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Add .dropboxignore directory to exclude folders without using selective sync

Add .dropboxignore directory to exclude folders without using selective sync

Tom_M
Helpful | Level 6

Please please please can you add a feature that allows folders to be excluded from the Dropbox account (on windows and mac). For sure I'm not the first person to request this, but I'm yet to find a good explanation of why it's not there. A quick google search reveals loads of people also looking for the same feature. I really like the workflow I have with dropbox, but it's getting to the point where I might switch providers in order to allow better selective sync.

I've seen hackish solutions using selective sync, but it would be great if this could be done in one of the following ways:
- global pattern matching eg "node_modules"
- a marker file in the directory like .dropboxignore
- a simple right click context menu "Ignore this folder"

Other than that, keep up the good work. Cheers.
Tom

Latest Update
Emma
Community Manager

Hi folks, 

 

Thanks for your feedback on this.
While ignored files delivers for some of the use cases here, I appreciate it does not for all. 
We'll be taking another review of this thread to isolate use cases for a .dropboxignore file feature in particular.

I've updated the status and we'll take this to the product team.
As a side note, it would be helpful for us if you could outline the gap between what ignored files offers, and what a .dropboxignore file feature would add to your workflows.

 

Thank you.

Status changed to: Investigating
972 Comments
Tom_M
Helpful | Level 6

This is what I had back from Dropbox support last month on this issue. Don't know whether the dev team took any notice, but I will keep pestering:
"Thank you for this feedback. We are always looking for user input when creating the next version of the Dropbox app.
Unfortunately, I do not have access to the exact roadmap and am not able to say whether or not there is a plan for a similar feature.
However, I think the idea makes a lot of sense and I will make sure your comments are passed along to our development team."

Franz-Georg N.
New member | Level 2

this would be a great thing. for example firefox and thunderbird create a file named parent.lock which is necessary for normal the operation of firefox or thunderbird. dropbox isn't able to sync while those files exist. the files normally are deleted when ff or tb are closed and all processes are stopped. but in some reason they remain till reboot. there is no need for those files to be synced. there a mask for adding exclusions would be very helpful

Stav Yagev s.
New member | Level 2

God I need this so much.

Tom_M
Helpful | Level 6

Many thanks to all who have added their +1s so far. Dropbox support have now started to take notice, and are apparently now estimating the demand for this. So please keep the votes coming, and it would be good if people add their own reasons on why this feature would be helpful.

Sam B.27
New member | Level 2

I'm pretty sure that every single developer would benefit from this functionality along with the company itself with bandwidth and storage savings. How do they quantify demand? +1's here?

luciano c.1
New member | Level 1

So I'll be able to stop syncing hundreds of thousands of dependency and log files in vain, lowering a lot the stress on both my machines and their servers.

Sam B.27
New member | Level 2

How does Dropbox support quantify demand? +1's here?

Tom_M
Helpful | Level 6

Sadly they weren't very specific about how they calc demand, I guess it is not an exact science. This is what I got back from support:

"I have forwarded your feedback to our client (desktop app) team, who are looking further into this. Initially, we will start to track this to try to estimate the demand is for this type of feature, and also to collect more use cases like yours that will help us to better understand how to improve Selective Sync. That will then help us determine how to best proceed."

Mike A.26
New member | Level 2

+1

Dropbox is almost unusable for me without this feature. On the off-chance that it's useful, here's my particular usecase and how I'd like to see it solved.

I use npm a lot, its npm install command can create thousands of files very quickly. Dropbox then spends a long time trying to index all these files, during that time CPU usage is pegged at 100% and the fans on my laptop will be (noisily) spinning at maximum. I may delete, add or recreate all of these files several times during a day.

I'd like to be able to ignore all changes to files within a folder, based on a folder-name pattern. I never want to store these files on the dropbox server as they are trivial for me to recreate locally. I don't want to have to manually select each folder to be ignored.

e.g. the pattern node_modules/ would ignore any changes in any folder in my dropbox called node_modules.

This could either be via a file dropped into a folder (See git's .gitignore file for an example) or as a config setting within the dropbox client or web interface.

If I start ignoring a folder that is already stored on the Dropbox servers, I think I'd like Dropbox to delete the remotely stored files (this could be dangerous, maybe there's a better solution) and stop updating any other clients. The icon of the ignored folder should change to show that it's being ignored.

Erik B.8
New member | Level 1

Got tired of not having this, now using BitTorrent Sync for the files where I needed it the most. They do this with a IgnoreFile: http://sync-help.bittorrent.com/customer/portal/articles/1673122-ignoring-files-in-sync-ignorelist-

It's not great, but it gets the job done... and that's what counts.