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files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Angela I.2
New member | Level 1

I have a business account and share folders with colleagues that are full of many large documents. To save space on my hard drive, I've unsynced the folders I share with them. However, I didn't do this immediately, so many files synced to my computer before I unchecked them.

It appears that these files are still on my hard drive, despite the Dropbox claim that "the hard drive will automatically delete unsynced folders when you de-select them and click update".

These files from the shared folder (now unsynced) still show up in my "all my files" finder window AND.... my Dropbox folder (on my computer) shows more than 10 GB of content (and I can see the files there from this big unsynced folder). My own personal, synced content equals less than 200 MB.

I need this 10 GB of space on my hard drive back but I don't want to delete these files in case it affects the parent files on the shared Dropbox folder.

Can anyone help me understand how to get this space back/delete the folders without delete them from the shared web-based folder?

I'm using El Capitan on a new Macbook.

 

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14 Replies 14

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Mark
Super User II

They are moved to a hidden Cache folder so you can reverse the Selective Sync quickly if needed within a few days. 

Try a restart of Dropbox and that may clear it. If not just wait a few days. 


 


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Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Angela I.2
New member | Level 1

Thanks, Mark Mc.

Unfortunately quitting and relaunching didn't work. And it's already been weeks since I used selective sync to unsync these folders.

Yet, when I "get info" for my dropbox folder on my Mac, I see that it's using 10 GB of space, when only 200 MB of content are synced. Furthermore, as I mentioned before, I can see the actual files in my "All My Files" finder window.

There is an instruction via dropbox that says not to unsync until the folder has fully synced. I definitely unsynced this folder before it was fully synced because I didn't have enough space on my hard drive to fully sync it. 

This instruction seems a little illogical because the reason most of us unsync is to save hard drive space, so how can we wait for a full sync before selectively unsyncing if there's not enough space to sync?!

So... I'm not sure if selectively unsyncing this file before it fully synced is partly to blame for my current issue.

In any case, I'd sure love to be able to delete all these files on my hard drive without affecting the people who share this folder. If anyone has any light to shed on this mysterious issue, I'd be grateful.

 

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Marina V.1
New member | Level 1

Hi, I just want to double check, once I have uninstalled dropbox from my laptop I can delete all files and folders under dropbox on my c:drive without affecting my dropbox account.  It sounds ever more clear to me as I'm typing this, but I would hate to delete all folders and then find that all files are deleted from my dropbox account.  I have upgraded my laptop and want to make sure that no files can be accessed on my old laptop.

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Rich
Super User II

once I have uninstalled dropbox from my laptop I can delete all files and folders under dropbox on my c:drive without affecting my dropbox account.

Yes, once Dropbox has been uninstalled (or the computer unlinked from the account), you can safely delete the Dropbox folder from your computer.

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Rich
Super User II

There is an instruction via dropbox that says not to unsync until the folder has fully synced. ... This instruction seems a little illogical

That is referring to a folder that you've added to your local Dropbox, not one that's downloading to the computer from Dropbox.

Imagine this... You have a large folder on another drive that you want to archive to Dropbox. You move that folder into Dropbox so it will sync to the cloud. While it's still syncing, you go into Selective Sync and uncheck that folder so that it will be removed locally. Dropbox IMMEDIATELY removes the local folder before syncing has completed. You just lost the bulk of that folder as it was deleted before Dropbox could finish uploading it to the cloud.

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

Jessica G.2
New member | Level 1

Hi - I was having this same problem. Just thought I'd share my personal solution:

I actually hadn't waited long enough when I opened the Selected Sync folder selection window. In Preferences > Account > when you hit the Change Settings... button there's a small message at the top of the folder window saying "Loading more folders..." that I hadn't noticed the first time around.

If your business account has a lot of folders like ours does, this could take up to minutes to fully load. So initially there were a lot of folders that just didn't show up fast enough, so I didn't uncheck them, so they were still on my local drive.  I just had to wait for the folder list to fully load, then unchecked them, then waited a few minutes for the sync to take place and finally they were removed from my local drive.

Hope that info might be helpful to someone!

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

AuthorM
New member | Level 2

So, this is the only solution to get all of those files out of my Mac's All My Files? I have to delete Dropbox from my computer, and then start over, syncing with my Dropbox again? 

 

What happens if I sync and unsync frequently, because I only keep a small amount of content on my computer? Will this mean that I'll have to keep removing Dropbox to keep those files from pile up in All My Files? 

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

AuthorM
New member | Level 2

Dropbox unsynced files remain in my Mac's All My Files. I know how to use sync my files, and how to selectively sync only a few at a time. What I don't know how to do is to delete all of the content left in my Mac's All My Files, even though the files are saved on Dropbox and are no longer synced. They remain there months later, never ever disappearing. The only solution I've seen on here is that I must uninstall Dropbox in order to delete all of these files. Since I sync and unsync files frequently in order to keep as little content on my Mac as possible, it sounds like I would have to continually install and uninstall Dropbox to keep content from accumulating in All My Files. What is the solution for removing this content in a more convenient way? As it is, everything is on Dropbox, hardly anything is currently synced, yet I'm running out of space on my computer every few days. Please, can you provide a solution?

Re: files from unsynced folders still appear on my hard drive

blackbeardesign
New member | Level 2

Some thing is happening, this sounds really dumb that there is a selective sync featuer that doesnt unsync and remove if I uncheck a folder.  Sounds like a Dropbox oversight that they cant fix.

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