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Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Level 5

I'm sharing a number of Dropbox folders on a network across a number of computers. A user logs on to a computer, a user profile is downloaded from the network to that computer (including our Dropbox folders) and that allows us to drop files in and share them.

The issue I'm experiencing is that when I delete files from within one of these shared folders (either through the Dropbox site or the folder on my computer), all of those files I've deleted will magically reappear at some point.

I believe (I'm no expert) that someone with access to a shared folder has a version of our shared folders on their computer with all of those deleted files, which I guess Dropbox is interpreting as more recent than my deletion which is why it's sticking them back in there when it synchronises.

Help! Is there anything I can do to work out which user/computer is causing the issue, and to stop this from happening?

Thanks!

8 Replies

Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Super User II

If a file or folder returns when you delete it, it's because it was unable to be deleted on one of your connected devices.

You delete a file on computer A. Dropbox is informed that it has been deleted and syncs that change to your account. Dropbox on your other devices is notified that the file has been deleted, so they also remove the file. On computer B, Dropbox is unable to remove that file for whatever reason (permission, locked, read-only, etc.). The result is that the file remains in place. Dropbox sees the file is still there, thinks it's been added and uploads it back to your account. All your other devices are notified of the "new" file and they sync it back down.

So the problem is that the file or folder in question on one of your devices is unable to be deleted. Figure out which (use Previous Versions to see which computer is adding it back) and fix what is holding it there, and you'll be able to delete it.

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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Dropboxer
Hey there (TudorAris ), sorry to hear about any frustration this may have caused you. While this inquiry has been answered here previously (& you’re in the right path as you’ve understood exactly what has triggered the reappearance), let me slightly re-iterate below for convenience’ sake! 
 
Often when you delete files or folders, they don’t immediately disappear from every synced computer. If you have a synced computer running an application that is using the file, that will cause the file to reappear in your Dropbox account. Or, if you’re seeing a shared file or folder reappear after deletion, it may be that a person you shared it with is accessing it.
 
If you check the previous versions (tip: it’s on the on the 💬) of the file and see that it was accessed from an application on another computer, you can delete it off of that computer to stop it from reappearing in your Dropbox account.
 
Hopefully my message brings a bit of clarity on this concern & please do let me know how you get on with my suggestions in your next reply here. Happy Friday & thanks for checking in on our Community!  

 


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


 


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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Level 5

This is really helpful, thank you. Would this also apply if the user accessing the file I am trying to delete is a 'view only' user?

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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Dropboxer
Thanks for getting back in touch (@TudorAris)! This should apply if you’re both members of a shared folder & your colleague has been granted View-only permissions. As long as they’ve added the share on their account, it’s possible that they viewed it while you deleted it thus the re-appearance. 
 
Hopefully my post answers your questions however please do let me know if I have misunderstood your inquiry in any way & it'll be a pleasure to further clarify! 

 


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


 


Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Level 5

Thanks for the response, @Jane. That makes the issue all the more troublesome, unfortunately, as we have quite a few 'view only' users accessing the shared folders through the iOS app. I have had a look this morning and it appears the files are back again.

The 'previous versions' tool is really helpful. I can see that the files were uploaded from the account of a different colleague this morning. I'll have a look on his computer later on to see if we can delete them there and we can see what happens.

I really appreciate all of your help with this.

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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Dropboxer

Absolutely (@TudorAris)- it's been a pleasure; please keep me posted on the outcome whenever you get a chance!

 


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


 


Heart Did this post help you? If so please give it a Like below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Best Answer' button to help others find it.
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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Level 5

Hi @Jane

I think I've figured it out. It isn't a locked file issue but instead seems to be a profile synchronisation issue when we log in and out of different computers here. Let me break it down for you:

  • I log on to PC 1 and save a file into the Dropbox. I log off (to make sure that file is saved to my profile) and log back on and delete that file.
  • I log off then log on to PC 2. PC 2 does not have the Windows Dropbox app installed, but has loaded an older version of my local Dropbox folders - C:\users\Dropbox\TudorAris (probably due to a profile synch issue) with that file still there.
  • I log off, log back on with PC 1 and it sees the deleted file in the Dropbox folder (as it's sitting in C:users\Dropbox\TudorAris) and uploads it back to the cloud.

I've been able to verify this with the version history feature which you helpfully pointed out. I've also forwarded this all on to our IT guys who will hopefully be able to figure it out.

Once again I must thank you for your help. It's more our IT issue than a Dropbox issue, it seems, but I can still keep you posted on the outcome if that would be helpful.

Aris

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Re: Having a nightmare with shared folders, sync and deleted files reappearing

Dropboxer
Ah, it seems that you're very close to having that sorted Aris (@TudorAris) & thanks a lot for looping back to me with all these additional details; happy to hear that the investigation has yielded some results! 
 
As you've narrowed down the cause being attributed to external factors, there could be other users experiencing the same discrepancy as well, so your last comment will definitely point them towards the right direction. For that reason, I’ve gone ahead & marked it as the Best Answer (however you can modify your comment at any time if you feel that there's more to add to this discussion). 
 
Once again, thanks a lot for sticking with me until the end on that conversation; I hope that you get this squared away soon

 


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


 


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