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Level 3

Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

I have smart sync turned on for a folder. Every time I click onto the folder on the desktop client, every file in the folder (13.5GB of files) immediately try to download even though I haven't opened anything. Why does it do this and how do I stop it without having to remove the folder from the selective sync menu?

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Dropboxer

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

 
Initially, please note that while Smart Sync and selective sync are both features used for saving space on your computer, they don’t have the same functionality. 
 
Selectively syncing a folder removes it completely from your computer by unsyncing it. In other words, folders that have been unsynced from your computer do not appear in your Dropbox folder. 
 
On the other hand, choosing to Smart Sync a folder/file will set it to either download completely on your computer (local) or have a part of it downloaded on your computer (online-only). Smart Sync allows you see the folders and files in your Dropbox folder. 
 
For this reason, could you please elaborate a bit more on your concern? Are folders and files you have chosen to be online-only being downloaded as local? Are you seeing any errors - in which case, a screenshot of this (omitting personal info) would be very helpful. 
 
Any additional info would be greatly appreciated so as to have a better understanding of the behavior you’re experiencing. Cheers!



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


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5 Replies
Dropboxer

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

 
Initially, please note that while Smart Sync and selective sync are both features used for saving space on your computer, they don’t have the same functionality. 
 
Selectively syncing a folder removes it completely from your computer by unsyncing it. In other words, folders that have been unsynced from your computer do not appear in your Dropbox folder. 
 
On the other hand, choosing to Smart Sync a folder/file will set it to either download completely on your computer (local) or have a part of it downloaded on your computer (online-only). Smart Sync allows you see the folders and files in your Dropbox folder. 
 
For this reason, could you please elaborate a bit more on your concern? Are folders and files you have chosen to be online-only being downloaded as local? Are you seeing any errors - in which case, a screenshot of this (omitting personal info) would be very helpful. 
 
Any additional info would be greatly appreciated so as to have a better understanding of the behavior you’re experiencing. Cheers!



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


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Level 3

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

Frankly I find this situation absurd. Many times over the past few years I have found DropBox unneccesarily confusing...it stuns me that no other company has come up with simpler solutions to date.
So this is my latest problem. I have just upgraded to Pro and set up SmartSync and it appears to be in conflict with Selective sync. The answer above does NOT provide a solution. My hard drive has not stopped today, because everytime I think I have finally been able to get 20 of my files on-line only and I have Free Space (60GB)...it starts downloading again!
Why don't DropBox make this idiot proof...yes I am saying I must be an idiot, because after spending a whole day wasting time on this I still do not have a solution. ..and right now I have lost the Smart Sync Menu option in my File Manger...for who-knows what reason!?

 

I would dearly appreciate assistance

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Level 3

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

I personally think that this is an unusual implementation of the syncing feature since it goes by the premise that opening the folder means dropbox will download the entire folder.

I'm sure that there is some logic to it, but I'm disappointed that this doesn't really solve my issue.

Ever since I had this issue, actually decided to slowly migrate my files over to onedrive since there are granular controls for how to sync folders and files from both browser and desktop applications.

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Level 3

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

This is so disappointing. There is nothing worse than wasting a day trying to sort a problem out then when I am finally able to get a response from support, the first THREE paragraphs tell me something I obviously already know!!...

So I'll be highly specific:

1. Why would I have lost the context option to Smart Sync a file? I had this as a menu option in the context menu, but it is now not there. Surely that has a simple answer?

2. Why does DropBox show BOTH Smart Sync and Selective Sync in the Tray Menu>Settings>Preferences>Sync. Yes I DO know they are different....part of my frustration with the support offered by DropBox is how often the bleeding obvious is repeated. But, simple question to which I cannot find any answer: When I upgrade from Smart to Selective, WHAT should I do? Should I leave Selective files as they were? Why isn't there a CLEAR transition path documented for this? It would seem obvious that the way both Syncs work there is potential for conflict, or at the very least, the need to review and reevaluate how files are being stored and where? 

I have a simple need. I want my regularly used files on my laptop, and all others off-line...with all files, both in the cloud and on my laptop visible from my File Directory. Why should that be hard?...and surely it is more than reasonable to expect that someone working with DropBox support...who has had little experience with the product, has idiot-tested the neccessary documentation?

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Dropboxer

Re: Selective Sync and Smart Sync Conflicts

Hey @brucead and @youngkuknoh, apologies for the tardy response here. 
 
At first, please remember that many processes on your computer may look at files that you may not have manually opened and, in order to fulfill these requests, Dropbox syncs the files. Examples of such include:
  • Backup services.
  • Antivirus.
  • Recently used file lists.
  • Third party applications that monitor files in general.
Although you should be able to turn local files into online-only by simply right-clicking on them and selecting the relevant Smart Sync option, if there are apps that constantly/persistently look at your files, they may come back. 
 
For this reason, I'd suggest testing this out by temporarily quitting or disabling apps systematically, until you see that the issue is resolved. The last app that you closed when the issue no longer occurred may be the one performing this action.
 
Furthermore, @brucead, you mention that:
 

@brucead wrote:

1. Why would I have lost the context option to Smart Sync a file? I had this as a menu option in the context menu, but it is now not there.

Could you please also have a look through this article and see if any of the suggestions outlined help? 

@brucead wrote:

When I upgrade from Smart to Selective, WHAT should I do? Should I leave Selective files as they were?


If you don’t want specific folders to sync to your Dropbox folder of a specific device, but be accessible through the website or any other connected device, you can leave them to be selectively synced. When you want to have them in your Dropbox folder again, you can choose to sync them by following the same process as you did when you selectively synced them. 
 
Finally, if you want folders and files to be visible in your Dropbox folder but not take up space, then they’d have to be set to be Smart Synced as online-only. This way, you can see your folder structure, but your files won’t take up as much space as they normally would. 
 
In any case, let me know how it goes!



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


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