Thanks for your quick response and extensive feedback @jauxsoh - this definitely helps paint a better picture of what you initially had in mind and the rationale behind it.
Now, as per the behavior with some 3rd party apps you described, I wanted to let you know that it's expected as these may look (or try to access - even for previewing purposes sometimes) at files that you may have not manually opened and in order to fulfill these requests from these processes Dropbox syncs the files down to your device (from Online Only to Local). As you might already know, examples of this include:
Recently used file lists
Third party applications that monitor files in general (like Adobe's After Effects you mentioned).
If a file has been synced locally that you would prefer to have online-only, you'll simply need to right click on it and select online-only from the Smart Sync menu.
Please note that if there are applications that constantly or persistently look at your files, your files may come back following the behavior described above even if you didn't recall them manually.
If this is the case, I'd suggest you to test by temporarily quitting or 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.
As per your last inquriy, note that y ou can’t prioritize folders or package files - could that be the reason you're not seeing this option?
In closing, I'd like to thank you one more time for providing me with your use-case and additional information surrounding your feedback - I'll be passing those to the team as well.
... View more