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Level 4

Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

I am using smart sync on multiple Macs, one running macos 10.12.6 and the other running macos 10.14, they both are showing my hard disks are almost full even though the majority of the files are set to online only. When I choose Get Info I show a size of 687GB (38 GB on disk) for 60,699 items. So though it should only be 38GB on disk my OS's are reading it as 687GB on disk. I've tried reinstalling and since its happening on two different machines with two different versions of OS, one with APFS and one without, it appears to be a dropbox issue and not a machine issue. A quick glance at the forums shows that this has been a common occurance. Any suggestions?

 

 

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Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

On the Smart Sync page, it states the following:
 
“On APFS, the operating system takes snapshots of the file system and available hard drive space. These snapshots may not update after you've used Smart Sync to set Dropbox files as online only. This means that hard drive space you freed up with Smart Sync may not be immediately reflected or available if this snapshot hasn't updated.
 
“This hard drive space should eventually be freed up by the OS, but the amount of time this will take can vary. This isn't a behavior specific to Dropbox, but instead the designed behavior of macOS.”
 
If Apple didn’t suggest this possibility to you, then I’m not sure what else I can say. 
 
Users have reported these issues in the past, however the problems went away, presumably because the snapshots of the hard drive changed, which are essentially Time Machine snapshots.
 
This issue occurred even on older versions of macOS, and yet the issues stopped after some time.
 
I can only recommend checking with Apple again, given this information.



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


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22 Replies
Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

Hi there, as the ‘Get Info’ page confirms that Smart Sync is working as it should, you’ll need to contact Apple to see if they can correct this for you, as the Mac OS is itself reporting the incorrect amount, not Dropbox.



Jay
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https://dropbox.com/support


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Level 2

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

Same thing is happening to me.

I know the temptation is to pass the buck, but I don't think it's a Mac issue, or at least I'd like Dropbox to take this issue seriously. If it is indeed a mac issue, Dropbox should at least be able to provide a reason and a workaround since certainly many of your users use a Mac and this service is entirely based on this very thing working properly (file sizes reflected correctly). Seems that it is happening to other people as well, according to other threads I've read. In my case, the main Dropbox folder shows the full disk amount even though many files are marked as in the cloud.

 

Here's one folder that is marked as entirely in the cloud:

So, where is that 73 GB that should be free space on my hard drive and why does the main Dropbox folder think it's full size?

 

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Level 4

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

I actually started with Apple support after reading the responses to other posts on here. Their response, which I tend to agree with, is that if its happening on mulitple machines running mulitple versions of OSX then it would be a Dropbox issue and not an Apple OS issue. I have tried some reinstalls and rebuilt the spotlight indexes and the issue remained.

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Level 2

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

I also tried emptying cache as suggested by a Dropbox web page. No change. It's been this way for several weeks.

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Dropboxer
Dropboxer

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

On the Smart Sync page, it states the following:
 
“On APFS, the operating system takes snapshots of the file system and available hard drive space. These snapshots may not update after you've used Smart Sync to set Dropbox files as online only. This means that hard drive space you freed up with Smart Sync may not be immediately reflected or available if this snapshot hasn't updated.
 
“This hard drive space should eventually be freed up by the OS, but the amount of time this will take can vary. This isn't a behavior specific to Dropbox, but instead the designed behavior of macOS.”
 
If Apple didn’t suggest this possibility to you, then I’m not sure what else I can say. 
 
Users have reported these issues in the past, however the problems went away, presumably because the snapshots of the hard drive changed, which are essentially Time Machine snapshots.
 
This issue occurred even on older versions of macOS, and yet the issues stopped after some time.
 
I can only recommend checking with Apple again, given this information.



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


Heart Did this post help you? If so please mark it for some Kudos below. 
White check mark Did this post fix your issue/answer your question? If so please press the 'Accept as Solution' button to help others find it.
Arrows Counter Clock Still stuck? Ask me a question! (
Questions asked in the community will likely receive an answer within 4 hours!)

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Level 4

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

But I as I stated originally I am also having the same issue with a different mac running OS 10.12.6 which does not use APFS but instead still runs in OS Extended (Journaled). While that might explain the issue on my newer laptop running 10.14 it does not explain the issue on my mac pro running Sierra. 

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Level 2

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

This issue has been there since my first use of this feature (it has never worked). That means that it has been incorrect for several months (at least since July). Please help me figure out WHY it's happening (even if it is eventually on Apple's side, which is definitely debatable), because we know what will happen: Apple will pass the buck right back and we'd be right where we started.  Perhaps someone at Dropbox should have a talk with Apple to determine what is happening? Thank you.

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Level 2

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

Note also that my disc measurement tool (WhatSize) sees the same problem. It thinks the files are there at full size. I know, it's probably getting the information from the system, but still it's a point of information that may be useful. Thanks.

 

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Highlighted
Level 2

Re: Smart Sync Online Only Files still using disc space

Yup, seeing the same issue on my end. Its a bit frustrating since we use alot of memory heavy programs.  How can this be fixed? 

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