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How does Dropbox recognize and sync files, can someone explain this?

Level 3

Hi, I have searched the questions asked so far but haven't found a very good general explanation, only answers to very detailed problems, so:

Is there a thorough general explanation for how file recognition and syncing in dropbox works exactly, or could anybody give me one? How does dropbox deal with files, does it recognize renamed files that have also been edited or even moved to a different subfolder, what happens with conflicting versions of the same file uploaded at different times (they say the different versions are both saved but this hasn't happened several times for my account)... 

So altogether I don't really know how the program in the background works. I feel rather unsure working with dropbox especially when working on important files from several devices. Could anyone tell me (much) more about it?



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Re: File recognition and sync - thorough explanation

Hey Angie,
Thanks for reaching out to us with your query!
So you can think about it this way, that when you upload a file into your account it has a unique identifier that allows Dropbox to recognize that file. 
When you make changes to a file, eg. renaming, Dropbox will be able to recognize the file with the unique identifier and then sync the changes made to it. This also applies with moving a file to another location, the identifier of the file stays the same so Dropbox can keep track and sync the changes to it.
Also, you mentioned conflicted copies of files. These are created when a file in your Dropbox account is edited in different ways at the same time, and so the different sets of changes are both saved, creating the conflicted copy files.
Please can you clarify for me exactly what you are referring and the steps you were taking when you expected conflicted copies to be created? I’d be more than happy to help with this.
Hope this helps to clarify the matter for you - Thanks!

Community Moderator @ Dropbox

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How does Dropbox recognize and sync files, can someone explain this?
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