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Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

New member | Level 2

We love using Smart Sync for the team, once set up it works exteremly well and replaced our physical file server. We are a digital agency with 15ish Dropbox users (and growing). We have a 'Clients' team folder with all our client work and an 'Internal' team folder with all our internal work.

We have between 600,000 - 700,000 files and it takes a VERY long time to sync for new team members, sometimes up to 3 or4 days. Files are set to 'online only' by default. I just transferred to a new laptop via a Time Machine backup and I am also now staring down the barrel of re-syncing everything over multiple days. We set the bandwidth settings to maximum for up and down and we have a very fast connection in the office, although we are in New Zealand so might be far away from the Dropbox server!

Is there any way we can make this process faster? Should we consider moving old or out of date work to another team folder not synced to all users?

Having the option to prioritise certain folders in the initial sync so team members can get working straight away would be a good feature. 

28 Replies

Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Dropboxer
Hey there @joegarlick!
 
Initially, please bear in mind that syncing your files can take time if you have many files or large files, which you mention in your post above: 

@joegarlick wrote:

We have between 600,000 - 700,000 files 

Although there isn’t a way to choose which folders/files get to sync first, please note that when your files start syncing, it starts with all the folders, then uploads files from smallest to largest. 
 
For this reason, it may look like folders are empty or incomplete if you look during the syncing process, but please be patient and do not delete them from the Dropbox folder if the files haven't finished syncing.
 
If the sync time is large, I’d kindly suggest to stay logged into your device and keep it turned on and connected to the Internet. Dropbox syncs your files in the background.
 
You can see the sync status by holding your mouse over the Dropbox icon. It will either say all files up to date or let you know how many files are left to sync and estimate how long it expects to take. However, this is an "instant" estimate based on the current upload speed, not an exact timestamp.
 
I hope this information helps! If you change the bandwidth settings and Dropbox still doesn't seem to be making progress over the next few days, please send me a screenshot of the sync status as it appears on your computer. 
 
Let me know of any updates! nerd face

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


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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

New member | Level 2

I have this problem and don't understand Lusil's reply. When everything is set as 'online only' through Smartsync - how can it take days simply to download the folder structure and names of the files? I can understand how this happens for offline files.

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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Dropboxer
 
What I mention in my previous post is that if you have a lot or large files, syncing your files onto your computer may take time, even though you may have enabled Smart Sync for your files to be downloaded as online-only
 
Furthermore, please keep in mind that Dropbox can only upload and download as fast as your Internet service provider (ISP) allows. For this reason, you can change the bandwidth settings manually.
 
Hope this helped to some extent. However, if Dropbox still doesn't seem to be making progress over the next few days, please send me a screenshot of the sync status as it appears on your computer. 
 
Cheers!

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


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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

New member | Level 2

+1 to allow immediate "override" to instanly sync a specific folder. I also have a large Dropbox, now on day 3 of waiting for files to sync to my new laptop. I'm carrying around 2 laptops because I need some of those files to work right now and can't wait multiple days. It would be great to right click on a folder and say "Sync Now". Thanks!


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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Dropboxer
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this, @tmiguens. I’ve made sure to pass your comments along to the dev team for future consideration. 
 
In the meantime, if you’re still having trouble with syncing your files across to your computer, don’t hesitate to get back to me. Thanks! grinning face

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


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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Helpful | Level 5

This is not actually an answer - not sure why it is marked as one.

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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Helpful | Level 5

In today's world of smart server applications, there should be nothing stopping Dropbox delivering the set of folders (just folder heirarchy, not files) to a user's PC as a single compressed file, then locally creating those folders in the local file system that the Dropbox client maintains. This should be orders of magnitude faster than the current process.

I just think not much thought has been put into people using this for a business solution.

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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

New member | Level 2

I have a large dropbox, some 300k files total. Been syncing to my new laptop for 5 days now with 230k files left to go. So, in 5 days I have days, I have only gone through a third of my files....ugh.
There is no way to see how much time is left on the sync, although Dropbox help claims you can tell how much sync time is left if you hover your mouse over the icon in system tray (Windows).
Something fishy is going on and Dropbox is not being upfront about it.

I have had this large file system since Dec. 2018, and had no issues with sync.... what changed?


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Re: Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users

Dropboxer
 
In general, please note that the performance of the desktop app starts to decline after reaching about 300,000 files. While this is a soft limit and depends highly on the hardware specifications of the computer running the app, one way you can speed up your Dropbox is by using selective sync
 
Let me know if this helps or if you’re still having trouble with this, and I’ll make sure to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!

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


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Smart sync takes many days to sync for our new users
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