DropBox Fails to Sync if Filenames Have Special Characters

by Michael on November 13, 2009 · 0 comments

This is just a quick note to say that DropBox, which is a very handy tool for synchronizing files across computes, will fail to sync if you use certain ‘special’ characters in the file name.

Case in point… I had a file in “My DropBox” on my MacBook Pro that refused to show up on my Asus Eee PC. As I dug deeper, I realized that the culprit was a forward slash (/) in the filename.

Apparently the ability to sync across platforms breaks down because Windows treats this forward slash as part of the pathname. When I logged in to the web interface, I noticed that DropBox had replaced the forward slash with a colon (:), but it still wouldn’t sync to my PC.

It would be nice if DropBox would simply strip problematic characters, or perhaps replace them with an underscore, but… They don’t, so be aware that these sorts of characters can create problems.

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