How to prevent dropbox from downloading all files


I formatted my computer.

Before formatting, I copied dropbox folder to an external drive.

After formatting, I installed dropbox, linked to my account, stopped sync and pasted all the content inside old dropbox folder to new one. Now, the dropbox folder look same as it was before format.

However, after I started sync, it began to download all files one by one. Now it's saying like downloading XX.XXX files X hours remaining.

So, why doesn't it just understand these files already there and there is no need to download again? What could be problem?

Best Answer

Because, you broke the chain of trust. It doesn't know those files are the same, and simply sees your computer as a new system, since it got formatted.

It doesn't know which version is correct, so it does the logical thing (in its mind) and downloads the full fileset from the Dropbox Servers (which should always be up to date).

If you want to limit which folders to sync, you can right-click on the icon in the System Tray (I assume you're using Windows - You don't specify), go to the Settings icon, and choose the second tab. You'll see a button to Sync Selected Folders (wording may be off - It's not installed on this PC). A folder dialog will pop up, and list all the folders with checkmarks. Any folder with a checkmark will be synchronized automatically.