Common sharing errors and how to solve them

If you’re seeing an error when trying to share, read on to learn how to resolve it.

Sections in this article:

Error: "There are too many files."

What happened:

You tried to share or unshare a folder that contains a very large number of files. 

How to fix it:

If you’re trying to share a folder, follow these steps:

  1. Sign in to dropbox.com.
  2. Click Files.
  3. Locate the folder with too many files and rename it.
  4. Click New shared folder.
  5. Choose I’d like to create and share a new folder.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Add a name for your folder, then add the email addresses of the people you want to share with in the To: box.
  8. Click Share.
  9. In the Dropbox desktop app, open the old folder you wanted to share. 
  10. Copy all files in this folder.
  11. Open your new shared folder.
  12. Paste files from the old folder into the new shared folder. Now, these files will sync with shared folder members.

This error only affects the creation of a shared folder and won't affect future invitations to the folder.

If you’re trying to unshare a folder, follow these steps:

  1. On your computer, move the contents of the shared folder into a non-shared folder.
  2. Let Dropbox sync this move.
  3. Unshare the now empty shared folder.
  4. Move the contents back into the now unshared folder, or delete the now unshared folder and use the new folder.

Error: "You sent too many invitations."

What happened: 

You sent a lot of invitations in a short period of time. To prevent abuse, there is a limit on how many shared folder invitations you can send in one day.

How to fix it:

If you hit the limit, wait 24 hours before trying to send another invitation.

Message: "Folder updates in progress- please try again later."

What happened:

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

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 or another folder member perform several actions at the same time. This 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, like changing 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 to fix it:

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.

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

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.

Why does Dropbox lock folders?

Locking folders prevents one member's changes from overriding the changes made by another member.

Message: "We’ll let you know once a file is uploaded and shared."

What happened:

You shared a file from the Dropbox desktop app that hasn’t finished syncing to your computer.

How to fix it:

Wait until the file finishes syncing. We’ll notify you when this file is finished syncing and is successfully shared. If the file isn’t shared successfully, we’ll also let you know.

Error: "Sharing was unsuccessful." or "Can’t share with user."

What happened:

You tried to share with someone who couldn’t be shared with. We’ll let you know how many users you successfully shared with and how many couldn’t be invited. This can be because:

  • The invitees are on a Dropbox Business team that doesn’t allow their members to have invites from off the team
  • If you’re on a team that doesn’t allow you to invite members that aren’t on your team

How to fix it:

If you’re on a Dropbox Business team, contact your admin and ask if they can change your team settings.

If the user you’re trying to share with is on a Dropbox Business team, ask them to contact their admin to change these settings.

Error: "You don’t have permission to perform this action."

What happened:

This can happen if:

  • The owner of the folder you were trying to share doesn’t allow editors to share with other members
  • You have view-only access to the file or folder. In these cases you can’t invite other members to this file or folder.

How to fix it:

Contact the owner of the file or folder to make you an editor. If you’re already an editor, ask them to change the setting that allows editors to invite people.

Error: "The file specified was not found."

What happened:

The file you tried to share isn’t in your Dropbox account anymore. This can happen if the file was deleted or removed from Dropbox, by you or by another member of the folder.

How to fix it:

Restore the file.

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