Stop Dropbox from Syncing– GOOD LORD MAKE IT STOP

I stupidly hit the “yes, back up my photos to Dropbox” button on my phone the other day, and in so doing, released a Kraken of nonsense that took three days to fix.

I’d like to go on the record to say that it should NOT be possible to start an 8,000 files, 4 GB sync just be answering “yes” to a question that pops up in an interface when you plug in your fucking phone, but that is clearly beside the point.

What is even more annoying about this is that you can’t easily stop this sync.  You can PAUSE Dropbox or quit the Dropbox app itself, but that doesn’t really help you if you are trying to be cloud-based in your workflow, now does it?

Here’s how I finally stopped the Dropbox sync insanity.

  1.  Open up Dropbox in the Finder window.   I don’t know the Mac equivalent of this, and I am frankly too grouchy too look it up.
  2. Find the “Camera Uploads” folder and click into that.
  3. Sort by “latest activity.”  You are looking for that annoying blue circle indicating that Dropbox has put your 8,000 photos into its “queue” and is going to be syncing them for all eternity.
  4. Highlight the entire list.
  5. Delete the entire list, then confirm you are deleting.  Dropbox is going to freak out and throw out a bunch of double-confirm messages, so keep watching for multiple instances of this and say yes to them all.   In case you are about to ask/ wonder if deleting these photos deletes them off of your phone, no it does not.  Technically speaking, Dropbox has just taken an INVENTORY of all the photos on your phone, and has queued them all up to import their data at a later time.  They are still on your phone.
  6. Wait patiently for Dropbox to realize it has “forgotten” all of those files and doesn’t need to search for them anymore.  Seriously.  I stopped most of an 8,000 photo sync, and it took Dropbox 35 full minutes to catch up with itself.

If you would also like a good laugh, please imagine that this problem was made infinitely worse by the fact that I have incredibly shitty, DSL based internet service in my home (because it is the actual only option), which meant that when I said “yes” to the 8,000 photo sync, I essentially rendered the internet in my house useless and spent the rest of the weekend parked in my car outside of my local Starbucks, destroying THEIR WiFi while trying to figure out this stupid problem.