I see a "Folder updates in progress" error—why, and what should I do?

Occasionally, you may see a "Folder updates in progress" message on dropbox.com. This message can appear if you are trying to:

  • Share a folder
  • Move a folder
  • Upload a file to the folder
  • Edit a file in the folder
  • Edit the folder itself
  • Change folder access levels
shared folder lock contention error message

Why am I seeing this message?

This error message means that a "lock" is in place—the folder is locked, and blocking you from performing some action. A folder becomes locked when you and/or another folder member perform some action at the same time. This list of actions includes:

  • Editing a folder or its files from one device while it's still syncing changes you made on another device
  • Sharing a folder while it's syncing changes made by another member
  • Updating a folder while it's syncing changes made by another member, including:
    • Edits to the same file(s) in the folder
    • Changes to the folder itself (for example, its name)
    • Changes to the membership of the folder (shared with new members, or current members are being removed)
    • Changes to the folder permissions (whether members can view or edit its files)

How do I get rid of this message?

If you encounter an "…updates in progress" error, the easiest fix is to simply wait and try again later. This resolves most syncing locks. If you've waited but still encounter the error, read on.

The folder is locked because of changes made by another member.

If this is the case, contact the other member(s) of the folder and ask that they stop making changes in the folder. You can then try again. If you still encounter the error message, you may need to ask the other member(s) to pause syncing.

Learn more about pausing and restarting file sync.

The folder is locked because of changes I made on another device.

If this is the case, you can wait for your other device to complete syncing. Or, you can pause syncing on that device.

Learn more about pausing and restarting file sync.

How long do I need to wait?

In most cases the duration of the lock is very short. However, the time it takes for the lock to go away depends on several factors, including:

  • The number of files in the folder
  • The number of members in the folder
  • The number of sub-folders inside this main folder

Why does Dropbox lock folders?

While locked folders may be frustrating, they actually save you time and further frustration later. Locking folders prevents one member's changes from overriding the changes made by another member.

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