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macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2005
I haven't played around with DropBox (or similar cloud services), so I'm not 100% up to speed, but I have a general idea how they work.

Here's what I'd like to do.

The majority of my documents (Pages and Keynote), I only need while at work. However, there is the rare occasion I might need access to them at other times.

I was thinking of moving all my documents to an external drive at work and sync that drive with DropBox, so if I'm away from work, I could still get access to them. That part I think I understand.

Am I correct in my understanding that with DropBox you end up with 2 copies of the file -- one on your local/physical drive and one in the cloud -- so that (whether you are using an internal or external drive), you aren't really saving drive space?

I'm guessing in this regard, Google Docs is "cloud only", but I'd still need to download the document to work in Pages, then reupload to the cloud? (I don't want to use the Google text editor).

So do I understand things correctly?

Thanks for wading through my ramblings...


macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
Paris, France
Yes you assume right.

With Dropbox you get everything duplicated. However with the latest version you can only sync some specific folders on some computers. That means you won't have the same files synced on each machine.


macrumors regular
Jan 15, 2010
You must have really really big documents, if this could seriously save you a lot of space. How much space does your Documents folder take up?

I'd recommend fetching Grand Perspective, so you can visualize where all you disk space goes. I could imagine there's a movie, podcast or unused app that could be removed, and save hundreds of times more space than your Keynote and Pages documents take up.


macrumors 68030
Jul 21, 2011
Los Angeles, CA
Yes dropbox is just a redundant folder syncing system. Great for having docs on multiple machines update in sync....not going to save you space tho.


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 16, 2005
Thanks, all, for your remarks. I think I (finally)figured out a couple of things:
[1] My documents folder isn't nearly as large as I thought it was (hence not a significant occupier of my SDD, and [3]DropBox's only real functions are to sync files across multiple computers and allow for sharing of those files. All admirable functions, but probably nothing I really need.

Thanks again.


macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011

Dropbox is great for sharing and syncing files between devices. But I also like it because it works as a backup - there is always a copy of your dropbox files on the server. It should be possible to have your documents folder stored on the external drive - then at home you could access those files by going to the dropbox website and downloading them.

I'm not sure if the dropbox installation gets confused if the local copy vanishes when you remove the external disc.

Demosthenes X

macrumors 68000
Oct 21, 2008
I don't see where the external drive comes into things?

But you could set up DB to sync with your work computer, and then simply not install the DB client on your MBA. You could still access those files via a web browser when you need them, but they won't take up space locally...


macrumors 65816
Mar 19, 2008
OC Baby!
I've often wondered how many people use DB. I think it is AMAZING and love it to sync docs between multiple computers. My only beef there is such a disparity between the free account and paid accounts. I mean why not offer a paid 10, 20 or 25GB option? You get Free or 50GB. I've considered trying/moving over to Sugarsync - we will see.
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