Dropbox Smart Sync Online Only

On macOS, using Dropbox Smart Sync, does anyone know of a way to automate making a folder online only. I have it set for new files to remain online only, and if I add a file from a different machine then that does stay online only… perfect.

When I add a file from my local machine and drop it in the folder (or move via hazel) the file remains local rather than becoming online only.

Does anyone know of a way I could automate this via apple script or automator or something else so that I can save the local hard drive space without having to manually change it after moving the files?

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If I understand correctly how smart sync works, when a folder is marked as always offline, externally new files will remain offline, but new files created locally in the offline only folder will remain local as well. That is because that is it’s origin.

I don’t know if Dropbox triggers any file system events when it completes the initial sync that you could hook into, but that would be where I’d start looking. Though I imagine it is something you would have to monitor and track to determine if there is anything you can reliably use.

There is an alternative approach that I think is worth exploring. That is around identification of origin.

If you upload a file via the Dropbox web interface, then the origin will not be identified as the Mac and the file in the folder would show up, but only as offline. Similarly if you have other apps that use the Dropbox API for access.

On Windows I use Mountain Duck for connecting drives to various online storage locations. That includes Dropbox, and it is available on Mac too. If you use that for ad hoc access to those folders, that should suffice. The new file uploaded via this would go directly to web storage and not be flagged as being of local origin … even though for all intents and purposes it is as you are just interacting with a (cloud) network mount.

Similarly I would expect Pathfinder’s native Dropbox integration would allow for a similar set-up. Whilst I do use Pathfinder, I don’t use it’s Dropbox integration; I just sync my relatively small Dropbox store in its entirety to my devices.

Hope that helps.

I’ve looked into a couple things but ultimately I want to be able to move files into it via Hazel and not have to manually move them. I did look at transmit, and using automator I could run the action and it would work. But when I had hazel trigger it, it always wanted me to sign back into dropbox (in transmit) which wouldn’t work for a server like option.

I’m not familiar with Pathfinder but I’ll look into it. Thanks for the ideas.

Mountain Duck would definitely work with Hazel as it creates a mount point and you can set it to be persistent.

Pathfinder I think would only be within the Pathfinder UI and so potentially not Hazel compatible.

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Initial testing on Mountain Duck… this is perfect. Also will save me money, as I don’t need the 2TB that comes with the plan in dropbox to get smart sync, I can just use the selective sync for those folders and use this. Thank you!!!