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High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

For the past couple of days, Dropbox has been consistently using around 30% of my CPU, when not syncing or indexing anything (i.e., the menu bar drop down says `Up to date`). Any idea why this might be happening, and what I can do to get Dropbox to idle properly?

I'm on a MacBook Air, running macOS 10.13.6 and Dropbox 58.4.92.

Thanks.

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions
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Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hi there, most likely you have symlinks in your Dropbox folder. You can see what they are by following step 7 in this article.
 
Otherwise, the rest of the steps should also help find out what’s causing the CPU usage.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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21 Replies 21
Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Dropboxer
Dropboxer
Hi there, most likely you have symlinks in your Dropbox folder. You can see what they are by following step 7 in this article.
 
Otherwise, the rest of the steps should also help find out what’s causing the CPU usage.

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below.
Still stuck? Ask me a question!
Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

View solution in original post

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Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Thanks, Jay. I do have symlinks in my Dropbox folder, but they've been there for years, and this problem only started yesterday. They're there because they link to files that can only be synced by a different service (OmniPresence), so it's the only way of keeping all my project files organised and 'together' on Dropbox.

Still, if that's what's really causing the CPU usage to spike, I'll have to work out some other solution.

Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

Yea he has symlinks. Symlinks are a standard part of the mac and saying "most likely you have symlinks" is not a reasonable answer. Ok, "most likely he has files" would be just as unreasonable. Traverse the symlinks or leave the application alone. 

Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

New member | Level 2
New member | Level 2

'you have symlinks' is dropbox's way to tell you 'our app sucks, so we give you a canned answer'

The symlink issue could be solved in a minute with 3 lines of code by simply NOT FOLLOWING them, a child can understand this, and yet they won't do that.. why? because then they have no excuse for all the problems their app creates.

Recently, I complained about the app replacing a file I was working on with a copy of that file they had online, somewhere, which was 3 weeks older!!! They put my good file on the side and renamed it 'conflicted etc' and proudly replaced it with the old file.  Without any warning!  When I complained about that, guess what was the answer? "It's the symlinks"... it's their swiss army knife for all problems.  

It's simply impossible to work without symlinks or remove them: there are inside applications, inside my python development environment, even inside their own .dropbox.cache.  And yet they dare to ask you to remove them all.  

When I used automator to search for those conflicted files, I found out in horror there were 150 of them... They do this behind your back with zero warning.  I had to painstakingly go through them one by one and fix it.  

Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Helpful | Level 6

I don't think the symlinks have anything to do with the issue.

I agree with @pikatchum, it seems like a Swiss knife reply to any quesiton about CPU.

Dropbox on my PC uses 20-30% of CPU when it is NOT syncing anything. Just "Up To Date". 
And the PC does NOT have symlinks in Dropbox folder. 

The method described in https://www.dropbox.com/help/desktop-web/high-cpu-usage returns NEITHER <SYMLINK> NOR <SYMLINKD>.

(Strangely enough, it returns some files from the Dropbox itself: C:\Users\MyName\Dropbox\.dropbox.cache\qebcobkqbgpbzfynfuwbof)

The files look like this:
8.10.2019 03:16 (1 024) placeholder.vsdx
08.10.2019 03:16 (1 024) placeholder.wav
08.10.2019 03:16 (1 024) placeholder.wmv
08.10.2019 03:16 (1 024) placeholder.xls
08.10.2019 03:16 (1 024) placeholder.xlsb

Let me reiterate:
Nothing to sync.
No symlinks.
CPU 20-30%



Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Hi @Wrangler!

Symlinks are not supported, as already mentioned, they do create syncing difficulties and high CPU usage: https://www.dropboxforum.com/t5/Files-folders/Syncing-when-using-symbolic-links/td-p/312221

Please read more here about the place holders you see in your Dropbox at the time: 

https://help.dropbox.com/installs-integrations/sync-uploads/symlinks

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask questions!


Fiona
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


Heart Did this post help you? If so, please give it a Like below. 
 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
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Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Helpful | Level 6

But my Dropbox folder doesn't have symlinks.

And the CPU usage is still 20-30% while the folder "Up to Date".

Thank you for suggestion for reading, @Fiona . As soon as I have a free second, I would love to read about placeholders.

The only thing we, users, need is a bit of free CPU to do our work (not Dropbox's). 

 

Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Dropboxer
Dropboxer

I greatly appreciate your kind response @Wrangler 

If you have checked all 7 causes of high CPU usage and still have the same behavior I would be more than happy to investigate device related details and search with the information you are providing in your last response about the placeholders. 

Please note that this can only be done via email, as in Community we do not see account specific information. 

Thank you in advance! 


Fiona
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
https://dropbox.com/support


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

Highlighted

Re: High CPU usage even when not syncing or indexing

Helpful | Level 6

Thank you for an extremely useful response, @Fiona 
I presumed that we are discussing here notoriously greedy usage of CPU by Dropbox. 
Even if the box is "Up to Date".
The behaviour is not limited to my poor PC. This forum's posts show that it is common.
Moreover, I've just found out that Dropbox uses 20-30% of CPU even if it is "paused". 
That is fantastic! 
No non-existent symlinks could possibly explain that! ))

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