By Zoey twitter/ Last Updated March 26, 2022

Why Do You Need Cloud Backup?

  • Are you afraid of accidentally losing the data stored on your hard drive?
  • Are you anxious that there is not enough space locally for backup?
  • Are you panicked that you have lost all local backups due to local accidents?
  • Backup all your data to the cloud offsite, never lose data and recover them from any PC.

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My Dropbox Smart Sync Is Not Freeing Up Space!

“My Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space! I use Dropbox and have a large number of files that I am uploading. I have 2 TB of space on Dropbox so not a problem there, however, my hard drive is filling up with these files even though I have set the files to be online only through Smart Sync. Do you know how to solve this problem? Thanks for your reply in advance!”

About Dropbox Smart Sync

Nowadays, there is a growing demand for cloud storage. Dropbox is one of the popular file syncing and cloud storage services that have a great impact today. Dropbox makes it easy and convenient to backup files to the cloud and files in the same account can be synced to any device.

Users no longer have to transfer and share resources through the tedious method of sending emails back and forth. However, if you download Dropbox software and sync your PC with a PC instead of using it on the website, Dropbox puts all the files on the PC, which is very space-consuming and causes some problems for users with limited local storage space.

Smart Sync

Dropbox Smart Sync is a useful function of Dropbox which solves this problem effectively. Dropbox Smart Sync allows users to browse and access all the files in their account directly on the computer, it does not take up hard drive space. The content on the computer is browsed online.

Users can save and access all the files shared by others without spending storage space, reducing the pressure on their storage space. By the way, the Smart Sync feature is only available for Plus, Home, Professional clients, or team members of a business plan.

Why Dropbox Smart Sync Is Not Freeing Up Space?

Although Dropbox satisfies users' needs for backup synchronization to save local storage space, some users still encounter some problems like "Dropbox Smart Sync not working" in the process of using it. Meanwhile, the “Dropbox smart sync not freeing up space” issue is very common and the causes of the problems are as follow:

Network connection error.

Delays in freeing disk space.

Bugs in Dropbox software.

Solutions to “Dropbox Smart Sync Not Freeing Up Space” Issue

If you are facing up the problem that your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up, we prepared solutions here for you. You can take any method you need.

Solution 1. Check the Network Connection

When you meet a problem such as Dropbox Smart Sync is not working, you should think about the network connection issue first. If it goes wrong with the network, make sure the network adapter on your computer is working properly, or use a network troubleshooter. You can also reset your modem and router, or reset a network.

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space in Windows 10:

Note: This method is also suitable for other Windows system versions.

1.    Go to Settings > Network & Internet.

2.    Click the Status tab to check the network connection, if there is a problem with the network connection, go to Network troubleshooter to solve it.

Network Troubleshooter

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space on Mac:

1.    Go to System Preferences > Network, select the network adapter to have a check.

2.    And then you can see the status of the network connection.

Check Network On Mac

Solution 2. Restart the Dropbox

In general, most problems can be solved by restarting the software. So you can quit Dropbox and restart the software to check if it can return to normal.

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space in Windows 10:

Note: This method is also suitable for other Windows system versions.

1. Find the Settings drop-down window.

2. Just click the Exit Dropbox tag.

Exit Dropbox

3. Restart Dropbox to check if it can work properly.

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space on Mac:

1. Find the Dropbox menu in the menu bar of your Mac.

2. Click your profile picture or initials.

3. Click the Quit Dropbox tag.

Quit Dropbox

4. Restart Dropbox to check if it can work properly.

Solution 3. Use Admin Privileges to Reinstall Dropbox

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space in Windows 10:

Note: This method is also suitable for other Windows system versions.

If you have already downloaded Dropbox, there may be some bugs in your Dropbox or the version is too outdated, so uninstalling might solve this problem. To uninstall Dropbox, you should follow the steps below:

1. Press Windows and R key to go to the Run window.

2. In the Run dialog box, type appwiz.cpl and press Enter.

3. Find Dropbox, right-click on it and click the Uninstall button.

4. Restart your computer after uninstalling it.

Uninstall Dropbox win10

5. Reinstall Dropbox. When following the instructions of the installation wizard two scenarios may occur:

You will be asked to provide an administrative password and username, which you can get from your administrator. Use it to log in.

If you are not asked for a password or username, you are the administrator.

Reinstall Dropbox

Note: To ensure that the old Dropbox not leaving any uninstallation remnants on your desktop or laptop, do follow the guide:

1. Press Windows and E to go to File Manager.

2. Type %LOCALAPPDATA% in the address bar and press Enter.

3. Delete the Dropbox folder.

4. Go to %APPDATA%, %PROGRAMFILES(X86)% and %PROGRAMFILES% and delete the Dropbox folder from these directories.

Delete Dropbox Folder

If your Dropbox Smart Sync is not freeing up space on Mac:

If you have already downloaded Dropbox on Mac, you need to uninstall it first. To uninstall Dropbox, you should follow the steps below:

1. Quit Dropbox in the menu bar of your Mac.

Quit Dropbox

2. Trash the app from Application Folder.

Uninstall Dropbox Mac

3. Reinstall Dropbox on your computer.

Reinstall Dropbox

Bonus Tip: Using OneDrive Files On-Demand for Instead

If you are tired of solving the “not freeing up” issue or your Dropbox Smart Sync still taking up space on Windows 10,11 after trying the methods above, maybe it’s time for you to switch to another similar function in OneDrive – OneDrive Files On-Demand.

OneDrive Files On-Demand offers the same service as Dropbox's Smart Sync feature, which also helps users access all their files in OneDrive without downloading them, which greatly saves storage space on users' computers. Don’t worry that your files are on Dropbox. It’s time for you to get a third-party tool – CBackup to transfer your files from Dropbox to OneDrive with ease. 

Let me show you how to use CBackup to migrate your files:

1. Go to, sign up for an account, and log in.

Sign Up

2. Press My Storage, click Add Cloud, select Dropbox and click Add to add this drive.

Add Cloud

3. Click on the Sync Tasks tab and New Task.

New Task

4. Click the Add Source button to select the files in your Dropbox.

Add Source

5. Click the Add Destination button to select OneDrive as your destination.

Add Destination1

6. Click the Start Sync button to confirm.

Start Sync1

Note: For more functions, you can click the Settings button. These functions help you to get rid of frequent and manual file sync from cloud to cloud.


You can select a schedule mode to sync your files regularly according to your needs.

You can get email notifications for sync progress by allowing the email notification and filling in your email address.

You can use the file filter function to greatly improve your backup efficiency.


Note: CBackup is a professional cloud backup service for Windows PCs that offers cloud to cloud sync feature for free. And it supports OneDrive, Dropbox, and Google Drive. With it, you can sync your files from Dropbox to OneDrive directly, quickly, and safely. Then, you can access all your files online with OneDrive.

Sync Dropbox To Onedrive

Final Words

The methods above are all about how to solve the “Dropbox Smart Sync not freeing up space” error. If you meet the same problem, you can try any of these solutions according to your need. And if you want to switch to new cloud storage, CBackup is the best tool to sync your files quickly and easily.

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