Ever since switching to VS 2012, I have a frequently occurring issue where dropbox tries to sync files as VS 2012 is creating them (when adding a project, installing nuget packages, etc...). VS fails because the file(s) are locked. Has anyone else experienced this issue? Is there a way to configure Dropbox to delay sync by a few seconds or some other work around?

  • Sounds more like something you should suggest to the dropbox devs. I don't think something like Dropbox should lock files at all - if they are modified while being synced it should handle it in a transparent way. Oct 8, 2012 at 16:08
  • @ThiefMaster: I have a feeling Dropbox locks the file just to create some sort of hash to compare with what's on the server. The problem is intermittent because of the race condition of VS 2012 trying to lock the file when it creates it and Dropbox apparently trying to lock anything the second it's created or modified. For me, I see it all the time when compiling the Debug build and VS 2012 complains it can't open the pdb file.
    – darda
    Jul 7, 2014 at 1:37
  • @pelesl I see it mostly when rolling back or updating nuget packages with dependencies, but I do see the pdb issue as well. I've since moved on to OneDrive, and I noticed they seem to have a delay in processing changed files. Maybe it was intentional design, or just a byproduct of something else, but it has eliminated this issue, for me.
    – Chris
    Jul 8, 2014 at 1:03

3 Answers 3


The only alternative for now is to pause syncing while you're working on Visual Studio. Dropbox doesn't have an option now to delay sync. You can pause syncing by right clicking the Dropbox icon & then choose "Pause syncing"

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  • This kills the sync. Is there any workaround to change VS 2012 behavior in creating files? Apparently OP haven't have such problem with VS 2010, I suppose.
    – Isaac
    Oct 13, 2012 at 20:05

I have my VS projects in Dropbox and don't have an issue, although I do tend to use selective sync (Dropbox client: Preferences > Account) to exclude the nuget /packages directory along with /obj and /bin to save space and sync "noise"/bandwidth.

  • 2
    I'm curious... do you specifically exclude these folders for each new project you create? As someone who works on 5-10 different projects a week at times, this seems awful tedious, no matter the benefit.
    – Chris
    Oct 6, 2014 at 19:12
  • Yes it is tedious and I wish there were a way of automating it, but it's a one-off - I'm not creating lots of projects all the time. Oct 8, 2014 at 11:17

There is a Support thread on Dropbox for this. They have not indicated any plan or intention to improve the situation:


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