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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files Apps
I use Dropbox to sync files across my Macs, but also to collaborate with others on several projects. One day, I woke up to find the disk space on my MacBook Air had dropped substantially. I started poking around, looking for large files, swap files and the other usual suspects. I eventually found a hidden folder inside my Dropbox folder: .dropbox.cache.

Looking inside this folder, I found that it contained three dated folders, for the past three days. (For example, 2012-03-01.) Inside this folder were a number of files, and since on one shared project we use a standard versioning system, I was able to see that there were subsequent versions of these files, with names indicating that they had been deleted.

All in all, I recovered 8 GB that day, because there were two projects where people had change a lot of files. On a desktop Mac, this won't usually make much of a difference, but if you have a MacBook Air, in particular, without much disk space, you may suddenly find yourself out of room. So, if you see a sudden decrease in disk space, you can check this folder. If you use Terminal you know how to get there; if not, you can open it from the Finder. Choose Go > Go to Folder, and enter ~/Dropbox/.dropbox.cache (assuming that your Dropbox folder is at the default location at the top level of your home folder; change the path if it is not). You can delete the folders with no worry of losing files.
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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files
Authored by: John Frum on Mar 03, '12 06:35:52PM

I keep a symlink to the Dropbox cache folder handy. It serves as a reminder to check the folder's contents, and facilitates access to them.



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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files
Authored by: wallybear on Mar 04, '12 12:25:10PM

The .dropbox.cache folder keeps a backup of the latest modified files, to enable you to recover a previous version of changed files.
It is updated daily, so usually you don't need to clean this folder: in the worst case the space-eating files will be deleted after two days.



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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files
Authored by: auntchilada on Mar 04, '12 01:39:57PM

au contraire, mon frere...


auntie@bratbox:.dropbox.cache $ ls -gSh
total 167296
-rw-r--r-- 1 staff 25M Mar 18 2010 dropbox-darwin-update-0.7.110.tar.bz2
-rw-r--r-- 1 staff 4.0M Feb 2 21:40 4uIMgiA5YwVUuXjwCLQ57x_7CPmQul9tLWoEmw3XLZA
-rw-r--r-- 1 staff 4.0M Feb 9 16:26 bT4CnZRipt8B5APST1YpGdbdf3ac8sbvIaVg0JkF_78
-rw-r--r-- 1 staff 4.0M Feb 17 09:54 QqEAxWspbEfj5IL61huTxZPGE-AXW8CmbuUo-3dNzRI
-rw-r--r-- 1 staff 4.0M Feb 9 16:26 rX5ONHIIqNVyTPDMjjItc5ly5tX2AlgFNetsMrD6fys



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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files
Authored by: kirkmc on Mar 05, '12 12:09:50AM

It saves files for there days, but I have seen - as the other poster points out - files that sometimes don't get deleted.

I realized this, as I said in the hint, one day when there was 8 GB in that folder, and there was almost no disk space on my MacBook Air. On my desktop Mac, this wouldn't be a problem, as there's plenty of disk space.

---
Mac OS X Hints editor - Macworld senior contributor
http://www.mcelhearn.com



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Different file structure
Authored by: chsnyder on Mar 09, '12 05:51:09AM

The first place I looked for .dropbox.cache was in my home directory. There is a .dropbox directory in there with a configuration files and keys and so on, and even a file called filecache.dbx.

This hint is referring to the .dropbox,cache directory in the top level of your Dropbox.



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Recover disk space used by hidden Dropbox files
Authored by: iBookinLA on Apr 01, '12 09:58:22PM

I wonder if this accomplishes the same thing as going to the Dropbox website periodically and clicking the trashcan icon to display hidden files. Then it's simple to permanently delete items. Otherwise, Dropbox just flags them for deletion and hides them, but they're still there taking up space which is synced to the Mac.



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