Questions about sync icons, default folders, and thumbnails

I have an Amazon Cloud drive with a couple of main folders and tons of subfolders, with thousands of photos in those subfolders.

Whenever I double click to open a folder in odrive on my Mac, the folder gets a blue checkmark, but the subfolders and files are not synced. I understand how to get the subfolders and files synced, but the UI is misleading and confusing. Why am I being shown a blue checkmark on a folder to indicate a synced state if the contents of that folder are not in fact synced?

Also, nowhere can I find a succinct description of what the folders Backups, Encryptor, or Spaces do, whether they’re required, etc. I like a nice tidy file system. Random folders I didn’t make or name or authorize, with unknown purposes are confusing and annoying.

Finally, there HAS to be a way to show thumbnails for images without syncing. Showing a user a massive folder of white squares with breast cancer awareness logos is no way to manage photos. I understand you removed thumbnails because people were too dumb to know the difference between synced and unsynced files, but for a photographer with a brain, there has to be a better way. Surely a big red X icon badge is obvious enough? Even a slightly faded thumbnail is preferable to NO thumbnail. Or just make thumbnails available as an advanced preference?

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Thanks for reaching out.

For the sync icons, the intent is to show that everything is in sync within the scope of what you have requested to be synced. I know that this can cause some confusion. Since we can represent data as placeholders, alongside physical files, it creates scenarios, by design, where you have a mix of placeholder and “real” files/directories together. Our intent is to let you know that everything you wanted to be synced is in sync. This doesn’t mean that everything that is capable of being synced is in sync. When you double-click to open a folder, the folder will sync according to the action you took and behavior defined. In your case it will expand the folder, creating placeholder files to represent the files and folders.

Encryptor is part of our Encryption feature. It is a designated area for you to view any encrypted content that you have created as part of this feature:

Spaces are part of our Spaces feature. This is the area designated for listing any Spaces you have been invited to:

Backups is part of a forthcoming feature that will offer users the ability to create backups of designated folders into a location in odrive. The folder will contain any backups you have defined.

As for thumbnails, this is something we are discussing. For now, you can utilize “Open Web Preview” to preview the content on the web. I realize that this may not be ideal for your use case, but users do find this useful for preview the content without having to sync it down.


Well, thanks for clarifying, but I still feel like showing blue checkmarks on a folder full of unsynced files is an accident waiting to happen. Just because you open the door to a restaurant doesn’t mean you’ve eaten there.

Here’s a scenario that would be a nightmare… Let’s say I’m about to travel with my laptop to a place where there’s no internet. I need some important files…everything inside of 10 different subfolders inside a folder called IMPORTANT MEETING MAY 2016. I ask my assistant to check that I have all the files I’ll need for the trip. I explain briefly that a blue check mark means I have a local copy. He opens the IMPORTANT MEETING folder and sees 10 blue check marked folders. I forgot to tell him to go into each folder and check the files (AND subfolders) to verify each one is synced. He assumed check marked means synced, recursively, (in the UI language of Dropbox, and any number of other cloud based storage systems). I leave on my trip, only to find out I have a bunch of empty folders.

I’m struggling to understand how this method can possibly be good for anyone in any situation?

I understand where you are coming from. Since odrive is adding an extra dimension (progressive sync), use requires a slight shift in how you think about the data and its current manifestation locally. In this case it is more an issue of the proper process to follow.

In the hypothetical situation you described above, you should tell your assistant to right-click->sync on “IMPORTANT MEETING MAY 2016” and select “everything” and “include subfolders”. This is the full recursive sync that you are familiar with in other services. Additionally, if you are a premium subscriber you can also save the selected preference as a sync rule on that folder so that any new content will automatically be synced according to the setting, without you having to take any manual action.