What content strategy and technology will leading brands use in 2024?

The state of digital content 2024

Marketing technology

A complete guide to Dropbox Smart Sync

by Casey Schmidt  |  September 20, 2019

3 min. read
Animated workers pushing boxes together.

Downloading large files before accessing them is a thing of the past because of new tools like Dropbox Smart Sync. This innovative tool is changing the way people store and access files. Here’s an in-depth guide.

What is Dropbox Smart Sync?

Smart Sync is a Dropbox feature on the desktop application that lets users check files shared with them. It allows users to review new files without taking up any hard drive space. Smart Sync is part of the upgraded Dropbox packages.

Smart Sync is similar to an x-ray machine. Instead of having to physically look inside someone’s body, the machine gives an image showing it. Smart Sync does the same thing only with files. It scans them when they arrive and gives the user a chance to see them without downloading them to their hard drive.

What’s the difference between Smart Sync and Selective Sync?

Though they sound similar, Smart and Selective Sync are completely different. Smart Sync is how users access content from their desktop without taking up hard drive space. Selective Sync is how users pick which files are synced. This way they can prevent different files and folders from taking up hard drive space. Think of Selective Sync more as a way to pick which files are exclusively on your Dropbox rather than your PC.

A screenshot of Dropbox.
Selective Sync is similar to Smart Sync only in name.

When should you use Smart Sync?

Consider Smart Sync when you have a large amount of files stored in your Dropbox. Furthermore, Smart Sync is perfect for you if a lot of users share files with you. The convenience of being able to see and access these files without storing them on your hard drive is immense.

Another reason to use Smart Sync is if you have limited hard drive space on your PC. One of the biggest reasons people use Dropbox in the first place is to store files without sacrificing hard drive space. Smart Sync takes it one step further and lets them access the files from their desktop without storing them there.

A screenshot of the Dropbox interface.
Smart Sync saves hard drive space.

Benefits of Smart Sync

Files are easy to find

This is especially useful for work-related tasks. Being able to find specific files is necessary when completing work projects. Smart Sync brings all your files together for quick-finding.

Important folders are easy to access

Smart Sync makes it so much easier to access all your important projects. Instead of downloading large amounts of different files, a single click syncs folders directly to your desktop.

Keeps you organized

No longer will lesser-used folders clog up your system. With Smart Sync, you’ll be able to free up your clutter by moving unused files online. That way you don’t have to erase something you might need later and it won’t interfere with more active files.

Now that you understand the power of Smart Sync, measure whether it would be worth adding it to your Dropbox repertoire. If you’re a business looking for more comprehensive storage and sharing, consider upgrading to digital asset management.