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(Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

New member | Level 2

This is so frustrating to me. I offloaded files so that I can save space, but every time I need to browse to a folder to look at or download a file in that folder, Dropbox begins downloading every single file in that folder to my local drive. 

I've turned off the Smart Sync option but this is driving me crazy. I can't even look into my folders at the available files without Dropbox downloading them to my local drive? How does this even make sense? Is there an option that I have to turn off/on?

8 Replies

Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Dropboxer

Hello there @meljeanbrook, let's have a look into this!

Firstly just to fully clarify, is this happening when just looking at your files through the Finder window or when browsing your files through a third-party app (eg. when choosing to which files through another app)?

In these cases it's most likely that there is another service causing the files to be downloaded locally. Any process that tries to "look" at your files could cause this such as:

  • Backup services
  • Antivirus
  • Recently used file lists
  • Third party applications that monitor files

If you have any of the above processes running on your computer, can you try temporarily disabling these to and check your Finder again to see if the behaviour persists? 

Let me know what you find and we'll go from there - thanks!


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


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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Explorer | Level 4

Hi, just like @meljeanbrook explained.
That's happened every time when I browsing for files with smart syncing destination from any application!!

Very frustrating!!

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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Dropboxer

Thanks for joining the discussion here @fuadmuslic!

Just to clarify, are you only experiencing this when browsing through your files through, for example, the "Open file" option of another app on your computer?

 This can sometimes happen as third-party apps can make a request when browsing files this way, that in turn downloads the files locally to your computer. If this is what's occurring, would you mind letting me know which apps this happens with?

Let me know what you find - thanks!


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


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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Explorer | Level 4

Hi Daphne, that's happening with almost all application. For example: VLC, Microsoft Office, Adobe App, Google Chrome etc

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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Super User II

Then as Daphne mentioned, those applications are likely requesting information from the file. In order for the application to get that information, Dropbox is asked to bring the file local again.

Any process that tries to access a file will cause Dropbox to bring it local again. When simply browsing files, it could be thumbnail generation or a request for metadata that causes it. This is the expected behavior. Dropbox can't police when a file is marked Local again. All it can do is provide the file when requested.

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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

New member | Level 2
Sorry, just getting back to this.

Yes, it’s through third party applications. In my case, usually Photoshop. If, for example, I try to open through Photoshop, it begins downloading every file in the folder and because the files are so huge, this causes massive lag and I’m forced to cancel the sync repeatedly.
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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

New member | Level 2
Okay ... so smart sync is basically useless except for folders that are never going to be accessed by third party applications?

Because what you are saying is that the ONLY way smart sync works properly is by only using Finder to access folders, given the nature of most other applications on every computer.

I’ll go back to selective sync, I think.
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Re: (Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?

Dropboxer

Welcome back @meljeanbrook!

I'm afraid that would be the expected behaviour as Rich mentioned, if the app is requesting specific info of the files then this can cause them to be downloaded locally.

I understand that this isn't ideal for you, and the work around I would be able to suggest would indeed be to browse files through the Finder window. 

Sorry that I couldn't be of much more help with this, if there's anything else I can assist with don't hesitate to give me a nudge here.

Thanks!


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


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(Macbook Pro) How can I stop Dropbox from syncing web-only files when I'm browsing in Finder?
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