Thursday, October 27, 2022

Dropbox on Ventura

Peter Steinberger:

The new Dropbox version for macOS Ventura is absolute garbage. fileproviderd is eating my CPU alive, files are no longer really on disk so QuickLook and some apps fail, etc. How did this ship, even as beta?

Then again, it’s now about as unreliable as the iOS Files extension, which crashes after using it a while and the only recourse is to reboot iOS.

This is not the first time that the official API ends up being less reliable than the original hacky solution.

I’ve mostly switched to iCloud Drive, and when I do need to access Dropbox I do so via Transmit.


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When they switched to fileproviderd, they also made it impossible to mark your entire account as "Keep all files for Offline use". I had all folders individually marked for Offline use. Didn't matter. At some point, Dropbox stopped syncing. Then it reset all folders so they were Online only. All my new and changed files were deleted. Thankfully, Timemachine saved me. But that was the last straw. I switched to and deleted my Dropbox account.

"I’ve mostly switched to iCloud Drive, and when I do need to access Dropbox I do so via Transmit."

100%. I doublechecked to make sure I didn't write this myself and forgot about it :). Exactly what I do. I dumped all Mac Dropbox apps years ago, and only use Transmit to upload an occasional file to Dropbox if I need to share something small with other users. In Transmit, right click a Dropbox file and grab its URL for sharing.

The new version of Dropbox for Mac is rolling out not just for Ventura but for Monterey as well. There is also a migration coming for Dropbox business accounts. I’ve been writing about the changes here

Strange, how iCloud Drive, that most mediocre of storage providers, comes out of the FileProvider transition best of all. Is it by any means inevitable that third-party sync services shouldn't behave as correctly and as reliably as iCloud, with background sync of full file contents for offline use?

I had some weird bugs with this on Monterey, and more than once, the issue remained after restarting the Dropbox app. Only rebooting the system would revert it into regular operation, and I guess that File Provider went into a weird state that Dropbox could not recover from on its own.

Unfortunately, Dropbox has lost its advantage in reliability compared to the others, yet it still suffers from increased CPU and RAM usage due to its Python foundation.

For those who want a non-shitty alternative Dropbox client, there's always Maestral:

I've had a good experience with it so far. It only supports file sync, but that's literally the only thing I want Dropbox to do. All of the rest of it is worthless cruft!

Old Unix Geek

FWIW, I've found exceptionally useful as it works on Mac, Windows and Linux, but I've only used it on my personal intranet.

Syncthing is awesome, though it operates headless so you'll need to be OK with mucking about under the boot. Also, AFAICT, no way to get sync status from the Finder, and no direct iOS client. So, great, if your use case is suitable, as with FLOSS more generally.

Old Unix Geek

@Sebby: Yes, I did have to fix something under the hood once when it crashed (UPS failure during an electrical outage, IIRC). But it does come with a HTML based UI which works pretty well for me.

"when I do need to access Dropbox I do so via Transmit."

Good lord, I wish I'd known this a year ago. I've used Transmit for ages for FTP, and I wasted innumerable hours trying other clients to download my files to my local disks again. Had I known Transmit could do this, that would have been my first and last stop. Comes of giving up on becoming a web developer and not keeping up with new features.

It works!

Only one question: is it possible to maintain the file dates when I download with Transmit? On the two folders I've tried so far, the modification dates are all set to today.

Maestral is actually a very reliable, stable native interface for Dropbox: I would highly commend it to you.

Thanks so much for this. I just moved over to Ventura, and Dropbox is proving to be a nightmare-I was even having problems using High Sierra on my last Macbook Air. I think I'll take your advice and study up on iCloud.


I keep having issues with the "Trust This Computer?" prompt ever since getting this new M1 MacBook Pro with Ventura. i.e., it keeps prompting me and prompting me, and I was on the Chat with Apple for a long time before I started to figure out that at least half the problem was Dropbox. I've just gotten the latest update of iOS, but I also removed my phone from desktop Dropbox's "approved devices," reset my phone settings (including not just Network Settings but also Location and Privacy), and uninstalled and reinstalled Dropbox client desktop. We'll see if that works.

Anyone else have experience with that issue?


I adapt slowly, didn't want Ventura but my laptop had slowed untenably. I might just go back...

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