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Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

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Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

I have a MacBook Air and do not keep a lot of large files (photos, music, movies, audio etc) on my hard drive. But the other day I got a message that I was out of disc storage!
When I investigated it, I discovered that nearly every file on my computer had been duplicated multiple times and given a Dropbox file location. However, when I look in my dropbox folders and online, the documents are not in Dropbox! WHAT IS GOING ON AND HOW CAN I DELETE ALL THESE DUPLICATE FILES AND STOP THIS!!!!!

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Solution
Level 2

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the poi

  1. Click on the Dropbox icon in your menu bar or system tray.
  2. Click on the gear icon and then select Preferences.
  3. Click on the Sync icon at the top bar
  4. Unclick every folder marked and leave clicked the ones you want to synk on your computer. 
  5. Dropbox will erase every copy it made on your computer and will not longer create files on your hard drive.I

I had the same problem and I just figured out how tofix it. Good Luck. 

22 Replies
Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

If they are not in your dropbox folder then its not dropbox doing it.

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

PLUS, WHEN I TRY TO DELETE THEM, DROPBOX PREVENTS ME FROM DELETING THEM FROM MY HARD DRIVE. WHAT IS UP WITH THAT??????

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

Similar problem is happening with my DROPBOX FOR BUSINESS. I am watching DROPBOX AT THE MOMENT create confliciting copies of files that I have deleted. Support has been no help!

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

What application could possibly be doing this? it's so bizarre. and the locations all have "dropbox" in the path name. Does anyone have any clues or has anyone figured out how this happened? If I have to go through nearly 1 MILLION files deleting duplicates, I don't want to restart and find multiple copies back on my hard drive.

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

@Elyse g.
YOU SAID >>> However, when I look in my dropbox folders and online, the documents are not in Dropbox
AND NOW YOU SAID >>> and the locations all have "dropbox" in the path name.
.
So which one is it, since your story's changing.

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

Yes, that is the confounding thing. Most of the duplicates have "Public/Dropbox" in the file path/location/"name" but if I go to my Dropbox folder at dropbox.com as well as on my Dropbox desktop version, they are not there! But they still are identified as taking up something like half of the available disk space.

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

What is the full path from drive letter to DROPBOX folder?

And are the duplicates containing all the content of your dropbox?

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

I just contacted the Legal Department, since Dropbox.com does not provide any one-on-one support for this, and we are not the only ones wasting a lot of time and energy on it. I was on the phone with applecare for almost 4 hrs yesterday and another hour + today, with no brilliant solutions emerging. So, I spent the $$ for a great Duplicate Finder app but that only gets me part way there since now those with Dropbox file names evidently cannot be deleted

Level 1

Re: Dropbox is creating multiple copies of all my files and saving them to my hard drive, to the point where my entire HD storage is full. WHY? HOW CAN I STOP THIS?

Yes, but that is not more than 100 files. There are something like 900,000 files on my hard drive, of which nearly 300+ are duplicates of very large files. Sample path for a video file (but there are all other types of files duplicated like this) is

"Users/MyMacBookAir/Public/DropBox/Archive Photo 2/London Trip Videos/London Trip Videos from Panasonic Videocam" In that case, the duplicates all have a different "Archive Photo #" but are the exact same video.