. 

Have you tried pausing the desktop app when you edit these files, and resume once you save changes and close the third party apps?

Let me know what happens and we'll go from there. Cheers!

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

David S.178
Helpful | Level 7

Thanks for your attempt to help. There is no way to "pause" Dropbox. If you mean pausing Dropbox syncing, I covered that already in my question, which you are welcome to re-read.

Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

Lusil
Dropboxer
Does this only happen with text files or have you noticed it with other file types as well?

Could you also confirm if you're running the latest stable version of the desktop app?

You can do that by hovering over the Dropbox icon on your system tray.

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
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Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

David S.178
Helpful | Level 7

Almost all of the files in my Dropbox folder are text files, and the problem does not happen every day, or on both of the computers I use Dropbox on, so experimenting with actual files in Dropbox, such as using other file types, is difficult. The fact that this problem is rare may be part of the reason it has never been fixed.

 

If it is relevant, I have Preferences > Bandwidth > LAN sync > Enable LAN sync unchecked. I have found that allowing direct syncing between my two computers sometimes results in out-of-date versions of files.

 

I don't interfere with Dropbox updating, so my software should always be the latest version. I see version number 114.4.426 this morning. I have no idea if that is the latest stable version, but I would hope so.

 

 

Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

Lusil
Dropboxer
Hey @David S.178, I just wanted to check back with you and see if you're still having trouble with this?

If you are, could you click on or hover over the Dropbox icon that's on your system tray and let me know what it shows?

Lusil
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
:arrows_counterclockwise: Still stuck? Ask me a question!
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Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

David S.178
Helpful | Level 7

It shows "Up to date" because, as I wrote above, I worked around the problem by restarting my computer. My original question is: is there an easier way to work around this Dropbox bug than to restart the computer that is stuck on syncing?

Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

Daphne
Dropboxer
We would need to do some troubleshooting when you're having the issue to be able to find out what the root cause of this is @David S.178.

Next time that you see the file sync being stuck, please try these steps to see if that does the trick.

If the issue persists, does closing the app you're using to edit the files allow them to sync?

Keep me posted with the results!

Daphne
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
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Re: Dropbox gets stuck forever syncing one file, on Windows

David S.178
Helpful | Level 7

Thank you. I have saved these steps to both my computers and will post again when the problem happens.

 

I only use two apps to edit my files (Notetab Pro and Notepad), and Dropbox usually takes only 3-4 seconds to sync a file that I've saved in an editor, which is usually before I close the editor. So my editor cannot possibly be holding the file open after it saves the file, because if that were true, Dropbox would never be able to sync a file that is being edited. To test this, I just edited a file in Dropbox then saved it, using Notetab Pro. After the save completed and the sync completed, I used the "what's locking this file" app on the file and it told me that no programs were holding a lock on the file.

 

Perhaps there is what we engineers call a "race condition" involving closing the file. If that is the source of the problem, you need to change Dropbox to detect whether a lock is set on the file, then wait until the lock is gone before attempting to sync the file. This would cause a delay, but only until the application closed the file.

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