Issues syncing with DropBox

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by HecktheMac, Aug 2, 2017.

  1. HecktheMac macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2017
    I have over 30,000 photos and video in my MacBook, I started syncing the photos with my dropbox account which has a capacity of 1TB, once it reached close to completion, I get a message, low disk space....

    So I paused sync to dropbox, restarted the computer, but I still get low disk space message

    My questions to the Mac Experts:

    1. Where did dropbox store the images (dropbox already has 20,000 photos before I started sync)

    2. How can I clear the dropbox sync and start over?

    3. Can I buy a bigger disk and swap with the current 500 Gb disk, or better of with a new external drive?

    Please rescue...

    Thanks in advance
  2. hughw macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2012
    Bath/Bristol, UK
    Dropbox stores your files in the "cloud" - on their servers located all around the world.

    Unfortunately, if you only have 500 GB of disk space on your computer, then that's the maximum amount of files you can store on it.

    Whether you can upgrade your storage depends on which MacBook you have - if it was made in 2011 or before, then you can, but if it's a more recent model, it's a lot more difficult - since about 2013, apple have used proprietary SSDs so yo can't easily buy upgraded ones.

    If you don't need to access the 20,000 photos on a regular basis, it may be easier to move them on to an external hard drive at home, or use the Dropbox selective sync function to stop it trying to sync them to your MacBook.

    Hope this helps.

  3. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000


    Oct 17, 2016
    If you're syncing the files, it means it's storing them on your computer and making a backup in the cloud.

    So if you have 30,000 photos in folder A, and decided to sync DropBox into the DB folder (B). It is copying those files to folder B, and also backing them up. Meaning if that's 500gb of photos, you now have 1tb.

    You can upload stuff to the DB server, or choose sync locally. But that will store files locally and so use space.

    You can buy an external drive, you may get unwanted issues using it to sync but you cannot upgrade the internal drive on older machines, so depends on what you have.
  4. HecktheMac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 24, 2017
    OK, makes sense

    My MBP is two years old, uses SSD drive.

    I assume now that Dropbox has created another copy of 30K photos and thats why its full.

    How can find this folder and delete it? Once I recover more space, I can do upload instead of sync, thats possible, right?
  5. hughw macrumors member


    Jan 15, 2012
    Bath/Bristol, UK
    So, Dropbox is syncing the photos it has stored to your SSD.

    It's really important not to delete the files, or Dropbox will assume that you don't want them and delete them all on their side as well.

    If you go into the dropbox settings panel and look at the account settings, there's a button called "selective sync".
    That opens a menu where you can select what parts of your dropbox are synced onto your computer, so you can unselect the folder that contains all the images.

    In the future, when you want to upload photos to dropbox, you can just drag and drop in your web browser

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