cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Announcements
Update: Find information on Dropbox support during COVID-19 here
Close
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

What's the best way to install the desktop app on a smaller hard drive?

clegge
Explorer | Level 4

I need to add Dropbox access to an alternate computer that I will use for traveling. The hard drive is much smaller than that on my primary computer. I need a strategy to do this smoothly.

 

I'm already signed in to my Dropbox account on the alternate computer. When I download the Dropbox app, will I immediately sync to the massive tree of folders on my primary computer? If so, this could be a bad thing. My alternate computer does not have the hard drive space available to accommodate all of those folders.

 

I know that I can selectively sync some folders and not others. But that is only after the folders are accessible. If there is insufficient hard drive space to accommodate the entire folder tree, I will never have this option. 

 

How can I best manage this without a huge hassle? 

 

2 Accepted Solutions

Accepted Solutions

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

Super User II
Super User II
You need to install it and use the 'Advanced Install' option.

It may take awhile to show all of the folders but they will appear.

Note that Dropbox DOES create the folder structure first and then starts synching files from smallest to largest so you have got time. Also, in terms of space on a machine folders do not use up space.

 


- - -


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


 Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

View solution in original post

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

Super User II
Super User II
Yes, if you have uninstalled the app you can simply delete the files on your machine as they have no link at all to what is on the Dropbox cloud.

And unfortunately as unhelpful as you may deem the answer to be that is the only solution to it (as you said I dont think SmartSync will help either as it actually uses up some space initially - which may cause issues on a small hard drive). The other option is simply to not install the software and use the website.

 


- - -


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


 Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

View solution in original post

7 Replies 7

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

Super User II
Super User II
You need to install it and use the 'Advanced Install' option.

It may take awhile to show all of the folders but they will appear.

Note that Dropbox DOES create the folder structure first and then starts synching files from smallest to largest so you have got time. Also, in terms of space on a machine folders do not use up space.

 


- - -


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


 Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

View solution in original post

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

clegge
Explorer | Level 4

All of those folders contain files. Lots of them. More than the hard drive on the alternate computer can accommodate. 

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

clegge
Explorer | Level 4

You didn't offer much info other than choose advanced install. Not helpful. Perhaps someone else could reply to this question with more detailed info that anticipates possible issues that a user may encounter.

 

So I downloaded the app and began the installation on the alternate computer. There was no option for an advanced install. Only a warning message that the smaller hard drive could not accommodate the Dropbox folder on my primary computer. Duh. I already knew that, which is why I posted this question.

 

Instead, I was presented with checkboxes to selectively sync subfolders in my Dropbox. So I chose only the necessary ones.

 

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid downloading every file stored at the main Dropbox level on my primary computer unless I manually move thousands of files to a subfolder. I don't want to do that.

 

So I uninstalled the app on my alternate computer until someone provides a solution that actually works for me. 

 

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

Super User II
Super User II

@clegge wrote:

Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid downloading every file stored at the main Dropbox level on my primary computer unless I manually move thousands of files to a subfolder. I don't want to do that.


There is no option to remove files at the main level. Selective Sync only works with folders. The only solution is to move the files in the main level into a sub-folder.

 

If you have a Professional account you can use Smart Sync (different from Selective Sync) to set any file or folder you wish as Online-only. The file or folder will still appear on your computer, but it will only exist online.

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

clegge
Explorer | Level 4

Thanks for the confirmation that Selective Sync only works on subfolders. I will just go ahead and move everything at the main Dropbox folder level into a subfolder that can be excluded from the sync.

 

I've been considered upgrading to a Professional account. I'm not sure that the Smart Sync is going to help with this particular situation though. I will still need to set each and every individual file at the main Dropbox folder level to online only. That's way too many files on which to change an individual setting. 

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

clegge
Explorer | Level 4

I currently don't have the Dropbox app installed on my alternate computer. I uninstalled it earlier today. I just want to confirm that I can go ahead and delete the unwanted files that already sync'd to this computer. I've already moved them to the recycle bin along with the Dropbox folder. I assume these are local copies of those files in my Dropbox storage.

Re: How best to add a device with a smaller hard drive

Super User II
Super User II
Yes, if you have uninstalled the app you can simply delete the files on your machine as they have no link at all to what is on the Dropbox cloud.

And unfortunately as unhelpful as you may deem the answer to be that is the only solution to it (as you said I dont think SmartSync will help either as it actually uses up some space initially - which may cause issues on a small hard drive). The other option is simply to not install the software and use the website.

 


- - -


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 


 Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.


 Did this post not resolve your issue? If so please give us some more information so we can try and help - please remember we cannot see over your shoulder so be as descriptive as possible! 


 

View solution in original post

Work Smarter with Dropbox

The way we work is changing. Share and discover new ways to work smarter with Dropbox in our community.

Sound good? Let's get started.
Who's talking

Top contributors to this post

What do Dropbox user levels mean?
Need more support?