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Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John L.68
New member | Level 1

I use Dropbox on my Mac (mostly my enterprise account) to automatically manage my screenshots and provide links to them (and I take a lot of screenshots per day in the course of my work). Unfortunately dropbox often leaves behind a ghost icon on the desktop that is not really there. Not always, but usually. But when it does do it, my desktop is littered with icons that I cannot drag to trash or do any kind of management with because they're not valid files. The only way to clear them out—shy of logging out or restarting—is to option+right-click the Finder in the Dock and tell it to relaunch. 

Here's the behavior on the desktop where one of the leftover screenshot icons can be seen:

 

And here's what happens if I try to select and delete it: 

 

Note that the file name is also getting changed (not a worry, but could be a clue) when it gets moved from the desktop to the Dropbox/Screenshots folder. Note how above the screenshot reference about the file that can't be deleted ends in 11.47.30 but in the folder the closest corresponding screenshot image name end in 11.47.31: 

 

Other details

I'm running El Capitan (OS X 10.11.x), but I remember this behavior happening on Yosemite (10.10) and possibly on Mavericks (10.9) before that.

Dropbox desktop/menulet app: 3.12.5. I do not know with which version of Dropbox that it started happening with, but I do not remember it happening always. 

Running both a personal account and an enterprise account

11 Replies 11

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John L.68
New member | Level 1

I believe the following discussion from March of last year was describing the same issue, but I've given further details here in this thread and that other thread never had any kind of resolution: 

https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/202917045-icon-at-top-right-corner-when-taking...

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

Mark F.37
Explorer | Level 3

I'm having the same issue on Yosemite (10.11.x), and have been for several months at least. Also on Dropbox app 3.12.5.

It's getting a little annoying having to restart my finder to get rid of the ghosts.

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John L.68
New member | Level 1

Looks like this issue affects Lion (10.7) as well. So, likely not an Apple-created bug, but rather a problem with the Dropbox desktop app specifically. Reference: 

https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/203456235--Ghost-image-frozen-on-screen-Dropbo...

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John L.68
New member | Level 1

Two months later. Same experience. This problem has been going on for at least a year now: https://www.dropboxforum.com/hc/en-us/community/posts/202917045-icon-at-top-right-corner-when-taking...

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

Neil G.8
New member | Level 1

I am also having this issue; Dropbox leaving corrupt / empty / ghost screenshot files on the Desktop. I also use Default Folder X which I mention only because it's the only other finder altering app I use. I'm on 10.11.4 (15E65).

If this were a widespread issue, I feel like more people would be complaining about it. So, perhaps it's one of those issues that only pops up in the right combination of environments.

Has anyone found a solution to this?

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John L.68
New member | Level 1

Neil, I'm curious if you have just a personal account or if you also have a business/enterprise account. I have both a personal and an enterprise account and my screenshots are set to feed into that account's folder. 

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

Neil G.8
New member | Level 1

I only have a Personal account, however, I did try Teams and Paper. Teams changed my primary Dropbox into the Team Dropbox. The name of my Primary Dropbox never changed back after I canceled Teams.

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

Matthew B.15
New member | Level 1

Well, please add one more user to the list experiencing this issue. I've only recently started using the screenshot feature of Dropbox and this has been happening since I turned it on. Currently, El Capitan 10.11.4 & Dropbox v3.18.1. Very annoying. Only solution is to relaunch the Finder.

Re: Dropbox screenshot management leaves "ghost" screenshot icons on my Mac desktop

John M.230
Explorer | Level 3

Me too. 

My guess is that the system saves the file to the Desktop, and then DropBox moves the files either too quickly or something and there's a race problem? Or maybe Dropbox doesn't tell the system that the files have been moved? I think some version of the former is more likely, given this:

Here's a workaround:

  1. Change where the system saves screen shots using instructions like those found here: http://www.idownloadblog.com/2014/06/15/how-to-change-where-screenshots-are-saved-on-mac/
  2. Quit and re-start DropBox.

Now it works again with no ghost files left in the destination folder you just set in step #1.

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    aghigi New member | Level 2
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