Today I noticed that Dropbox consumes nearly as much as half of CPU time consumed by kernel_task on OS X 10.8.3, which is a pretty decent amount of CPU usage. So I paused it and see what would happen.

Surprisingly, even after I paused syncing, Dropbox takes roughly the same amount of CPU (and nothing is being changed).

So, Dropbox keeps on indexing even if I instruct it to "pause"? Then the "pause" only applies to network usage? This seems pretty dumb?

closed as not a real question by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, David Schwartz, Dave M, Brad Patton, bwDraco May 16 '13 at 0:44

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • What's your actual question? You are right about the pause, according to Dropbox: "Dropbox allows you to pause and resume syncing through the Dropbox menu in your system tray or menu bar." But what are you trying to solve exactly? – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 May 15 '13 at 21:00
  • @techie007 I'm just trying to get confirmation about my understanding of this behavior. – 4ae1e1 May 15 '13 at 21:53
  • Some versions of Dropbox have had issues where they use too much CPU. Hopefully you can upgrade to a version that fixed this issue now dropbox.com/release_notes – Matthew Lock Nov 21 '14 at 7:04
  • @MatthewLock Thank you, but hopefully you could look at the posting date before commenting... It would be really weird if I haven't upgraded in 1.5 years. – 4ae1e1 Nov 21 '14 at 7:05
  • I just had the same issue today, so I added it for others in case they stumble here like me. – Matthew Lock Nov 21 '14 at 7:05

The pause feature is only meant to stop syncing with the server. This is useful if you were about to shutdown your computer or disconnect from the internet and would prevent any file corruption. This would also be useful if you were playing an online game as with an online game more often than not your network connection is your bottleneck rather than CPU usage.

The CPU usage will remain constant or only show a slight drop when syncing is paused because the background process is still indexing and maintaining the widget on the menu bar.

  • If Dropbox corrupts your file because you disconnect your network, that's a bug... – Steven Lu Jul 16 '17 at 22:47

Indexing is independent of syncing files from your Dropbox account. Dropbox relies on knowledge of file contents obtained through indexing in order to efficiently sync your data, so that it can upload only the parts of files that have changed, rather than whole files when it is not needed. If Dropbox didn't index the files, it would not be able to do this.

  • Yeah of course Dropbox relies on indexing, but it can resume indexing when you resume "syncing"... If you lose your connection Dropbox will pause even you don't ask it to do so. That is to say, the "pause" feature as it is now is not very useful generally, since it does nothing other than stop sending packages to servers. I guess it is only useful when your connection is slow, but even if your connection is slow you don't necessarily need to pause; you can put a throttle on the upload/download speed. – 4ae1e1 May 15 '13 at 21:57

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