A newer version of Dropbox is available.

Or, Learn More About Dropbox
CNET Editors' Rating 5.0 stars


Average User Rating stars

out of 238 user reviews

Back to product review

Full user review

  • 3.0 stars

    "Watch out for file naming issues"

    May 9, 2011  |   By kcohen


    Excellent easy synchronization, storage space pricing is reasonable


    Dropbox storage is done on a Windows server. Windows does not recognize Mac file naming conventions. See my comments below.


    Here is the problem: Dropbox stores your files on a Windows serer. Windows does not recognize the use in file and folder names of double-spaces, leading spaces, (which you might sometimes use to move a file to the beginning of an alphabetic list), trailing spaces, /, \, +, -, -, =, *, &, and who knows what else. Mac OS X permits most of these (the basic rule is to avoid only colons) and so the unknowing among us innocently use all kinds of characters in our file names, over the years.
    When you place files named using one or more of these characters in your Dropbox, the synchronization process will begin to store multiple copies of your file on your hard drive, each one suffixed with the dreaded words "white space conflict".
    I was naïve about this and ended up with roughly 70,000 such multiplied files and folders occupying several gigabytes scattered all over my hard drive, before I finally realized what was happening. Almost everywhere I looked, I would find long lists of the same folder or file with "white space conflict" appended to the end of the name.
    To get rid of the problem, you'll need to use a reliable utility such as A Better Finder Rename (which I have no relation to except being a satisfied customer) to change the names of the thousands of files and folders on your Mac that break Windows naming conventions. It takes some time to learn to use this renaming utility and $30 to pay for it. It's extremely flexible and appears to do a thorough and careful job, but it's always a risk using even the best software to rename files and folders on this scale without screwing up your hard drive in some way, so you'd better back everything up first. I spent hours using it to rename the thousands of Windows-phobic files and folders dating back over 20 years that I have accumulated in my business.
    I'm spending time posting this because I have seen numerous complaints on the Dropbox web site about this problem, but not a single reviewer that I have read has mentioned it. Be aware before you start.

    Reply to this review

    Was this review helpful? (2) (0)

1 reply to this review

  • Reply by itsili on March 16, 2012

    Thank you, thank you, KCOHEN! Your 5/19/2011 Dropbox review has just saved me from going insane trying to do exactly what you were describing. Your review is exactly what's missing in all the other Dropbox reviews out there and should be included in the Dropbox manual. I appreciate very much your generous sharing of knowledge and am inspired to do the same for the others. Thanks again...



Submit your reply


The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.


Add Your Review

Log in or create an account to post a review.
You are logged in as . Please submit your review for Dropbox 1.1.31
Add Your Review

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited.
Click here to review our site terms of use.

E-mail this review

Submit cancel

Report offensive content

If you believe this comment is offensive or violates the CNET's Site Terms of Use, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the comment). Once reported, our staff will be notified and the comment will be reviewed.

Select type of offense:

Offensive: Sexually explicit or offensive language
Spam: Advertisements or commercial links
Disruptive posting: Flaming or offending other users
Illegal activities: Promote cracked software, or other illegal content
Submit cancel




If you think this is an error, please contact CNET TechTracker Support for further assistance.


Running Request



Smart Install Software


CNET TechTracker will now automatically install software without requiring further action by you. (Note: This feature automatically accepts associated EULAs and third party applications on your behalf.)

You have selected the following software to Smart Install:

CNET TechTracker will attempt to install this software without interrupting you again. If an application requires manual installation, CNET TechTracker will download the installer and prompt you to take further action.

Proceed with Smart Install?

Confirm Standard Install Cancel