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Dropbox desktop app stuck syncing 20 files

Dropbox desktop app stuck syncing 20 files

fosterdouglas
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

Hello,

 

I'm a long time Dropbox user, I've run into an issue with my Dropbox desktop application "Syncing 20 files" constantly for the past few weeks, though I've seemingly not changed anything about how I use the app. This is a problem that's already been well documented in the forums for various reasons, so I'll list all of the things I've tried using other forum posts:

 

MacOS 12.4 (Apple M1)

Dropbox v152.4.4880

 

- Reinstalling the app

- Checking dropbox.com settings, like

  • "Early releases" is off
  • "Dropbox system extension" is on
  • "Online-only files on Mac" is on

- Checking application settings, like

  • "Enable LAN sync" is off
  • Bandwidth
  • View sync issues (empty)

- Using the advanced functions in the application settings, like

  • "Fix permissions"
  • "Fix hardlinks"

- Check MacOS Activity Monitor

- Searching Finder for the files that have the blue syncing status icon

- Looking for any file names that have unsupported characters in them

 

There are about 31k files in the main folder, and no individual file is larger than 1 or 2gb, so nothing out of the ordinary there.

 

I saw a few posts about file name or file depth / path length, but I would have no idea where to start with diagnosing that, especially because as far as I've seen, all files are synced properly.

 

When opening up the Dropbox folder, I've Alt-Click to expand and view all files and folders in the drive. I've then slowly scrolled through to view the status of each file and folder (you have to sometimes wait for Dropbox to update that many green checks / blue sync icons). Doing it this way, I couldn't find any file that wasn't either a Green Checkmark or a White Checkmark/Grey Cloud. The only folder that shows a blue sync icon is at the very top level:

 

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 14.57.13.png

 

All other files and folders look something like this:

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 14.57.36.png

 

While running, the app isn't taking up a relevant amount of CPU doing this, and it continues to sync new and changed files properly... so that's good. This wouldn't even be such an issue except that if I check network activity in the MacOS Activity Monitor, I can see that sometimes (but not always) it's constantly uploading or downloading packets of data, larger than just a few bytes (like 0.5mb every few seconds). Also worth noting that it will never change to below 20, but for example if I add 1 new file, it will briefly say 21, before that new file then syncs and it returns to being stuck at 20.

 

It may also be worth noting that when first starting the app, it will give a short time estimation to sync the 20 files, which will slowly increase for a few seconds, until it hits 30 or 40s, and then that estimation text will disappear entirely:

 

Screen Shot 2022-07-14 at 15.19.34.png

 

Does anybody have any additional suggestions on this? My workaround right now is to select "Pause file sync... Until tomorrow" every morning when I log into my computer.

 

Is there a way for the support or dev team to do some sort of hard reset on all my files' sync status or something?

 

Any help would be appreciated, thank you!!

 

Foster

1 Accepted Solution

Accepted Solutions

fosterdouglas
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

The Advanced Dropbox Support team helped me pin this down.

 

In the end, it was something to do with file paths being too long, as some other members have identified as an issue in the past. In my case specifically, there were a handful of proprietary files of a .PDX extension that were buried deep in my Dropbox. That file type is essentially a bundle of many other files and folders, and so my guess is that this was creating many layers deep of file paths, causing the issue. I'm not 100% certain of this, but I know that removing the 20 or so instances of .PDX files in my Dropbox fixed this for me!

 

For anyone else having similar issues on Mac OS, check your file types for anything that is a bundle type (like an .app or something), and Open Contents on those files to check the file structure in there. If it's relatively deep/complex, it might be what's causing your files to stall syncing. 

 

That said, I would not have been able to find this on my own, the Dropbox team called out to me what specific folder was causing the sync issues and I used Selective Sync to determine which specific file in that folder was the problem (because Selective Sync will have issues also trying to delete it from your system and it will remain). Without this advanced help, you'd have to go folder by folder doing Selective Sync to see what remains. 😅

 

Thanks Dropbox team !

View solution in original post

14 Replies 14

Jay
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hi @fosterdouglas, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

 

As you've already performed all the necessary steps, I'd recommend getting in contact with the support team directly for further assistance.

Once you get a ticket ID from the automated response, please let me know the number here so I can locate it in our system.


Jay
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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fosterdouglas
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

Thanks Jay! Here's the ticket number:

https://www.dropbox.com/support/ticket/17898755

 

Nancy
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hey @fosterdouglas, I hope you don’t mind me jumping in. 

 

I’ve traced your ticket number in our system, and from what I can see, it’s already been forwarded to our specialized team. 

 

In the meantime, I’ve also left them an internal note, so that they may get back to you as soon as possible.


Nancy
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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fosterdouglas
Helpful | Level 6
Go to solution

The Advanced Dropbox Support team helped me pin this down.

 

In the end, it was something to do with file paths being too long, as some other members have identified as an issue in the past. In my case specifically, there were a handful of proprietary files of a .PDX extension that were buried deep in my Dropbox. That file type is essentially a bundle of many other files and folders, and so my guess is that this was creating many layers deep of file paths, causing the issue. I'm not 100% certain of this, but I know that removing the 20 or so instances of .PDX files in my Dropbox fixed this for me!

 

For anyone else having similar issues on Mac OS, check your file types for anything that is a bundle type (like an .app or something), and Open Contents on those files to check the file structure in there. If it's relatively deep/complex, it might be what's causing your files to stall syncing. 

 

That said, I would not have been able to find this on my own, the Dropbox team called out to me what specific folder was causing the sync issues and I used Selective Sync to determine which specific file in that folder was the problem (because Selective Sync will have issues also trying to delete it from your system and it will remain). Without this advanced help, you'd have to go folder by folder doing Selective Sync to see what remains. 😅

 

Thanks Dropbox team !

Hannah
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Thanks for getting back to us about this, @fosterdouglas!

 

We appreciate you giving us the results of your communication with our specialists and I'm happy to see that your issue is resolved.

 

If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to let us know.

 

Have a wonderful day!


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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belay
New member | Level 2
Go to solution

I have this same issue, how can I generate a ticket to get help on this as well?

Megan
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hi @belay, how are you today? 

 

Can you let me know more in regards to your app's syncing status, and version? How long is it stuck like that?

 

Keep me posted, and we'll take it from there. 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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Carl E.
Helpful | Level 5
Go to solution

This has been occurring for weeks. Only occurs on my Mac, the app gets stuck syncing a single file after I sleep my MacBook Pro more than twice. The only solution is to quit the application, and reopen it.

 

Current macOS Monterey 12.6.1

 

 

Megan
Dropbox Staff
Go to solution

Hi @Carl E., sorry to hear about that!

 

Could you let me know the app's exact status and version as shown in your menu bar?

 

Also, can you click on your avatar in the app's preferences and then on the 'View sync issues' option? Are there any files listed there?

 

Let me know what you find. 


Megan
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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