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Couln't download. Remove incompatible characters from the filename

Couln't download. Remove incompatible characters from the filename

Dimples
Helpful | Level 5
Go to solution

Recently all of my computer with Dropbox have started showing a sync error "Couln't download. Remove incompatible characters from the filename. e.g. emojis, /\"<>:|?*"

 

The problem filename isn't shown, the "Go to File" link just takes me to the root directory of my drive, and I obviously can't search for those bad characters.  How do I find this file to solve the sync issue?

 

Screenshot 2022-05-15 07.34.56.png

 

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

Megan
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Roy2010, no worries let me share Sam's response here as well.

 

Hi everyone,

 

Sharing an update on the topic: our team is working on adjusting this, and it's expected to roll out in our next Stable Build (V190).

 

You can check our releases here, and we'll keep you informed on the progress.

 

Thanks,

Sam 

 

I appreciate your patience on this, thank you!


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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164 Replies 164

Gabrielle Neal
Helpful | Level 6
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I have received an error report in the last couple of weeks from my Dropbox stating that files could not be downloaded due to incompatible characters.

These files are mostly archives and some are over 5 years old.

It is not possible to save a file with incompatible characters.

Has Dropbox got a problem they need to tell us about?

Has someone made a programming error that has created incompatible characters where none existed?!!

Has anyone else in the Community had the same error?

Several of our staff have the same problem.

Can we please get some help to fix these files!!

It will take weeks to go through every single file and fix the errors !!!

Megan
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution
Hi @Gabrielle Neal, welcome to our Dropbox Community! 

Keep in mind that the syncing issue you described is most likely due to the OS on your device.

It's not coming directly from Dropbox, but some operating systems have certain characters that they don't accept.

You'd need to rename these files via the website, and they'd then sync without any problems.

You can see more about this right here

I hope this clarifies things. 

Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Allegra248
Helpful | Level 6
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Yes! I am having the same issues. I have a list of over 999 sync issues - ALL WITH FILES THAT ARE OLD AND HAVE BEEN SYNCED PREVIOUSLY. Again, these are not new files. These are old file that have been in my folders for years and years. It just started last week and is starting to get frustrating. I'm thinking about cancelling to be honest. We work with hundreds of files a week.

 

-Giancarlo

Allegra248
Helpful | Level 6
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Megan,

I have a list of over 999 files....that does not seem practical. Any other suggestions?

 

-Giancarlo

Gabrielle Neal
Helpful | Level 6
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Thanks Megan,

I have done as suggested.

My question is HOW did this happen to files that have previously synced fine.

These are HISTORIC files, not something loaded in the last week, and they were fine when they loaded.

I actually don't know how they were ever created on any computer with invalid characters.

Majority of them had a : in the file name.

I have worked with computer a long time and this character has never been allowed by PC or Mac.

The only thing done differently this last fortnight is I upgraded to Windows 11 and then changed my mind when things stopped working. I have since gone back to Windows 10.

Next idea please.

chikega
Helpful | Level 5
Go to solution

Same here, some of these files go back 10+ years and all of a sudden it's an issue? I know Dropbox hires some of the most talented programmers on the planet.  The interface that is presented to us is clumsy to even begin attempting to change hundreds of files. "Go to file" for each and every file is extremely unrealistic.  It actually opens each file in a new browser window ... yes we're inside the file. We don't need to be inside the file in order to rename the file. Who designed that interface should spend a week using his/her creation and see how painful it is to use. DropBox should present an interface of all offending files like in an explorer/finder window that would allow us to multi-select and run a REGEX-based script to remove the offending characters. /\."<>:|?*   C'mon DropBox, you can do better than this! 

Allegra248
Helpful | Level 6
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So I uninstalled and reinstalled Dropbox and it seems to have worked.....I still have no idea why that was happening. 

Allegra248
Helpful | Level 6
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To clarify, the old files in question are still not syncing.....but the good news is it's not preventing new files from syncing properly. Which was the main issue. 

 

-Giancarlo

mpops
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

We cannot rename or delete hundreds upon hundreds of files!  That is ridiculous.

 

The files that cannot sync are all files that DROPBOX created, because they end in .dropbox.attributes.  So at some point dropbox created these files - from image files - and now it decides they have incompatible characters and will not sync them.  

 

Our image files have a half dozen or so users across multiple families and locations, and there is NO WAY for us to clean up the mess that these attribute files have created.

 

Come on Dropbox, FIX the mess you made!

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