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Re: Dropbox keeps trying to download and sync files set to online only

Dropbox keeps trying to download and sync files set to online only

Rachel L.
Collaborator | Level 9

I had this same issue with a particular folder when I first set up my new Windows 10 laptop, but closing and restarting Dropbox seemed to fix it. (Derp.)

 

Today it randomly started trying to download/sync a few zip files I set to online only. I set them to online only again; then, since my computer has been indexing files for over a week now, decided to exclude my online only folders from being indexed, thinking maybe that was the cause of all the indexing. As soon as I did this, it started trying to download/sync those zip files again! I again set them to online only, exited and restarted Dropbox...but then Dropbox got stuck in a cycle of syncing, syncing, syncing a different, online-only folder. It has 32 files in it and Dropbox kept saying, "Syncing 32 files...31 files...32 files...31 files...32 files..." like it kept starting over and over and over. This laptop has an SSD and the files are small so it should have been almost instantaneous.

 

I exited Dropbox and restarted my computer this time, to boot. Looking in the Dropbox folder, I see individual files set to online only (including those zip files) are marked with an X but none of the folders are, which puzzles me. Restarting Dropbox now...

 

Okay, nothing is happening yet (except the endless indexing). Still, what could be causing this? Why does Smart Sync keep trying to sync and download things set to online only and is there a fix if it gets stuck in that syncing loop again?

 

...Wait, crud, I found another online folder had changed its setting (though not the files' setting) to local. Ugh! Changed it back...Dropbox said it was doing something with a bunch of files but now it's up to date again and the folder is again online only. So weird.

 

And now the number of indexed items is suddenly a lot different! 92,000 odd! (I believe it was around 205,000 before.)

 

Dropbox desktop application 109.4.517, Windows 10 Home v.1909, build 18363.1198.

61 Replies 61

valtham
Helpful | Level 5

Hi @HydraLogic

Since I last wrote last October, I have also now just learned to "live with it"! I've given up trying to figure out why Dropbox is still syncing for files that I keep marking online. I just keep marking it Online again and again.

MrCKnight
Explorer | Level 3

Why can't Dropbox tell me what program or task is asking for an offline file to be downloaded?  Every Wednesday I have this issue of Dropbox downloading all of my offline files and running out of space again on my laptop.  I feel the frustration of all of the other users experiencing this very same thing.  Honestly, it is intolerable and I will have no option but to cancel Dropbox and use something else as it is just not fit for purpose anymore.

  

Rachel L.
Collaborator | Level 9

Hey guess what! It's doing it AGAIN!

 

It used to be safe for me to run Dropbox late at night, it would only try to download online-only stuff earlier in the day. No clue why, nobody has ever managed to explain this problem. Now, there are no longer any "safe" hours. It's currently past 1AM and here's Dropbox, repeatedly attempting to download online-only folders of MP4s. I was not browsing these folders. I was not trying to view or open these files. There is no background program trying to use them or open them. These files were not recently opened. In fact these files were never even opened on this computer (I saved them to the computer from my tablet). I have my "Recent Files" turned off but was not looking at that page anyway. My antivirus is not scanning anything currently. I'm not indexing, and even if I were, these folders are excluded. All the same old, same old "solutions" that are offered yet don't pertain to this particular situation. And now, I can't even be assured it won't try it at whatever random hour of the day OR night.

 

It's tried to download these same online-only folders about 7-8 times tonight so far. I have to literally keep the folder open, hovering over the subfolders in question, to keep resetting them to online only over and over and over...and remember to pause Dropbox should I leave the room, because I'll come back and find all this stuff on my hard drive again.

 

And there it goes again.

 

I've been reporting this bug for like three years now. It's an obvious Windows 10 incompatibility. Considering that Windows 11 is now out (no, I don't want to switch), you'd think it could be fixed, maybe...?

 

And there it goes again.

 

 

EDIT: I notice it keeps starting out with telling me it failed to download the file because it couldn't connect to Dropbox. I know in the past when it did something like this, it seemed to be downloading thousands of files, yet it was just syncing them and they remained online only. So this time, I decided to wait and see if anything actually downloaded or if it was just syncing something? (Even though these should already be synced.)

 

No such luck. After the first failed one, it tried to download another, said it was successful...then said it was OPENING it!

 

These are MP4s with sensitive content I don't want just randomly opening on my computer. Downloading is one thing--why would it be trying to OPEN it??

 

(It also used to stop acting up after a while...here I am over a half hour in and it's still trying to download. I'm so tired of this. First one folder, but now another folder, always the same one, over and over and over and over...WHY?)

Walter
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Rachel L., sorry to hear you're having issues with this and thanks for all the information you provided.

 

May we reach out via email to have a further look internally at this point? 


Walter
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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HydraLogic
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Rachel,

Are you running TrendMicro antivirus? 

 

I had the same problem and found TrendMicro was the cause. I swicthed to Kasperky and have had no problems since. 

 

Damian

valtham
Helpful | Level 5

Yeah, same here... for me, it's been like 3 years too. I've basically resigned myself to this being life with Dropbox. It's either that or switch to another cloud provider.  Some days, I just keep the Windows Explorer page open, then every time Dropbox starts trying to make stuff offline again, I just go and tell it "Make online only" again... and a few minutes later, again... and later, again.

Rachel L.
Collaborator | Level 9

I just now had Dropbox syncing paused "indefinitely"--the only solution that worked before--and started getting repeated errors from Windows informing me that hundreds of files were failing to download. I had to completely close Dropbox just to stop the messages from coming.

 

DROPBOX WAS FREAKING PAUSED. WHY IS IT TRYING TO DOWNLOAD WHEN PAUSED INDEFINITELY??

HydraLogic
Helpful | Level 5

Hi Rachel,

Just checking, are you running Trend Micro anti virus software by any chance? 

Eldertree
Explorer | Level 3

I have almost all my Dropbox files as online-only, but I notice that they slowly leak back into my hard drive until the drive fills up and has no more free space.  How can I stop this from happening, anyone?

Hannah
Dropbox Staff

Hey @Eldertree, thanks for letting us know about this.

 

Do you perhaps have any third party backup services, any antivirus programs, recently used file lists, or third party applications that monitor files in general that could be looking at and downloading these files?

 

If so, I'd suggest you test this out by temporarily disabling applications systematically, until you see that the issue is resolved.

 

The last application that you closed when the issue no longer occurred, may be the one performing this action.


Hannah
Community Moderator @ Dropbox
dropbox.com/support


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