Cloud storage has gradually made its way into the suite of today’s collaboration and backup essentials. It’s simple to use, accessible from both desktop and mobile, enables quick sharing and collaboration between friends and colleagues. What else is there to ask?

Dropbox is the cloud storage of choice for many due to its thought-through plans, rich platform support, and reliable service. However, like any other cloud storage with automatic syncing, it requires proper space management. Otherwise, you are running the risk of breeding duplicate files. In this article, you will find helpful tips that will let you make the most of you Dropbox plan and minimize the number of duplicated copies.

Why Does Dropbox Duplicate Files: Known Issues

When using cloud storage, occasionally creating duplicate copies is not uncommon. It’s one thing when you purposely backup a local file to the cloud, but it’s a totally different scenario when unintentional copies spring up in your Dropbox. What makes it worse is the fact that your files are synced back onto your Mac and take additional hard drive space.

Bulk Import of Files

This brings us to the first reason why duplicates are created in Dropbox — bulk import of data. When moving files in bulk it’s easy to miss a thing or two. Usually, that’s not a big deal. However, miss a few files every now and then, and before you know it — you have hundreds or even thousands of megabytes of precious cloud space allocated for unneeded duplicates spread over various folders.

Conflicted Copies

Conflicted copies are Dropbox’s way of preventing the loss of data. It occurs when two or more people work on the same file simultaneously. In such case, Dropbox saves the original version and creates a second copy (conflicted copy) which contains the name of the person/computer working on it as well as the date.

dropbox conflicated copy

How to Delete Duplicate Files in Dropbox using MacFly Pro

MacFly Pro is a multipurpose Mac maintenance utility that will help make your Dropbox cleaner with little to no effort. It is also capable of clearing your cache, log, and temp files, removing apps in bulk, managing RAM and application leftovers. Granted, you can always clean the Dropbox mess yourself, however you will quickly realize that it is not a time or cost efficient way of going about the task.

Purge Duplicates within Dropbox

To get rid of duplicate files on your Dropbox, download and install MacFly Pro, then head over to Preferences. You will first need to switch to Ignore list and exclude Dropbox by selecting and hitting “-“. This will allow MacFly Pro to include Dropbox in the list of scanned files and folders. Dropbox is excluded by default to prevent backed up files from being considered duplicates.

dropbox settings macfly pro

Next, get back to the main app and scroll to the Tools section. Select Duplicates and hit Scan to get to the screen where you can choose the folder you want inspected. Drag and Drop the Dropbox folder from the user folder on your Mac and click Start Scanning. MacFly Pro will detect duplicates within your Dropbox and let you choose the files you want removed for good.

macfly pro scan dropbox

(Optional) Enable Selective Sync

If you are using Dropbox to backup some of the files stored locally on your Mac, you can exclude the backup folder from automatic syncing. This will save space on your Mac as well as excluding files within the folder from being considered duplicate. To change sync folders, go to Dropbox Preferences on your Mac and select Sync settings. Click Choose folders to Sync and uncheck the boxes next to folders you want to exclude. Confirm the changes.

sync settings dropbox

Look up Duplicate Dropbox Copies of Local Files

Using MacFly Pro you can also detect unnecessary file copies stored both physically on your drive and on Dropbox. Open MacFly Pro and start another duplicates scan. This time, select your entire user folder and Start Scanning. Once the scan is completed, click Review Files to select the copies you want to keep.

dropbox duplicates scan

Dropbox is an indispensable tool for organizing and collaborating on your files. It needs proper management to be used to its fullest potential, much like your Mac. MacFly Pro is a great option to clear your Dropbox and maintain you Mac clean.