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Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

aeryn_n
New member | Level 2

Today, I decided to organise my Dropbox files a bit on my iPad whilst out. I created some new folders and moved existing files into these new folders. This is with the official iOS app. 

I returned home, woke my iMac and let the Dropbox desktop app sync changes to my local hard drive.

I checked the new folders and found that all files I had moved had lost their original created and modified dates. The dates seemed to be reset to the time/date that I performed the move operation in the iOS app. So it looks as if Dropbox is treating all these moved files as new files. Checking these files in my account via the Dropbox website shows the same thing. 

Is this something I can fix? I would really need to have original time/date stamps on files. Having them change like this is highly undesirable for me and the way I organise my file system. I would like to be able to organise files on-the-go and have these changes sync to my desktop without it impacting timestamps like this. Is this a bug? Or is it a limitation of using mobile apps?

Thanks


(I am using up-to-date official iOS and Mac apps, and have not edited or modified the files in any way - simply performed a move operation on them from within the official Dropbox iOS app.)

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

Jay
Dropboxer
 
If you’re moving files on your desktop machine, since it’s within the Dropbox folder, which is technically a normal folder like any other on your machine, then the file properties remain the same. 
 
Namely, modification dates don’t change when you move files. These only change when you actually open and edit the file. The Dropbox desktop application can see the file in the new location, and syncs it with the old modification date.
 
When moving files on the Dropbox site, since this is not a ‘live’ syncing like the desktop app, you’re requesting changes made to files on the site. Since the files don’t reside on your phone, like the desktop, the modification date changes to the moment you make the move, since you’re making the changes yourself.
 
The same behavior also happens when you move files directly on the Dropbox site. The new modification date overwrites the previous dates.
 
In short, the only way to preserve the modification dates is to make the moves on your desktop machine, and not the site or mobile apps.
 
Hope this helps to clarify matters!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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5 Replies 5

Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

Jay
Dropboxer
Hi Aeryn, could you try moving a file from one location to another via the desktop machine and let me know if the original date and time are preserved?
 
Thanks in advance!

Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

aeryn_n
New member | Level 2

Hi Jay

Thank you. I just moved a file on my iMac from one folder to another (within the Dropbox folder) and the timestamps both created and modified were preserved. Also, accessing my Dropbox account via the website I can see its preserved.

Is the iOS app supposed to preserve timestamps as I was expecting it to? 

Thanks

Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

Jay
Dropboxer
 
If you’re moving files on your desktop machine, since it’s within the Dropbox folder, which is technically a normal folder like any other on your machine, then the file properties remain the same. 
 
Namely, modification dates don’t change when you move files. These only change when you actually open and edit the file. The Dropbox desktop application can see the file in the new location, and syncs it with the old modification date.
 
When moving files on the Dropbox site, since this is not a ‘live’ syncing like the desktop app, you’re requesting changes made to files on the site. Since the files don’t reside on your phone, like the desktop, the modification date changes to the moment you make the move, since you’re making the changes yourself.
 
The same behavior also happens when you move files directly on the Dropbox site. The new modification date overwrites the previous dates.
 
In short, the only way to preserve the modification dates is to make the moves on your desktop machine, and not the site or mobile apps.
 
Hope this helps to clarify matters!

Jay
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!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

aeryn_n
New member | Level 2

Thank you Jay for your help.

That's a real shame. I've been using Dropbox for years and somehow never noticed this before. I will be more careful in the future! 

Re: Moved files on iOS app causes new created/modified dates upon sync to desktop. Why?

Jay
Dropboxer
I understand, thanks for getting back to me. Re-organizing the files is easiest from your desktop machine in general!
 
If you have any further questions, please let me know!
 
 
This thread is closed due to inactivity. Please feel free to create a new topic here. 

Jay
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!
:pushpin: Tips & Tricks Find new ways to stay in flow or share your tips on how you work smarter with Dropbox.

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