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File Navigation Interacts Horribly with Dropbox Smart Sync

Daniel Spiewak

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I have some files stored using Dropbox Smart Sync (tldr it's a slightly hacky lazy filesystem). Whenever I have files which are stored remotely rather than locally, I cannot use Alfred's File Navigator to touch these files at all. More specifically, if I navigate to one of these files and then press Ctrl, Alfred will hang (on the main UI thread) while Dropbox downloads the file.


Obviously this is a slightly annoying situation, since Dropbox isn't exactly integrating particularly well with macOS in this respect, but at least I would like Alfred to be able to do a bit better than flipping out entirely and having to be killed. Ideally what would happen in this case is similar to what happens in Finder when the file is selected but not opened: the file is not downloaded, and instead the local attributes are displayed and it can be manipulated accordingly.

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  • 4 weeks later...

@Daniel Spiewak Sorry about the delay on the reply to this - it's a tough one as Alfred is using the macOS APIs for file access and I suspect Smart Sync is doing something interesting in Finder to make the files appear to be local, something which we wouldn't have access or knowledge to.


I'll add a note to look into what could potentially be done asynchronously within Alfred, but my hopes aren't golden.


For now, one thing you could try is preventing Alfred from showing the preview info for these. You can do that in Features > Previews > No Previews In: Drag the Dropbox Smart Sync folder there, and instead of a preview of the file, you'll just see the default file type. If this doesn't work, you could also try disabling "Show Rich File Previews" above this.


Let me know how you get on.




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