Hi @ADNYC I tried your solution but only get the message that I can not move the Dropbox folder up to that level. How did you get around that error? And I did it within the Dropbox - using the gear and preferences.
I solved it - put the dropbox folder in the Aplications folder and it seem to work.
The idea was quite simple. My mac is getting full and smart sync was exactly the solution I needed. Clearing space while keeping my files within easy reach. A clic away.
This is how dropbox is promoting it.
Therefore, I’m obviously believing that this product will clear space on my internal hard drive.
So you can imagine my surprise when I realise that it wasn’t the case. Yes, theoretically if you press command + i, you’ll see that your file has a physical size close to 0 Ko and dropbox support love pointing this. However, the mac doesn’t recognise that and will continue to consider the space taken.
To this, dropbox responds: « this isn’t Dropbox failing to communicate with the OS system but your OS system failing to calculate to right size used by the files after smart sync. The proof is that it’s working on windows ». (I find amusing that it’s a clear imitation of the OS finder on their presentation page).
To their answer, Apple responds: « If dropbox decides to create a new product running on OS, they have to make it work with our ‘’rules’’. We’re not going to adapt to their product».
Dropbox support bypass this problem either by telling you they’ll send you a private message or pushing you to contact Apple support. So this might save you some time: Apple recognise the problem and don’t have solutions.
At the moment, the only thing that smart sync does is removing your files from your mac without clearing space.
So you don’t have access to your files anymore and your computer still consider that it’s using the same space.
I’m very thankful for those bringing technical solutions to make it work on this forum. However, I upgraded from plus to pro for this simple and elegant solution: smart sync. I’m expecting it to work as promoted.
I’ll go back to the selective synchronisation that was available with my plus account and request a refund. But don’t take me wrong, nothing else similar exists out there and I’d love to see this product develop further.
I’ve never taken time to write those kind of article but I rarely felt cheated like this by a renowned company. Specially one that I was looking up to.
Because in conclusion, this product isn’t working as promoted and I don’t really care who’s fault it is. They’re selling it.
Just imagine Adobe launching a new program that wouldn’t work on OS and responds ‘’but it’s working on windows it’s not our fault’’.
PS: If you relate to this article, please like or comment to bring attention to it.
Hi all, I wanted to clarify our position on this.
Firstly, to be clear, I'll state:
When working correctly Smart Sync will free up your hard drive space, and this will be recognized by your operating system.
Based on the above comments I think a the main issue may be the time it takes to reclaim the space.
This would affect those on Mac, specifically those running APFS. From High Sierra (10.13) Apple introduced APFS, now 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 isn't a behavior specific to Dropbox, but instead the designed behavior of macOS.
I can't set expectations as I don't have a clear answer on how long it takes before a new snapshot is taken by the OS, but when it is it will correctly refresh the size used.
If you are not on 10.13+, then this isn't the issue and you need to interact with Support.
In regard to the above suggestion that we try and by-pass the problem by pushing you to a private support interaction: This has to be done by email, rather than here due to practicality and the fact we may have to reference information you wouldn't want publicly shared such as computer or file names. But you can always circle back to here and advise others of our distilled conversation
In regard to pushing you to Apple, I don't think that would be productive, so I'll make sure that Support aren't doing that any more, many thanks for this feedback.
So in summary, either
a. If you are on HFS+ then Smart Sync will work exactly as you would expect, and you will instantly see the space reclaimed.
b. If you are running APFS then Smart Sync will free up the space, but it may take some time before the OS takes a new snapshot and you see this.
c. In the event that you are on HFS+ and you don't see space recovered then you have an issue that we would 100% support to be able to resolve for you
I understand that a fairly important question is: How long should I expect to wait for a new snapshot to be taken? - I'll endeavor to find an approximate answer if possible.
I hope this at least beings to shed some light on the issues you are experiencing. APFS is the first snapshotting file system most people will ever have interacted, so I understand that the differing experience may seem very unexpected.
any update on this? been having the same problem. i use iclous as well - icloud is now offloading everything to the cloud because it thinks dropbox has stored everything loccally even though it is all smart synced to the cloud -
Hey there (@ELIJOEL), have you had a chance to see Ross S.’s post above? Would you mind elaborating a bit on how that looks like on your end, in order to ensure I’m following-up on the right thing? Thanks in advance!
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
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While my space has been recovered, if you access the Mohave Space Management Tool in settings, it still shows the documents full size. So while it shows 47.3 GB available out of 250 GB, it lists each file size for a total of over 1 TB. It makes cleaning up your hard drive of actual files very difficult and I believe still shifts iCloud files to the cloud.
Solved! : See answer