29-Oct-2015 23:52

Dropbox not updating all files

But your recipient will never see any future file updates, and nothing they change will be reflected back to you.If your intention is to collaborate within a workgroup and this happens, it can obviously be a significant source of frustration.

Time to delve into Dropbox terminology to understand what is happening. I’ve had a folder set shared across all my various Macs and IOS devices for ages, and I’ve had another folder shared with some colleagues for months – all working perfectly, with file updates from any of us turning up for everyone else. A few months ago, I started using Dropbox with a new group of people I’m working with, and to facilitate that process, we set up a new Dropbox folder and shared it around. ) Fast forward to today, when I was setting up Dropbox on a new computer under a new account here at my office, and I managed to accidentally create the same issue – the new account wasn’t seeing updates to a shared folder that a number of us are otherwise using fine (and have been for months). In the hope of saving others the same grief, I’ve written down, here, what I’ve learned today. The crux of the confusion is one, little, word: outcomes that it can deliver. The other offers a single snapshot copy of the original, with no future updates in either direction. But I had a real problem with it – sharing a folder with a new work group lately just wouldn’t work. Nothing looked wrong, but updates to the original files we’d shared around never appeared. I know this works for my other folders, so why isn’t this new folder, that another member of my team created and shared, working for me (or the rest of our workgroup?At least, thats what we we had done, but it just didn’t work. All the new files then turned up in a fresh copy of the folder with a different version number. What I’ve learned is that Dropbox is working fine, but some aspects of the Dropbox user interface, specifically some confusing terminology, makes it easy to think you’re doing it right, when you’re actually just… The distinction is determined by the person who initiates the ‘Sharing’ operation, and if they have chosen the wrong mechanism, the outcome can be different to what you expect.We got all the original files shared around, but over the coming weeks the complaints began. Key files we needed for meetings didn’t appear for others. Your recipient gets your files, and all looks good.Dropbox has two fundamental ways to provide access to files: a) to a folder The confusion stems from the fact that Dropbox uses the term ‘Sharing’ to describe two entirely different outcomes.

In my view, Dropbox should call the second choice Sending instead of Sharing (as in: “Sending a link to a to a folder results in the recipient obtaining a moment-in-time snapshot of the sender’s folder and contents, an ‘uncontrolled copy’, that is dissociated with the original sender’s folder.

This is why the latter can be used to deliver files to people who aren’t actually Dropbox users – and its a darn useful feature, as an alternative to (say) emailing large attachments around (including to non-Dropbox users), to a folder has the option (if they are already using Dropbox) to ‘Add’ the link to their Dropbox environment.

Doing this creates the visual impression that full (bilateral) sharing has been engaged – the files appear in your directory structure precisely as if you’d bilaterally shared them. It is the – and you need to get the sender to go back and do it ‘the other way’.

One of the reasons its easy for the sender to get this wrong is that if you browse your filesystem via your home page, there is a ‘link’ option that helpfully appears to the right of each folder you move your mouse over. you’re doing it wrong Instead, go into the ‘Sharing’ menu on the web page and use the ‘New shared folder’ button to initiate sharing of a new folder, or select your existing (already being shared) folder from the provided list under that ‘Sharing’ menu and invite others to join you via that mechanism.

You can also share a folder from the Mac OS X finder directly: From the Mac OS X finder, right-click on the folder inside the Dropbox area, select the Dropbox context-sensitive submenu, and you’ll get three choices: Again, that wrong choice is hovering there in front of you, namely ‘Share Link’. and again, the confusion is caused by both options using the word ‘Share’.

They look like sort-of the same thing, but they’re actually quite different.

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